I mainly do voice over work but I am also an impro teacher
How did you discover improvisation?
In acting school and then Vancouver Theatresports (in 1980).
Reading Keith Johnstone’s book ‘Impro’ was also an important part of
How do you practice improvisation?
For me practice comes in two forms. Workshop is like the
laboratory, where you work to look at new ideas, forms and structures
and then those new theories and forms must be put into practice by
performing them in front of an audience. If something doesn’t work
then take it back to the lab and work on it, take it apart, find out
why, then take it back on stage again.
How did you learn?
From doing, from being as brave as possible and from working with
people who love the work.
Any advice for beginners?
Strive for fun. Find the hidden game in every scene that allows you
and the other people you are playing with to have a good time. Lose
your ego, impro is dialogue not debate. Build something beautiful
together. The best scenes always come from telepathic teamwork rather
than individual brilliance.
What is your favourite improvisation quote?
“An improviser is like a man walking backwards, he doesn’t know
where he is going but can always see where he has been” – Keith
The most satisfying story or scene you ever improvised in?
This is very hard. There has been so many over the years.
There is kind of two that stick in my mind both musical moments as it
happens. One was many years ago with the Impro Musical company at
BAC where I was pimped into improvising a Gilbert and Sullivan patter
song at VERY high speed. The other was about a year ago with Grand
Theft in London where we called on to improvise an acappella Beatles
song. It was particularly satisfying because it really did sound like
a lost song from Sergeant Pepper. Really sophisticated and full.
Your favourite improvisation website
Dylan’s worked so hard to make this THE impro website for the UK. It has always since it’s early days
been a website that provoked conversation about improvisation, whether
it was my workshop notes or reviews about shows, online poetry writing…