Welcome to 2021 and all this month we are celebrating acts, websites, content, musicians and everything in between that you should be looking out for this year! Today we speak to improviser Pippa Evans who has a very exciting year ahead as she is set to release her book Improv Your Life on the 18th February 2021.
Hello Pippa! Tell us three random facts about yourself!
I get chilblains in the winter on my hands, I just bought some copydex and the smell took me back to being at school, before they banned sniffing glue, and I have a beautiful tree outside my window that makes me feel grounded every morning, when I stare at it whilst drinking my bucket of tea.
You are releasing a book this year called Improv Your Life! How exciting! What can you tell us about it?
Oh yes I can! It is a book about how improvisation can open out the world to us. It is an empowering tool, a lens to view each day by. The book talks about all the ways improvisation expands our experience; through trust in ourselves, belief in our ideas and collaboration with our fellow humans.
What inspired you to write a book?
People. Having people come to my courses and feel a sense of letting go. Watching people have realisations about the way they live in relation to others, whilst pretending to be a sheriff and a cowgirl. Improvisation is such a great tool for self-reflection, in a space of levity. I wanted to offer people a book that spoke the joys of improv to non-performers, including my personal experience of how improv helped me move from a state of constant anxiety to a place of general calm.
When is the book released?
Feb 18th 2021.
If people want to pre-order Improv Your Life where can they do this?
Will there be anymore in the future?
Improv Your Second Life! The perfect gift for gamers.
How did you get into improv?
During a Stand-Up course I did when I was 18, we did a module on improvisation and I loved it. Flash forward four years and a lady from that course rings me up and asks me to come help her improvise a play, because she remembered I was good at improvising. There I met a guy who was doing an improv show at the Edinburgh festival. I was going to the festival too, but in a musical. It wasn’t a hit, so I cheered myself up by watching this guy’s improv show every night. When I got back to London, he said I could try out for the troupe if I liked. And I did. And there began my career in improvising stuff. So how did I get into improv? By saying yes to adventures.
What are your plans improv wise for 2021?
I hope to teach more Improv Your Life classes online as well as IN REAL LIFE. But we shan’t count our chickens. Showstopper will be doing more shows, I am sure and I will be taking The Question anywhere that will have me, as soon as the world opens up again. The Question is a show where myself and my MD play with questions the audience have on their mind. We involve the audience as much in the following story/scenes/sketches/songs. It’s a riot and often very beautiful. And finally, I am attending Maria Peters retreat in Cornwall as a treat to myself. A retreat treat!
What improv acts are you looking forward to seeing perform online or in person this year?
I love Three For All, from San Francisco and always miss their online stuff because of the time difference. I am looking forward to seeing Mischief’s Movie Night which is always a laugh and I love, love, love These Folk (Justin Brett and Susan Harrison). Such beautiful improvisers. But mostly I am just excited to get back into a room and watch people glide into each other’s ideas.
What styles do you hope to see more of in improv this year?
I love any improv played with commitment and joy. And I think that’s what we’ll be needing in 2021. In our improv and in life. Commit joyfully, baby!
Do you have any new years resolutions? If so what are they?
It always seems crazy that we try to make massive life changes during the darkest saddest months. I say better to keep observing and reflecting throughout the year and when you need to make a change or need a challenge, do it then. Otherwise you are sitting in the dark, crying, eating a rice cake and wondering how it came to this. And that’s no way to start 2021. Not after the year we’ve had.
Are you on social media? If so how can people find out more about your troupe?
Yes! @iampippaevans on Twitter and Instagram. Come say hi!
Three words why people should buy your book?
Embrace The Offer
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Pigs feet in vinegar. I loved it.
If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?
The squirrel who is always on my window box. I want to know why they choose this window box as their bathroom when they have a whole garden.
If you could paint anything what would you paint?
The Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’d make it look like a giant lever that was waiting to be pulled.
What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Currently The Keep Going Song by The Bengsons
Who is your comedy hero and why?
Brian Conley. Because no one can fall into an orchestra pit like him.
What is your favourite movie quote?
‘This is my house. I have to defend it!’
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
Molang (and sidekick Piu Piu). They are such improvisers! And they approach everything with full hearts.