Client and Student Interviews

Hoopla facilitator and teacher Liam Brennan interviewed a diverse range of Hoopla clients and students to ask how they’ve applied improv into their work life and businesses. Here’s what they had to say.

Belton Flournoy Director at Protiviti

Belton Flournoy: Director at Protiviti

Liam: Can you tell me a bit more about you and your work?

Belton: I am a Director at a Global Management Consultancy, which focuses on Business Risk, Internal Audit and Regulatory Compliance.  We deal with global transformation, regulatory or technology projects where the stakes are quite high.  When people are invested in large programmes, outcomes are typically watched carefully.  We work with the C-suite to get the most out these strategic programmes, as well as have them continually think of new and exciting ways of delivering change.

Rachel Cader English and Media Studies Teacher

Rachel Cader: English and Media Studies Teacher

Liam: How have you applied improv into your work as a Teacher?

Rachel: I had a very, very shy A Level Media Studies class. They were terrified of sharing ideas, being bold and getting it wrong – which meant their written work was really limited. So whenever I had a lesson where I knew I wanted them to write to a high level (A level being really difficult these days!) I would always start a lesson with the classic beginners games.

Richy K. Chandler Writer, Illustrator, Comic Creator

Richy K. Chandler: Writer, Illustrator, Comic Creator

Liam: How has Hoopla impacted you in your professional life?

Richy: Firstly, just the nature of improv encouraging you to focus on listening and responding to your stage partners is a smart way to force yourself to be in the present, giving a little mental break from the stresses of work and life.  In my more mindful moments outside of Hoopla workshops I remind myself to focus on the present, which can solve so many issues with the future.

Matt Handley Facilitator at PWC’s The Difference

Matt Handley: Facilitator at PWC’s The Difference

Liam: How has improv impacted you in your professional life?

Matt: Thinking on your feet, responding to the unexpected and being confident in front of a crowd. But the big thing for me has been being more creative…

Amy Barstow Veterinarian

Amy Barstow: Veterinarian

Liam: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how improv has impacted your work?

Amy: I’m a vet but work teaching vet students. I think all communication skills sessions should now be improv based.

I can see the parallels between the listening skills that we try and teach our vet students and that we use in improv.

Stephen Wan Policy Civil Servant

Stephen Wan: Policy Civil Servant

Liam: Can you tell us a bit about your work?

Stephen: I’m a policy civil servant, which means my job involves advising the Government on different policy ideas to reach their objectives. It involves bringing together a lot of evidence, analysis and thinking about trade-offs between competing priorities to reach a considered view on what course of action the Government should take.

Liam: How has improv helped your work life?

Stephen: I’d say improv has really helped my work life in three key ways. Firstly being obvious and testing assumptions. Secondly, being collaborative. And thirdly and finally, being able to tell a story.


Jared Foley: Account Director at Marlin PR

Liam: Can you tell us more about you and your job?

Jared: I work in public relations with a company called Marlin PR.

Liam: What originally made you sign up to a Hoopla impro course?

Jared: My company is very progressive and allows a certain budget that we can spend on well-being or self-improvement that can help us out in our business.

Kate O’Connor Advertising Creative

Kate O’Connor: Advertising Creative

Liam: Why do you find ‘yes and’ useful and how do you apply it?

Kate: It’s easy to dismiss ideas. People are scared of looking silly, so if an idea isn’t immediately brilliant it’s easier to dismiss it. But by doing that you often miss out on the little nuggets of a good idea buried in a half-baked idea. Improv has taught me to persevere and find the hidden magic in something a bit weird, daft, unusual or obtuse.

Sabrina Luisi Fundraising

Sabrina Luisi: Fundraising

Liam: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how improv has impacted your work?

Sabrina: I worked for a large IT company and I started on their graduate programme as a project management grad. Within a few months, I realised that project managing the installation of chip and pin pads in petrol stations wasn’t quite for me. I had a mentor who was the Head of Talent for the organisation and responsible for spotting high potential people as well as supporting their progress through development programmes. She asked what my dream job would be and I said I would love to run the graduate programme one day.

Erik Abrahamsson Founder and CEO at Digital Fineprint

Erik Abrahamsson: Founder and CEO at Digital Fineprint

Liam: Can you tell me a bit more about you and your work?

Erik: So I’m an entrepreneur, I started Digital Fineprint (or DFP) three years ago at University when I was doing my masters at Oxford. Before that I worked at Twitter.

Liam: What made you sign up for a Hoopla course?

Erik: I became aware of improv after watching the Oxford Imps while I was at University and I’d never seen anything like it before. Afterwards when I worked at Twitter, our CEO at the time had done improv and they organised classes for the people that worked in San Francisco. Unfortunately I wasn’t based in that office but I’d heard about it. After moving to London I found out that Hoopla Impro was very close to my house, so I started going and watching.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with us for more information and details on how to book your session.