Hi Andrew, what got you into improv in the first place?
I trained as an actor and always found the improvised scenes to be more alive, and improv exercises left more room for creative play and silliness – which is closer to my sensibilities. So once I finished the course I went hunting for improv meet-ups online and the breadcrumb trail led me to Hoopla.
What do you think makes a good improviser?
Someone who listens intently and is always ready to yield, but strong and committed when making offers. Above all, they make sure they’re having fun – which is what it feels like when you’re creatively free.
What’s your favourite exercise and why?
‘You Look, You Seem‘. It crystallises the notion that The Scene Is In The Eyes Of Your Partner. You are constantly making endowments based on close observation of your scene partner, they in turn run with your endowments to generate more content for you, do this for a few minutes then switch. It’s very simple and very easy but becomes a two-person treadmill of incredible creativity and energy which seemingly takes off on its own. Afterwards, you’re a bit ‘what just happened?’ while the class has just witnessed a wonderfully bizarre but emotionally truthful rollercoaster.
Who are your favourite improv acts?
Parallelogramophonograph, Dummy, The Improvised Shakespeare Company.
What does improv training help you within the real world?
It builds muscles of trusting your intuition, confidence on the fly, and never getting too precious. It frees you from your own head!
What advice would you give to people wanting to get into improv?
Trust that intuition. Jump in. It taps into a deep need we have to live in the moment and create, free from judgement. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t massively benefit from improv.
Thanks Andrew! See you at on the Hoopla Stage soon 😀