My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
The Ultimate Impro Showdown
Photo by Kris Anderson, Images by Anderson. Courtesy of Impro Mafia.
It's the worst nightmare of any actor: the stage is set, the audience is ready, the lights are on, you make your entrance on stage, and you have no idea what you're about to say next. But for one Brisbane theatre group - ImproMafia - that's exactly what they face at every show.
Eleven years ago they kicked off their first ever Iron Improviser event and the hilarious show is still going strong.This year it's on again at the Metro Arts on Edward Street on Friday 27th of November.
The show sees improvisers make up hilarious games, scenes and songs on the spot, inspired by the audience's suggestions. Through a process of elimination, the best performer is named 'Iron Improviser' at the end of the night.
I spoke to Amy Currie, Artistic Director of ImproMafia and reigning Iron Improviser champion about what keeps audiences coming back for more off the cuff theatre.
Amy Currie on stage. Image courtesy of Impro Mafia.
KM: The show's been running for 11 years – what's the secret of its success?
AC: I think audiences enjoy just how unpredictable it is! At the end of the year, we like to let our hair down a little, and this is a great way to do that. Our MC has all sorts of surprises up his sleeve – for both the audience and the contestants!
KM: Your website mentions sixteen performers will be duking it out for the title of Iron Improviser. What sort of people compete in the show?
AC: Our contestants have been hand-picked from ImproMafia's group of performers. They're a wonderfully mixed bag - some are veterans who've performed all over the world, and some are scarily talented newer players who are rapidly rising through the ranks.
KM: What can audiences expect from the show?
AC: Our contestants will be playing Theatresports™-style games, creating short scenes, even singing songs made up on the spot! Everything we do is up to the audience – it's their suggestions that make the night.
KM: How are contestants eliminated throughout the show?
AC: Three vile and villainous judges will get rid of contestants during the show. If the audience doesn't agree with their scoring, they might want to try shouting 'You stingy bastards!'. It works wonders. Eventually, just one improviser will be left standing.
KM: You're the current reigning Iron Improviser champion, any advice for current contestants?
AC: Don't believe the lies about me bribing the judges. Nothing but slander.
Iron Improviser is on for one night only at the studio space in Brisbane's Metro Arts Theatre, conveniently located near Verve Bar. According to Amy, "Impro is even funnier after a refreshing beverage. It's a science fact."
Tickets are on sale now and the show is recommended for PG-15 audiences. Amy adds, "We try to behave most of the time, but it is, of course, improvised – and sometimes we just can't resist adult themes or naughty words!"