COVID-19 Update: While there have not yet been any announcements about the easing of restrictions for our industry, we have tentatively scheduled some new 1-week intensives in December, and 8-week workshops starting in January, which are now available for booking. If restrictions haven't eased in time, we'll simply delay them until they're allowed to run! It is unlikely that performances at the theatre will resume anytime in the next 3 months, but we're always keeping an eye on the latest guidelines.

  Improv Conspiracy Blog

The latest news, opinions and more!

  March 2, 2015

During 2015, Improv Conspiracy member Mike Brown is going to have a chat to every single member of the Conspiracy - about life, about improv, and everything in between. This is: You're Going To Meet Some People.

Today, Mike chats with Courtnee Johnston, who performs with Harold team Shake-A-Stick.

Mike Brown: Hey Courtnee!

Courtnee Johnston: Heyyyyyyyyy!

It's been ages!

I know! It's so sad.

So sad.

I need to see you more!

Yeah because we did the Conspiracy workshops together back in the day! Back in the day, a year ago...

I know. We were like the tightest team there ever was, seriously.

Oh my god. I still talk about that Level 3 grad show to people.

I know me too! It was the funniest time I've ever head. And was it Floyd [Alexander-Hunt, former Conspiracy performer] doing the news report as well?

Yep. Oh no, it was Tess [Dobre, former Conspiracy performer]!

Oh it was Tess too! And we were all grinding up on everything.

That scene with you and Lauren [McKenna, Harold Night team Bass Drum Kitten] where you were mapping stripper terms to a ice cream shop...

Yes. I thought we were in a strip club, and she thought we were in ice cream shop, and we said it at the same time.

And they both melted perfectly together, just like ice cream.

It was one of my favourite shows.

So yeah we know each other.

Very well.

Do people know you. Like how did you come into the Improv Conspiracy? Had you been performing before that?

Yes so I had been acting since I can remember. I had always been in drama, back home in Tassie, and I had always done tons of theatre back home, and musical theatre. And then when I moved to Melbourne, I went to 16th Street [Acting Studio], graduated there, and I really wanted to find something comedy because that's what I love, comedy and improv and everything like that. And Tess, happened to say she found Improv Conspiracy and do I want to do it. So if it wasn't for Tess I wouldn't have known, because I'm hopeless at social media. I feel like she did a stand-up thing and found out about Improv Conspiracy through that, I think that's how it happened. She asked me, and she also said it to Tim [Watson, Harold Night team Bass Drum Kitten], and yeah, the rest is history.

Continue Reading
  February 21, 2015

During 2015, Improv Conspiracy member Mike Brown is going to have a chat to every single member of the Conspiracy - about life, about improv, and everything in between. This is: You're Going To Meet Some People.

Today, Mike chats with Tim Quabba, who performs with Harold team Endless Cash, and will be seen doing during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of Now Showing: The Improvised Movie.

[Tim turns on Dream is Collapsing by Hans Zimmer from the Inception soundtrack. For maximum effect, play this song on a loop whilst reading this interview]

Mike Brown: You have background music for this. You think background music is important for a successful interview? This is a first.

Tim Quabba: I'm going to put this on repeat.

Do it! [pause] Yeah, imagine when I'm typing this out in like, a week or so, and I'm just hearing music and no talking what-so-ever. The music is just dominating the conversation! It's like I feel like the answers are going to come in those kind of waves, where the answers get more and more dramatic as the music builds.

It's on the soundtrack to Inception. Look it up. Have you looked it up?

No I have never looked up the Inception soundtrack.

Mike. Hans Zimmer.

He did like, The Simpsons right?

I'm not sure! 

Let me look it up. He's done a lot of films, I'm familiar with the name. I'm probably just mixing up the names with another composer [note: The Simpsons was often composed by Alf Clausen].

He did Inception, he's done a lot of the Christopher Nolan stuff. He did Man of Steel, collaborated with Will Ferrell in that. Anyway.

With Will Ferrell!?

Yeah he was on the drums.They had drumsets in the orchestra...

And Will Ferrell's playing them all?

[laughs] One of them.

Boom-boom-boom-boom-boom! 

He's a man of many talents.

Acting and drumming. What's your favourite thing about improvising?

