Robert Watzke has built a creative career as an improviser, editor, writer, director, and teacher. He is the founder of the newly formed Turbine Arts Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to the exploration of creativity, where he teaches weekly workshops in improvisation. He is also considered one of the top short-form film editors working today.

After graduating from the University of Iowa with degrees in Communications/Theatre Arts and Journalism, he moved to Los Angeles and became involved in the local theatre and film community.

As an actor, he has worked with companies including City Stage, California Theatre Ensemble, Globe Playhouse, and the Antaeus Company.  He is co-founder of The Bubalaires, a Los Angeles-based physical-comedy theatre troupe, and directed their epic version of Homer’s Odyssey.  Other theatre directing credits include Church at the American Renegade Theatre, improvised theatre shows numbering in the hundreds, and various staged readings at Turbine, including Plan 9 From Outer Space.

He has taught improvisation to a wide variety of students and professionals (see IMPROVISATION page for more info).  He created and performs in SHPLOTZ!, an evening of improvisational theatre presented by Turbine Arts Collective, which has raised over $20,000 for various charities. He is also co-founder of the newly-formed Creative Turnstile, which provides creativity training to businesses and corporations.

Rob wrote and directed the 30-minute film Heavenzapoppin’!, which won awards at Film Fest New Haven, USA Film Festival, Hardacre Film Festival, and Gravity Free Festival of New Comedy, as well as the Gold Apple for Short Fiction from the National Educational Media Association.  For television, he has directed episodes of “Dinner and a Movie” for TBS Superstation.   His current projects are a political comedy series, St. Garner, and his screenplay Broxton For Mayor, which was a finalist at the Nantucket Screenwriting Festival and the New Century Writers Awards.  With The Bubalaires, he created a series of whimsical short films as part of a pitch for a children’s series, and he recently directed the short Yard Sale, due to hit film festivals in 2017.

On the web, he created the satiric election website,, which was featured on the L.A. Times’ Funny Pages 2.0, and was nominated for Best Web Series by the Producers Guild of America.  Its offshoot, Garner St. John's All-American #1 Show! won a Telly Award. He also performs regularly on the Sirius/XM comedy radio show Kaler, playing a wide variety of characters.

As an editor, Rob has worked on some of the best commercials of the last twenty-five years.  His early editing history includes cutting the seminal Nike “Bo Knows” campaign with Bo Jackson, the Michael Jordan/Bugs Bunny series, and nearly twenty Spike Lee “Mars Blackmon” spots.  His work for Pepsi includes the Madonna and Ray Charles spots, and he has collaborated with such varied directors as Joe Pytka, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, Errol Morris, and James Gartner.  His commercial work is represented with 3 spots in the top ten of the Best Super Bowl Commercials by USA Today.

Recent editing projects include a series of inspirational documentaries sponsored by Oberto, national work for Verizon, the NBA, Disney, and Quiksilver, and a pilot presentation for TBS.  He worked on the Fox-TV series, Free Ride, and on the first comedy pilot AMC Network has developed. He has also devoted his time to non-profit work, most recently cutting a five-minute documentary for the Pathways to Housing website, and PSAs for the PDFA’s website

He has won the Clio and the London International Festival awards for Best Editing, and has written about editing and the creative process in Shoot and Boards magazines.

Member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. Click Here for IMDB.

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