All this month we are celebrating the improv troupe Comediasians. There is fifteen members of the team (and ever increasing) so we thought it was the perfect time to sit down with the troupe and find out all about them and the shows they have been performing and what they have in store for the future. This week we talk about rehearsals and the future.
You are an act on the London Improv scene that is well known – when you first start performing shows, what is your key advice to new troupes to finding the stage time and getting key slots?
Juwel: Stamina over speed. And at each and every step, enjoy and be on the step you’re on.
Do you have any pre-show rituals – if so what are they?
Juwel: Reminding one another and being clear about the show we’re about to do. Having a laugh and staying loose.
Describe the feeling you have when you host a show and people specifically turn up to see your troupe?
Juwel: For me it’s gratitude that these people chose us when they could have been doing anything else, and a desire to honour and reward their effort.
We all know that improv is not scripted but do you have some sort of ‘skeleton script’ or format in place that you work towards whilst getting ready for a show? Tell us about it?
Kelsey: No? Unless the general form could be considered a “skeleton script”? There have been a few shows where a few of us gave each other secret missions to accomplish during the show and find a way to incorporate into the play, but they were pretty broad and non-specific…
How do you warm up for a show?
Vanessa: We usually do some super quick games to loosen ourselves up and we might do some quickfire scenes as well. I’m personally a fan of not practicing the format just before the show and I wouldn’t want to put that pressure on anyone.
How do you wind down for a show?
Nikita: A quick check-in and debrief with the team, then mingle and socialise with friends for the evening.
Do you remember your first show you did with Comediasians? How were you feeling beforehand and how did the show go?
Kelsey: My first show with Comediasians was the first time I met a few of the players. We hadn’t rehearsed yet and I was a little nervous. I think the show was watchable, but I can say we’ve come so far from those first shows as a whole team.
Nikita: One of the first shows I did I had half of my work mates from the office in the audience as well as two of my university tutors in support. It was a packed night. As well as being nervous I also didn’t fancy being the joke of the office the next day, but I really had nothing to worry about. It went so well and they loved it. Tbh I can’t remember the scenes very much but I was a sheep at one point, a very funny one!
What has been some of the best advice you have ever been given about improv and comedy?
Kelsey: I come from a more typical acting background, so it might be that talking…but I think “make a choice” is a good one. For improv, comedy, and life.
What would you like to see happen to comedy over the next ten years?
Bruce: More diversity, in shows and up top, behind the scenes.
Kelsey: Yes, second that.
Yiannis: And we don’t mean “diversity of opinions”
Vanessa: Yes, all of the above.
Juwel: Less sexual harassment. More emotional intelligence from comedy’s men.