This month is a very exciting one as we are getting to know all about the brand new Improv Social media website The Improv Place. It is a website community where professional improvisers share their joy for the craft and the comedy form. Katy Schutte and Chris Mead are well know improvisers on the UK improv scene and between them they have really impressive improv CVs as well as performed all around the world. Over the next two weeks on Monday we are going to get to know both Katy and Chris one on one. So first up is Katy Schutte.
Hello Katy, so how long have you been improvising?
I’ve been in the Maydays for 16 years and before that I was doing a lot of improv as part of my Drama training – from school onwards, really.
How did you get into improv?
As above, but I got into long form specifically by training in Chicago at Second City and then IO. I was inspired early on by watching Baby Wants Candy at the Edinburgh Fringe.
What is your favourite style of improv and why?
I go through phases. I love long form that feels like a really brilliant play. See Dasariski or TJ and Dave. I also think improvised Hip Hop is incredible (like North Coast and Abandoman).
Who are your top 5 favourite improvisers and why?
That’s tough. Let me dodge with a slightly different answer… I’d say that the people who have influenced me a lot (the most?) through their teaching and performances would include: Bill Arnett, Jason Chin, Susan Messing, Craig Cackowski & TJ Jagodowski.
What is your favourite warm up game?
Jennifer Jordan made up a game like Bat The Rat for Zoom where people pop their heads up doing an action and the player copies in order to Bat the Rat and get rid of them.
Favourite short form game?
I like the one where you invent a new short form game based on initials. Also, Late for Work.
What are the three top tips anyone has ever taught you in improv?
“If you’re not having fun, you’re the asshole” – Susan Messing. “Your weaknesses are your strengths and your strengths are your double-strengths” – Jill Bernard “If this is true, what else is true?” – ?
In no more than 5 words, what advice would you give them?
Respect others, have fun, create
What are some of your favourite new acts you have come across this year and why?
It’s been a while since I’ve seen new acts, but I am enjoying the improv that’s coming out of India at the moment.
How would you describe your personal sort of improv?
I’m a mutt – I’ve picked up all sorts of improv. I am adaptable and confident and I like playing into genre.
Describe each Project2 member in one word
Me: Awesome, Chris: Awesome, Fred: Awesome