I was involved with my High School Improv team – and after Nosebowl, in my last year at high school, I was asked to audition! I have been improvising with Rapid Fire ever since the summer of 2011!

Hunter Cardinal

Hunter Cardinal is an Edmonton based performer studying acting, singing, improvisation and movement. He is currently studying at the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program, class of 2015, and has also been improvising since 2011. Hunter is also a writer at Elevenses, exploring the love of food and pursuit of health in its relation to culture. Rapid Fire has given Hunter the opportunity to grow as a theatrical artist, making meaningful connections on a theatrical and local level.  Selected stage credits include: Gratiano from The Merchant of Venice, Tom Collins from Rent, St. Thomas from The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Moritz Stiefel from Spring Awakening, Javert from Les Miserables, Bernardo from West Side Story, and Lawrence Brown from Home Free!

FAVOURITES

TV Shows: Game of Thrones, Masterchef, Star Trek (All of them), Stargate (All of them), Dragon Ball Z, and Avatar: the Last Airbender

Movies: Lord of The Rings Trilogy

Actors: Sir Ian Mckellan, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kevin Spacey, Ben Kingsley, Meryl Streep

Video Games: Halo, Skyrim, Call of Duty, andSuper Smash Bros (N64)

Authors: J.R.R. Tolkien

Music: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Girl Talk and so many musicals…

Websites: Youtube and Google!

Food: Anything that feeds your soul and health.

Places to eat in Edmonton: My house!

HOW YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?

I was involved with my High School Improv team – and after Nosebowl, in my last year at high school, I was asked to audition! I have been improvising with Rapid Fire ever since the summer of 2011!

WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?

I’d say what really helps is having a strong objective – something that your character deeply needs that justifies your actions and keeps the narrative fun, dynamic and full of play. Having enough generosity to listen to what your character wants while also being generous to your scene partner helps as well – without that generosity the scene is ridiculously hard to finish.

WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?

Be honest with what you want to see – remember: there isn’t a need to be funny with your suggestion! Suggestions that are funny on their own are just that, they are funny – as poop jokes can often be – but the real substance is what resonates with you! So be bold and give a suggestion that you’d love to see! Get creative! Get real! Get simple or complex!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT FORM VS. LONG FORM AND VICE VERSA?

I find short form to be a wonderful way to explore the benefits of understanding economic technique in a situation that demands it. You only have four minutes to create a narrative that draws the audience in – finding ways to make a room full of people care on a deep level in that short time is always challenging and so fun! Long form for me is another beast: I love the amount of time to explore the specificity of the world that I am creating with my scene partner and the audience. It’s almost as if we leave the theatre and go on a (narrative) journey together – and the best part is that we all have no idea where we are going, but we have a lot of time to figure it out!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?

I’d say I play from my heart – I always try to listen with it and act from it. This usually results in me striving to find out what the scene is really about. Sure it’s funny to see a scene with big goofy characters, but sprinkle a little realism, emotional stakes, and specific imagery pertinent to that character – I find that combination hilarious.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?

One of my favourite moments was watching my friend, Gabriel Richardson, fail the biggest fail I have ever seen. We were playing Sounds Like a Song – it was his first time playing it so the stakes were high for him – and when it got to his chance to sing, he jumped the gun and started singing a melody previously established but the accompanist went with an entirely different song. Poor Gabe was off pitch, off tempo, and the fear in his eyes while he muscled through it was the funniest thing ever. I watched my best friend take a huge risk and watched while it crumbled in his hands. He still hates that I didn’t help – but it was too hilarious.

WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF RFT?

I am finishing my degree at the University of Alberta – I am in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program. I also run a blog with my family – elevenses.ca – which is a family endeavour to explore the various levels of health from food. We take a cultural, traditional, scientific, and practical approach to living in a healthy way.

HOW DOES IMPROV COME IN HANDY IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE?

I used to be terrified with interactions with people – ordering pizza was a big one – and improv helped me out and gave me the tools and confidence to overcome that anxiety. Also the techniques I’ve explored and have been taught has greatly influence my approach to theatre, bringing the element of play in to my work at school and outside of school.

DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RAPID FIRE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE:

It’s living in a way that vitalizes yourself, friends, family, community and culture.