This week we have the pleasure of talking to our fellow writer Mariana about her show with her troupe 20% Less called Word Of Muff. The show takes place on the 22nd of March at The Miller in London Bridge. I sat down with her to find out more.
Hello Mariana! Tell us about 20% Less March show Word of Muff!
Word of Muff is our monthly show, showcasing and creating opportunities for female identifying comedic performers. March has a great line-up and is happening at Hoopla.
What special guests do you have this month?
We have Funny Women awards finalist Jodie Mitchell and semi finalist Esther Manito, Blind Date With a Twist creators Sandy & Danni, brilliant comic performer and character comedian Fiona Sagar, friend and funny woman Sonia Waszkowiak, us, your hosts and fun trio 20% Less and more!
What’s the highlights of some of your past Word of Muff shows?
Last month was our special Valentine’s Day show and we heard some fiery sex stories from our audience and performers that were definitely memorable!
Tell us about the set that 20% Less will be doing at the show – what format style do you do?
20% Less are a long form non-narrative improv team and we are currently performing a form we developed with the help of UCB NY’s teacher and performer Lydia Hensler, which spawns from the relationship between the Pretty Little Flower and the La Ronde.
How do you go about preparing for hosting an evening?
There’s a lot of admin and preparation that goes into booking the acts, promoting the night and acts and all that…when it comes to hosting and because we do put a lot of work in before the day, we let ourselves be free and show our chemistry which people seem to enjoy and that comes from the simple fact that we are friends and are genuinely interested in each other and the people around us.
Who would be your ultimate dream guests to appear at Word of Muff and why?
Due to the word “dream” in the question, I’ll have to go to the most unlikely of guests and even though we did already have transatlantic performers in our line-up, the international guests are always the ones my mind floats to – Obama’s Other Daughters, Aparna Nancherla, Nicole Beyer, character comedy from Natalie Palamides and some music from Garfunkel & Oats would be a perfect American themed show!
You recently trained at UCB in NYC how do you feel this has developed you as an improviser?
It has certainly been a developing factor! More confidence and ease and the desire to do new and exciting moves and not be afraid of really committing to my choices.
What key skills did you learn from this training that you think others would find really useful?
What I observed in the NY improv community (I’ve dipped into other theatres while in the city) that I think will benefit everyone in our community was the openness of performers to each other. To collaborate, to chat, to actually be a community and leave all the egos out of it! No matter where in your comedy path you are – doing your first 101 or appearing on TV regularly!
A couple of you from 20% have appeared on a radio show recently as well – tell us a little bit about this?
Maddy and myself are actually producing our own radio show at the Women’s Radio Station. The station is a growing project, taking its first steps – I’ve actually been to a meeting with fellow presenters today about the future of the station and am utterly excited about what’s to come! Our show is called Overshare and is a chat, lead by us, with regular guests, on a non strict theme where the idea is to get to the oversharing stage of things and go on wild tangents!
The radio is about to be officially launched and we will better be able to tell you where you can find our show and listen to it once that’s all online. We’ve also recorded a set by 20% Less for the radio that will also be broadcasted in the future. Just keep following us on our socials and all the info will be shared there! In the meantime, do find the Women’s Radio Station on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
In the past few months you have started to do stand up as well – do you think by training in stand up comedy it has affected you the way you approach improv – if so how?
Everything I do in life informs everything else – stand-up feeds improv, which feeds stand-up and both in turn feed character and sketch. My all time goal is to take over ALL OF COMEDY!!!
You also host a night called the Foreign Office – what is that all about?
The Foreign Office is a reflection on the observation that even though London is such a mix of international people, when you look at the majority of teams playing in London, they’re mostly UK nationals and not very diverse. 20% Less are composed by 3 nationalities and only because it’s just 3 of us, and we want to support other international players to feel welcome in our community.
And Finally – in three words, why should people come and see you at the The Miller?
1.WORD 2.OF 3.MUFF
QUICK FIRE ROUND
If you could buy any type of food (right now) what would you buy?
What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Who do you admire the most and why?
Ha! They’ll never know
Describe yourself in 3 words.
1.WORD 2.OF 3.MUFF (have to find a 3rd time to use this to make the joke work!)
When I dance, I look like…?
I look great, cause I’m an awesome dancer!
What is your favorite T.V. channel?
My external drive!
If you could get a yacht what would you call it?
1.WORD 2.OF 3.MUFF (success!!!)
What TV sitcom family would you be a member of?
The Feijó Fernandes – the sitcom I may one day write!
Last item you purchased?
If you could win any award what would it be, why?
I used to want a Nobel Prize in chemistry, I’m going for peace now as chemistry is long gone from my life!