Local history buff Lacey Huculak has been improvising since 2010. She began performing with the University of Alberta Improv Group where she later spent two years as Co-President helping create The Notorious Improv Festival; the University of Alberta’s first ever university level improv festival. Lacey happily joined the RFT family in 2012. She has performed in UBCi’s IMPULSE improv festival in 2011, 2012 and 2013. When she isn’t improvising Lacey can be found reading the journals of Susanna Moodie, not for her History B.A. – but just for fun. She loves Rapid Fire Theatre because it has opened her eyes to the beauty of Edmonton and the passion of it’s artistic community.
TV Shows: Spaced, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, Game of Thrones, Californication
Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Lost in Translation, The Artist, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Shining, Princess Mononoke, Interview with the Vampire, V for Vendetta, American Beauty, Beetlejuice
Actors: Simon Pegg, Bill Murray, Jessica Hynes
Video Games: I grew up idolizing my big brothers so I played a lot of video games. But, its no contest Final Fantasy X, although X-2 was huge let down. Some close seconds would be greatest MMORPG ever -EverQuest or the Silent Hill and Resident Evil sagas.
Authors: Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Rumiko Takahashi, Edgar Allen Poe, Michael Ondaatje, L.M. Montgomery.
Music: Metric, The Format, Fun, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, Nobuo Uematsu, Regina Spektor, Jovanotti, Die Antwoord and above all My Chemical Romance.
Websites: Jezebel, The Hairpin, citymuseumedmonton.ca
Food: I really like soups, mashed potatoes, curries and sushi particularly the French Kiss Roll form Kobe on the west end, its a hidden gem!
Words to live by: “Look Alive Sunshine”… its from a My Chemical Romance song… its also tattooed on my arm.
HOW YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?
In my first year of University a good friend of mine ever so fatefully dragged me to a meeting of the University of Alberta’s improv group (UIG) where I then fell in love with improv and became very involved. From there I started taking workshops with RFT and volunteering. I got scooped up as a cast member just before the big move to the Citadel!
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
Caring about what you’re doing. Finding a way to be emotionally involved in the scene and having a character that is affected by what’s going on. Another big one is trust, trusting your scene partners and working in a safe space is crucial. If you trust yourself and your partners the audience will feel taken care of too.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?
The suggestion doesn’t need to be funny! A lot of magic can happen from even simplest of suggestions. So many great scenes start when people shout out things from their own world. I don’t believe all of you are dentists! But if you are, please consider donating to our Tiers of Laughter Campaign.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT FORM VS. LONG FORM AND VICE VERSA?
Short form is great because you can use all of your energy and kill that three-minute scene and then it’s all erased and you can start again fresh in a few minutes, you can catch your breath and take it somewhere else. I love working as large ensemble in long form. It always feels like we’re all sewing one big quilt together and are so connected. For the most part we’re still doing vignettes of three minute scenes, but they need to fit somewhere into the patchwork and need to fulfill something the story needs. At the end it feels so good, like after a work out.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?
I play a lot of supporting characters, I try to increase the stakes and throw the pitches. I’ve been told I should play dumb characters more often, so I’ve been trying that a lot lately and it’s very fun. It’s hard to play those characters sometimes because you feel a lack of control, but it’s in that space where the magic happens.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
This is really hard. I barely ever remember anything I do on stage! Most of the time I really not thinking or focusing on storing anything into memory. Everything happens so quickly and disappears even quicker. During the 2014 Bonfire Festival I was in a troupe called “Tramps Like Us” and Sarah and I were doing a scene where I was her downtrodden single mother and I went on a bit of a rant against men and her father and ended saying “mom’s got some demons.” Although, I don’t really remember the scene itself, afterwards it was the first time people in the audience ever really came up to me and repeated a line before. It was also my birthday, so that was the best gift ever.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF RFT?
I’m finishing up a B.A. in History. I’ve been focusing on Canadian history and couldn’t have been happier to spend my summer as a historic interpreter at Fort Edmonton Park. I do some Edmonton cemetery tours too!
HOW DOES IMPROV COME IN HANDY IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE?
I’ve noticed in my classes so many people are afraid to be wrong or to fail, and because of that they often shoot their own ideas down before they even say them. So many people start by saying “this might not be right/this is probably stupid, but…” Improv has taught me just to be confident in what I say and not second-guess if it was the perfect thing to say or not. Its okay to be wrong, putting yourself out there and trying is more important.
DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RAPID FIRE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE:
Being part of a living, breathing, innovative behemoth that also loves crafts.