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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 just about every day. 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!"?
Friends of mine at high school were in a local chapter of TheatreSports. Got hooked watching but it was about a year before I got up, too nervous. Even then, it took a friend and fellow team mate to drag me onstage from the bench to actually perform. Of course, after that you couldn't keep me off stage. My entire week was geared towards that 10min shared spot doing short form games.
What aspects of the Harold do you find the most rewarding? The most challenging?
Doing Harold challenges a completely different part of the improv brain. In Harold, your improv is shaped by principles rather than rules, which means you go into creative areas you've not visited before. I find that at the core of most scenes is something people can care about. Many times, the subject matter has more depth, but not always, which is fine because you want that variety. I think the best thing about the Harold is that you get to 'follow the fun'.
What would you like your team to be capable of by the end of Comedy Festival? A year from now?
I think there is a lot of style points to be had for performing under a 'less is best' mantra. Not that my team has too much going on in scene's but we do have a tendency for making very 'full' and 'busy' scenes. I'm a big fan of tiny things making big impacts. Love for us to have that kind of control over Harold dynamics.
Which Conspiracy members do you have improv crushes on, and why? What do they do that inspires you?
Anders Gamboni is a performer who constantly surprises me. He's very much a professional in his work and approach to learning and training. There are so many others as well but maybe just to mention a couple... Emmet Nichols and Charlie Sturgeon together are mesmerizing. Love John Corry's intensity and Scott McAteer's incredible ability to play at hi and low speeds at the same time. I could go on about everyone in the company... feel just so darn lucky to hang with them all.
How has your improv training helped your non-improv life?
I think we all have intellectual and creative appetites and when we can't satisfy them we go a bit off the boil... lose that life balance. Being an improviser hits the spot, keeps you keen and confident. Training and performing is a real challenge, and sometimes really intense but afterwards, like any big workout, you sleep the sleep of the content.
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