Here’s a New Year’s resolution we intend to keep: LAUGH more often! Honestly, in a world where the news keeps getting worse, along with the natural disasters of adulthood and responsibilities—we must learn how to laugh, roll with the punches, and even have the guts to partake in a laugh or two. Take a look at Kuwait’s first Improv comedy troupe, the IMPROVengers, where comedy is on the fly and the laughter rings true. After all, these are real people looking to instill honest and casual humor in our lives. Firas, one of the members of this special comedy troupe, answers a few questions about improv comedy:
Hello IMPROVengers! Can you simply explain to our readers what exactly is Improv Comedy?
Jazz musicians like to say that “Improvisation is just composing on the fly”. Improv Comedy is similar, except with less sadness and music criticism and way more silliness. What we do is “compose” comedy scenes on the spot, in front of a live audience, with no deliberation whatsoever. And hopefully, by the time we’re done, there’s some harmony, some swing, and some genuine laughs to be had.
Does that mean that two performances are never the same?
We try to have fun and surprise ourselves and the audience every evening. It seems more enjoyable for the audience that way too. No one has any idea what will happen next and that adds to the sense that, unlike other forms of expression in this age of Youtube, tumblr, Facebook, etc., you’ll only ever have one chance to experience that night’s show and that’s on the night that you’re witnessing it.
How did the idea of creating a comedy troupe come about? Were each of you personally contacted to join the troupe?
I auditioned for my spot. Hassan and Brad were the proactive ones who got the whole thing started. We owe our existence as a group to them. They deserve massive praise for that.
Why did you decide to join the IMPROVengers?
I think a lot of comedy fans want to make that leap from person who enjoys comedy to person who performs it. This seemed like an incredible opportunity to accomplish that goal. And this group is a real first of its kind for Kuwait, if not the region, who doesn’t want to be a part of something like that?
Is there anything difficult about Improv Comedy?
Improv is challenging, which is why it’s so attractive and rewarding when it succeeds. We never know what’s going to happen before we perform, so that can create some heavy pre-performance anxiety, but it also makes the show itself feel electric.
What’s the best aspect about experimenting with Improv Comedy?
I love how it fosters relationships. You really have to trust your fellow performers because they are all you have to rely on while you’re on stage with no script and no plan. It encourages a sort of a team sport vibe. The only way to score with the audience (which is getting laughs for us) is for us to play well together. I feel lucky in the respect because everyone in the group is absolutely brilliant and incredibly generous when it comes to playing at the top of their game and giving a real team effort.
Are you actors, performers, or simply Hobbyists?
Well this isn’t a full time job, but it isn’t a hobby either. It’s a happy pursuit. I personally don’t consider myself an actor, although I have great appreciation for it.
Would you recommend other people to join the fun?
The audience’s suggestions are essential to Improv. So we couldn’t ever do a show without audience participation. They complete the group dynamic simply by showing up, making a suggestion, and laughing along. If that sounds like a good time, then yes, I would suggest that people join in the fun.
Truth or Dare: Guess who!
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
My mother is my best friend and biggest fan. She’s my ROCK (of Ages).
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
Who’s your favourite? Mimi, Nicole, or Katie?
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Jumped on a couch.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
My own planet.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
I don’t really read.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
Something feral. Something wild. Like a Chihuahua.
What do you miss about your childhood?
Doesn’t matter. When I’m reincarnated, I can try it all again.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
My rock hard biceps.
Who is your favourite historical figure?
- Ron Hubbard.
What in the world do you least desire?
Psychiatry. I’ve never agreed with psychiatry. Here’s the problem.
You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do.
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of
would make the world a better place?
There should be more buildings like Burj Khalifa.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
I’m incredibly charming.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Suri. No offense, Isabella and Connor.
For more on the IMPROVengers, log on to www.facebook.com/IMPROVengers.
Photos from Laugh for Life Comedy Night are courtesy of the organizers, Kuwait Healthy Living.