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Waltien was brought to our attention largely on the strength of his deeply personal one-man show, Scenes with Ghosts, which recently enjoyed a well-received run in Chicago. Like most great comic performers, Waltien went through years of training before his recent success. He's improvised all over the Chi as a member of Second City, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, and many other groups. He and his writing partner Jordan Klepper were named the best sketch show of 2008 by the Chicago Tribune for their show, Jordan and Steve are Steve and Jordan, Respectively.

In a recent interview, Waltien distilled what he's learned in his years as an improviser: "Relax and don't force the humor. That part arrives naturally. Just listen and react to your partner. Try to be as honest as you can. Genuine is a more valuable currency than clever."