Defrost Festival
2024 Festival Now On Sale
Shows, workshops & social events
July 31st – August 10th

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Five Questions With Marcus Willis

This is a post in our "Five Questions" series of interviews with Improv Conspiracy members.  During the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival we'll be posting a new interview on every day that we have a show. You can find out more about our show "Our Friend Harold" and buy tickets by clicking here!

What was the first improv show you saw that made you think "wow, I'd like to do that!"?

I can’t remember seeing a particular show but I do remember reading a book (Bossypants by Tina Fey) that discussed Improv and some of the general rules that players follow. I can specifically remember thinking, "wow, I'd like to do that!" So I did. 

What aspects of the Harold do you find the most rewarding? The most challenging?


By far the best part of doing a Harold is the team building associated with it. When you nail a Harold, you all high five each other and feel really great about yourself for 24-36 hours. Sometimes you might go to drinks after the Harold and discuss that really funny thing that April, Dan, Harley, Ryan, Anders or Chaz did. Like there was this one time that Harley did something funny and then afterwards I was like, ‘Hey Harley! That was really funny’.

Then you might get the tram home and go to bed.

Challenging: ‘THE DAY AFTER’

The most challenging part of it (for me) is to isolate the really good parts and figure out why we were so brilliant (or ‘yeah it was ok’). It’s really difficult but if you can figure it out then you can learn what (or what not) to do next time. Like there was this one time where Dan did something awful and we all discussed why it was awful.

Then you might sit in silence for a minute or two and then get the tram home and go to bed.

What would you like your team to be capable of by the end of Comedy Festival? A year from now?

It would be great if our team improved our overall understanding of each other by the end of the Comedy Festival. Performing together and learning what all of our strengths are really helps us put on a good show. In a year from now, I will have been doing Improv for over two years and will have already published at least one blog article for the Improv Conspiracy. I’m hoping that our team will still be together. Hopefully we’ll understand each other perfectly. I’m sure we can all hone some specific skills too. For example, using more details when telling stories.

Which Conspiracy members do you have improv crushes on, and why? What do they do that inspires you?

Chaz Chilcote: Chaz’s diverse bag of characters.

Scott McAteer: Scott’s calmness and control in scenes.

Tim Quabba: I like how Tim can go from 0 to 100 in no time.

Ryan Patterson: Ryan is a great scene partner that makes you look good.

Jack Smith: Jack makes great and strong decisions. 

How has your improv training helped your non-improv life?

I had saved $480 in fines.                 

Our community watering hole

Enjoy some good times downstairs at Theory Bar

Fancy a beverage after your next show or class session? Our ground floor bar is open Wednesday–Sunday.

Community members and ticket-holders get 10% off*

(* Sundays and Public Holidays excepted)

Theory Bar