Welcome to a fortnightly article where we speak to different improvisers about their five top improvisers and why. Of course, there are many people that do improv that are fantastic that it may actually be a bit mean to just limit it to only five people but I wanted to create this article so that you can be introduced to players you may not of heard or maybe find out how some of the best known improvisers are inspiring others. Today, I sit down with – Jon Nguyen
I could easily be lyrical about all the teachers I have had over the years. From the teaching staff from both the Nursery and Hoopla to the excellent Maydays . I could even go on about the members of the Comedy Store Players, Austentatious and Showstopper who have all put on sell out shows which I have witnessed.
I thought the people who inspire me are those who I work with closely. choosing only 5 was a near impossibility but I managed to choose 5 I think who inspire me in different ways. All these excellent folk can be found on the Facebook and they are all brilliant , charming, generous and inspiring people to work with.
Chris Read (Dogface Improv & Bendy House )
I started my improv journey with the help of this man. Chris runs Dogface Improv based in Norwich. He showed me the ropes and took me under his metaphorical wing. He is such an improv nerd. He has read all the books, mentally digested them and can easily tell you his take on the words written there. His watch word in my opinion is inclusiveness. Everyone can give improv a go and he has really instilled that in me. I am glad to to have met him and proud to call him a friend and collaborator in so many varied projects.
Jinni Lyons (Jinni Lyons is an only child , Unbridled & The Actors Nightmare)
Jinni is a master of reactions. You can give her any line or physical offer and she will never break. Her commitment to character inspires me and she can reach both the heights of hilarity and the profoundness of drama. I truly think her super power is to watch any scene and within a second she can give it that extra bit of oomph which will rocket a good scene yo a great one.
Avril Poole ( Ladyprov, Carmen the gender flipped noir & The Improvised play)
If there is a single person who could sum up the perfect mix of improviser and actor it would be Avril. She truly embodies the virtue of listening and reacting. Everything she says in a scene carries meaning and I find her a delight to work with and mesmerising to watch. Her generous spirit should be bottled up and sold to all around the world.
Michael J. Kunze ( The Staccatos, Just Friends, Auto Correbt & Track 96)
Mike is a relatively recent acquaintance of mine but I have seen him with gusto sing his heart out in short form games and fall in love in a long form piece. His enthusiasm is infectious and his confidence inspiring. He can come out of the metaphorical blocks with all guns blazing and you would still find some humanity in his portrayal. From the work I have done with him , I feel safe. Not that risks are not taken , quite the opposite that any risk o do take will land with grace and assurity.
Juwel Haque ( Comediasians, The Improvised Play, Somewhat Theatre & Slice of Society )
Juwel is the humblest giant you may ever meet, his ability to sense the game of a scene is truly inspiring and amazing. He can play the put upon down trodden man of the people with such delicacy you would wonder why he is not a screen actor with loads of awards or he can play the evil panto villain with such relish that you just want to boo him until you get hoarse. This great man of improv is quite possibly the sparkliest gen in a sea of brilliant improvisers but he will hide is light under a bushel to bolster the team to new heights.
All the improvisers above are amazing and as I say, they inspire me to be a better improviser.
I could write a book about every single person who has ever worked with me, taught me or just had the old improv chat in a pub. I feel bad that I was limited to 5 people who inspire me. But if I ever get a chance to write about everybody else, you bet it will happen.
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