Kevin Lee Pinkoski has been performing with Rapid Fire Theatre since 2009. He is one third of the CHiMPROV troupe “Mom’s Gone.” He participated with his high school in The 2008 Nosebowl . He was the Co-President of the University of Alberta Improv Group from 2010 to 2013. He has performed at UBCi’s Impulse Festival in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He performed at the Next Act Improv Festival in 2010. He is adamant not only about pursuing improv at all levels, but also comedy in general, and he is happy that he has begun to create a diverse biography. Aside from theatre, he likes bicycles, history, politics, coffee and the ocean. He enjoys being a part of Rapid Fire Theatre, since it embraces his creativity, and offers a complete alternative to his regular life.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE:
TV Shows: The Wire, Extras, Twin Peaks, and Tintin.
Movies: Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Godfather, Rear Window, and Cars 2.
Actors: Edward Norton, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman
Video Games: Mario Kart 64, GoldenEye 64, Super Smash Bros. (Did they even make a video game system after the N64?)
Authors: Gaberiel Garcia Marquez, J.D. Salinger, and George R. R. Martin
Graphic Novels/Comics: Tintin, Peanut’s Astrix & Obelix
Music: Blythe Field, Destroyer, Final Fantasy (before he was “Owen Pallet”) and Leonard Cohen.
Plays: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Scorched, and Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo
Websites: www.Indoek.com, www.thejealouscurator.com, kickstarter.com and lindsayshands.tumblr.com/
Food: I am a celiac. Serious limitations here. Oranges, fajitas, curry, sushi, fine coffee and champagne.
Places to eat in Edmonton: El Rancho, Cafe Haven, and New Asian Village.
How did improv enter your life and how did you eventually wind up at Rapid Fire?
I started doing improv at the end of high school. I had a lot of fun doing it. And I mean a lot fun. So I joined The University Improv Group, took a bunch of Rapid Fire workshops, and worked with Tales from the Improv Zone in Sherwood Park. I was asked to audition in 2009 and there it went! And, in case you are wondering, I am still having a ton of fun.
What are the keys to a successful improv scene?
Positivity, simplicity and awareness. I think the best way to start out a scene is with some sense of positivity. This can entice other improvisers to join you, and can trick the audience into liking your character. It also makes whatever conflict that comes hilarious. Simplicity is important because it lets an improviser realize the course of the scene really quickly (oh this scene is about a couple breaking up/getting back together). Then you have more time to play in the scene and to make jokes because you’ve figured out the ending. Finally awareness, because you should have a good idea of everything that is going on, including how your fellow improvisers feel about what you are doing.
What are some tips you can offer audience members about giving suggestions to improvisers?
Keep it real. The best suggestions come from people who give something that actually relates to them, and not to some weird version of themselves that they want to show off in a dark theatre. Something that someone thinks is funny to yell loudly never works out well. But if you honestly answer what the improviser asks, real magic can happen.
What do you like about short form vs. long form and vice versa?
I like short form because you can find a simple story, a clear ending, and just play in that story. Long form is great because you can take a simple story, and add in characters that really reflect who you are and what inspires you.
Can you tell us a little bit about your CHiMPROV troupes?
Mom’s Gone is a troupe with Todd Houseman and Ben Gorodetsky. We wanted to tell stories that were inspired by locations and environments that weren’t in the typical improv rotation. It is a lot of fun to personify and anthropomorphize objects and environments.
How would you describe your improv style?
Positive and inspired. I like to be inspired by the subjects and topics I have learned about. Being positive and playful creates a very inclusive and embracing improv environment.
Describe working for Rapid Fire in a single sentence:
The most fun I can have joking with my friends while people watch.
Tell us a little bit about your hobbies.
I love Politics. I love cycling and swimming.
Are you involved with any other improv companies aside from RFT?
The University of Alberta Improv Group! I am currently Co-President of The Notorious UIG, along with RFTer Lacey Huculak. The club gives university students, and other performers, a chance to pursue improv at an amateur level, with the hopes of growing to a higher level. Anyone is welcome. We have weekly workshops, jams, shows and even a yearly festival. Keep an eye on www.notoriousuig.com. B.I.G. stole our name, and look what happened to him!
What is your most memorable moment on stage?
Both my most embarrassing moment and my most prideful moment came in two different opportunities I had to play Tintin on stage. The most embarrassing moment surrounded a Halloween Theatresports Show, and a Vaseline double belly booty bounce. Coordinating with Matt Schuurman to create The Tintin theatresports team was amazing. Matt, Jessie, Tim and Paul all reminded me how awesome any character can be on stage especially one that filled all your childhood fantasies.