This month we are going behind the scenes of the Newcastle based improv show Let Us Make It Up To You to give you all the inside information and to give you more into this great little improv show that happens regularly up in the North East. As well as finding out more about the show we will also be talking to the Players of the house team as well. I caught up with Will to find out all about him.
Hello Will, how long have you been improvising?
Oooo since 2006, and since 2009 actually mostly with Alex Fradera!
How did you get into improv?
I read Keith’s first book and it literally changed my life. Changed my outlook, my prospects, everything. I read it and felt like in some ways I’d come home. To a home I never knew existed. Its truths resonated with mine and the concepts behind it can be seen in all lines of my work. It goes with me everywhere. So I suppose it’s more accurate to say Impro got into me rather than I got into it.
What is your favourite style of improv and why?
Honestly, The first time I saw Alex play in the Dreaming at Wurzburg Impro fest. I couldn’t even tell you that format. I suppose it’s like satire freeform that’s occasionally very moving. But Alex can explain that better.
Who are your top 5 favourite improvisers and why?
Oh god. I am so bad at names. But basically anyone who has a positive energy on stage. Theres a Norweigan guy..? Maybe? Blond beard? (Narrowing it down there) and I could watch him all day long I think. I’m not being clear, the traits I value are not speed or cleverness or witt and certainly not slick and polish, but more is a person really there on stage open and honestly with their scene partners. It’s a lot about the second story for me, watching these people do these daring things. Shaun Kinley, Neal Leaheey are good examples of this.
What is your favourite warm up game?
Name Zombie, followed closely by Do you like your neighbour with cheating. That’s the one where the person in the middle is trying to sit down and you ask people in a circle if they like their neighbours or not and they can get people to swap or people to leap across the circle. I taught that in Austen and they hadn’t played it there before and yet it was one of the most joyous experiences of my life when the group totally got what’s so lovely about it and Jason Vines shouted that he wanted ‘Everybody!’ to be sat next to him. They have some great heart in Austen Texas. Gotta love that heart.
Favourite short form game?
God a new one Alex just showed us where you have to play with someone playing negative and every negative thing they do you just do some random movement with your body and then have to justify it. Its like sniffing amphetamines through your eyeballs.
What are the three top tips anyone has ever taught you in improv?
‘Be obvious’, ‘can you get em?!’ and ‘if someone is giving you shit they they even don’t wanna do why are you doing it?’
What are some of your favourite new acts you have come across this year and why?
Errr I’m a bit of a hermit and so things come to me late, because I get late to things but I can share some scenes that have inspired me. Two aspiring romantic baseball players in a fancy pants show in Austen (this still breaks my heart a little) and the line ‘I knew it from the get go!’. The Dreaming in all their shows, and Owen Skrivens. The man is like a engine of Improv, like sometimes he gets so excited and talks to quickly and it makes me feel like he might spontaneously combust with ideas.
How would you describe your personal sort of improv?
Slow leading to manic. I know that’s confusing but I often start slow and then wind up on a bender of high energy. I like good space work and mime. Shoulda added in Amy Moule from Melbourne above, very good space work. I just want to be on stage connected to people. Like that’s how you get through and often it produces the best stuff. Watching people in joy is joyous.
Describe each LUMIUTY/HANG member in one word