imprology, improvisation based training

Improviser of the month        September 2008

Mark Phoenix
What is your name?
Mark Phoenix.
Where do you live and work?
I live in London. Work has taken me all over the U.K and Europe.
What is your day job?
Actor (check out V for Vendetta and the Bank Job) and drama teacher at the City Lit.
How did you discover improvisation?
School production that was improvised. I played a ghost-like sage, who accompanied the protagonist on his adventures. Don't remember the story much, but I was hooked on performance and impro from that moment on.
How do you practice improvisation?
Meet weekly with my company Third Person. We perform full length improvised plays. We work on concepts and practice performing plays. Every day is different. Every play is different.
How did you learn?
My strong learning curve came from workshops and rehearsals with Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson. Plus Guy Dartnell . When they work, something else happens. Beauty. Not often seen in impro. The effect remains with you years later. They inspired me to create impro that lasts. The memory of a good story or a beautiful image lasts longer than the laugh of a gag.
Any advice for beginners?
-don't be funny, be true. And Listen.Great Impro isn't about talking/thinking of something to say. Its about listening and working with your partners so that a relationship is built that the audience can care about. Impro-its about the other guy.
What is your favourite improvisation quote?
Not directly a impro quote. But David Mamet said- Invent nothing, Deny nothing. It works for my style of impro. To create a full length improvised play. Use what is already in the space. There is enough magic on the stage without, making it up.
The most satisfying story or scene you ever improvised in?
I have been involved in story telling impro, dance/theatre/music impro, comedy impro, abstract impro, so satisfying story/scene? Too many to count. But there was a delightful international cast at the Amsterdam festival. I was improvising with Fluxx impro group. Using real props. A Kazakstan clown impro group were miming. We performed together in a scene, where we poured real water into the mimed glasses. The game was joined. And food and water soon covered the floor. The audience were in hysterics.
Your favourite improvisation website
New to all this web stuff. Not really computer literate. This is my first site. So this one. But check out thirdpersontheatre.com when we launch it.
Your main website
As above.


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