Women of Improv Month – INTERVIEW – Sarit Wilson Chen

This month I chatted to over 30 female improvisers from all over the UK to celebrate the talent that we have – we also discuss some of the important debates surrounding this topic as well. Today I talk to an improviser that is part of Tragically Unscripted – Sarit Wilson Chen

 


 

Hello Sarit tell us three random facts about yourself!

I once shot an Uzi

I can make the sound of a sheep

I dance American Street Lockin’

 

 

 

How did you get into improv?

I used to do short form years ago, as part of the Israeli Haifa repertoire Theatre. It kinda’ got left there as no more than another credit on my CV. Fast forward years later, I heard from my other half that improv is one of the most enjoyable things he’s done and that I should try it. I went halfheartedly, just to give it a go and that’s it. Got hooked. As a teenager always admired Musical theatre performers.

 

 

What inspired you to start improv?

Chris Mead’s Narrative workshop.

 

 

What troupes are you are a part of?

So far only Tragically Unscripted.

 

 

Tell us about the styles of improv you enjoy and why?

These days it’s Long form. I’m fascinated with all it’s different formats and styles. I’m constantly learning and discovering new ones!

 

 

Who are some Improvisers that you find inspiring and why?

The following groups (in no particular order) are amazing: The Showstoppers; The RH Experience; The Grand Theft; Music Box. I guess it’s the dynamics among all participants that makes their performance magical!

As teachers, I find Katy Schutte and Chris Mead extremely inspiring!

 

 

I have read many articles around the debate that it is harder to be a woman in improv – what are your thoughts on this and why?

I don’t feel that way, to be honest.

 

 

What are some of the best bits of advice you have been given about improv and why?

‘Listening is the willingness to be changed’ – brilliant isn’t it?

 

 

Do you find that being a female in an improv show that the suggestions you can get are traditional and stereotypical? 

Absolutely not.

 

 

 

What have been some of your favourite moments on stage?

The moments when you succeed in making people laugh or moved are the best. Isn’t it satisfying to hear that the audience is with you, that they get you, that your art has affected someone, and the story is clear? Best feeling ever.

 

 

 

What have been some of the worst and why ?

Obviously, when then audience doesn’t get you or what’s the story you’re telling.

 

 

 

 For new improvisers, what would your key bit of advice be?

Don’t criticize yourself. Don’t criticize others.

 

 

What are three things you want to focus on this season with your own improv?

Relationships and characters.

Remembering what had happened and exploring those moments further before moving on.

Finding what the point of the scene is early on and playing with it.

 

 

What is the future of improv?

Definitely pink! It’s getting bigger and bigger every day and there’s an enormous momentum for improv nowadays. This art form is getting more and more recognized and appreciated that it’s ever been. I believe we’re gonna’ see more improv troops, more improv schools and more improv forms.

 

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