Look at his smiley face. Look at it.
Here's the next instalment of our 'Friends answering questions about their forthcoming trip to Chicago' series. Or it's short name: "FAQATFTTC"
I came to improvisation in '07, first through Keith Johnstone’s Impro, then on to the Spontaneity Shop, who gave me a great start; since then I haven't looked back. I've had the honour of working with teachers from all over – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Chicago – as well as mentor figures from Europe and Asia. Currently I perform in the Harold team The Family Business, short-form team The Inflatables and narrative long-form group Storybag.
Outside of improv I act as a workplace psychologist, freelancing for organisations and blogging on research to make it accessible to all.
What's the best improv call-out you've ever heard?
I think a call-out is a lot like any other offer: what is done with it is far more important than the thing itself. Anything, absolutely anything can be played with if you're receptive to it, so it comes down to how it inspires that particular group of improvisers at that particular time. Personally, I'm tickled when I get a concept that is uncommon but still concrete, like nemesis or chimera, but that's just down to the mix of weird that I am.
Which improv course are you doing, and what made you choose that one?
I'm doing the iO summer intensive. I'd heard good things about it from people I trusted, which is all you can ask for.
When/how did you start planning your trip?
I started planning in earnest when The Family Business was accepted to perform at the Del Close Marathon at New York's UCB Theater. That automatically provided some tent-poles to shape the trip, between which I've already squeezed in a visit to D.C. and will hit up a live roleplay convention in New Jersey before final destination: Chicago.
Meeting improvisers from all over. Getting to know improvisers from my own back yard. Exposure to different teachers and different philosophies. Sausage-meat-base-gluten-free-pizza (meat on cheese on
meat). The architecture. Getting to know people who have nothing to do with
Are there any shows you HAVE to see while you're over there?
I'll find out when we are given our manilla envelopes on arrival, I guess!
What are you going to do in chicago when you're not improvising?
Walk around, write, read, play games.
How do you think the trip will change you?
Ask me after!
Do you think you'll go back another time?
Ask me after!
If you could name a new impro group anything you like, what would it be?
When I was younger I wanted to name my band 'You, you fat fuck'. But I definitely wouldn't do that for an impro group. I rather like 'Mirrorball'.
Alex plays in The Family Business and The Inflatables.
Follow all the UK improvisers going to Chicago this summer at #ChicaGoUK