It's fun. It's so fun. It's free and.. you can just free yourself on stage and everyone's just so supportive and lovely. You know that you can do anything, absolutely anything and have 100% support from everyone. That is the best part for me.

Continue Reading
  February 16, 2015

During 2015, Improv Conspiracy member Mike Brown is going to have a chat to every single member of the Conspiracy - about life, about improv, and everything in between. This is: You're Going To Meet Some People.

Today, Mike chats with Patrick Rehill, who can be seen performing with Harold team Airblade.

Patrick Rehill: Were you there when I tackled the guy in the jam?

Mike Brown: No…

[laughs]

What happened? Tell me.

[both laugh]

Welcome to the interview Patrick. So you were saying you tackled someone in the jam?

We were just doing a scene and it wasn't working very well and someone tagged out and, I had nothing so I just went out with this idea of a rollercoaster created that kinda ruined people’s childhoods.

That’s a cool idea!

It was weird though because I got tagged out and someone came in as a Teletubby or as Barney the Dinosaur or something and I just got this impulse to run on and tackle him and sorta ruin things for the children.

Did you know this person?

No, and I was reminded of the jamafesto right after getting off stage. Namely that the insurance doesn't cover anyone being kicked in the head.

Have you spoke to that person since? They haven't quit improv, have they?

[nervous laughs] I'm not sure. He was in level one at the time. I spoke to him afterwards, “I’m so sorry, was that ok?” Getting permission afterwards, it’s better to seek forgiveness than ask for permission.

Hopefully they are ok now.

I do hope so.

Continue Reading
  February 2, 2015

During 2015, Improv Conspiracy member Mike Brown is going to have a chat to every single member of the Conspiracy - about life, about improv, and everything in between. This is: You're Going To Meet Some People.

Today, Mike chats with Laura Buskes, who can be seen performing in The Remix and with Harold team Friends at the End (plus a few other projects). She is also an exciting new Level 3 instructor in our workshops program!

Hi Laura.

Hey Mike.

Ready to be interrogated.

[laughs] Yeah. Yeah-yeah-yeah.

Ok first thing’s first. What was your first job?

My first job, ok. I worked at Brumbies when I was fifteen.

Brumbies. Was that just because it was close by to where you lived?

Yeah. It was at the North Ringwood shops, which was like a ten minute walk away. I got the great job of getting $8 an hour whilst…

Slingin’ bread!

Yeah, and my manager actually hated me. I think once my mum went in, I don’ t remember why.

She needed bread!

[laughs]

I think that’s the reason Laura.

Yeah, exactly. But yeah the manager told mum all these things I was doing that I didn’t do.

What were you doing?

I actually had a boyfriend there as well, I met a guy and we started dating. And the manager started saying these things to my mum, "oh she’s really inappropriate at work, they are always cuddling at work", which wasn't true at all.

Continue Reading
  January 27, 2015

During 2015, Improv Conspiracy member Mike Brown is going to have a chat to every single member of the Conspiracy - about life, about improv, and everything in between. This is: You're Going To Meet Some People.

Today, Mike chats with Marcus Willis and Andy Balloch of two-man team The Sparrow Men, who will be seen together at the Butterfly Club this Tuesday through Sunday.

Mike Brown: Get comfortable, I'm here with Andy and Marcus, The Sparrow Men. Guys.

Marcus Willis: Hey

Andy Balloch: Hi!

Thanks for doing this.

A: Thanks for letting us.

Marcus you just made me a smoothie, it's pretty good.

M: Yeah, my pleasure.

The things you can do in your own house.

M: Yeah it's really nice.

You don't make many smoothies you said.

M: Well normally people say no, like you.

A: [laughs]

M: Then after three or four times people don't give in, but I could sense weakness in you.

A: [laughs] So Marcus went in for the kill.

I'm always interested in origin stories. How did The Sparrow Men come together?

A: Do you want to field this? I've told this story many a time.

M: You go ahead.

A: So Cage Match opened, and there were registrations. And Marcus wanted to do a two person team, and so he sent a couple of people messages and I replied with yes yes yes yes, and I think I was still in level two?

M: Yeah I wanted to choose some students and do like a different two-man thing, or a different two-person improv team with a whole bunch of different students.

Continue Reading