Lisa has been hooked on improv since 2003 when her drama teacher bribed her (using bonus grades) into checking out her high school’s Canadian Improv Games team. She played for a few years and has volunteered with the tournament as a ref, judge, and trainer in the Toronto, Waterloo-Guelph, Edmonton, and National tournaments, and has gone to improv camp as a camper and staff member. In the past she has performed in Toronto’s Combustion Festival and London’s Ladyfest. Duo #1 in her heart forever is Science Punch with Alice Moran.
Lisa is delighted to be a part of Rapid Fire and can’t wait, like is seriously incapable of waiting, to get back on stage each time with such a great group of improvisors. Off stage, Lisa enjoys thinking about things and lifting the heaviest weights she can.
TV Shows: Freaks and Geeks, Veronica Mars, Veep, Parks and Recreation, Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development, Transparent
Movies: A League of Their Own is the only movie I will truly Love
Authors: Jane Austen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Charles Dickens, David Foster Wallace, Lemony Snicket, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mallory Ortberg, Leslie Jamison
Music: The Mountain Goats, Belle & Sebastian, Father John Misty, She & Him, The New Pornographers, The Magnetic Fields
Websites: The Toast, The Hairpin, Breaking Muscle, XKCD, The Billfold, Goodreads
Food: Apples, butter chicken, burritos, sweet chili heat Doritos, broccoli stir fry with spicy peanut sauce, guacamole, chocolate-covered almonds, pineapples, bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed dates, this parsnip gelato I had one time, salad with peaches in it, warm sandwiches, sweet potato fries, eggs, pulled pork, and tart flavours from self-serve frozen yogurt places
Words to live by: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Dumbledore
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?
I used to improvise in Ontario, but I went to improv camp in the prairies as a teen with a lot of RFT players. Improv camp creates a community of best friends for life, so when I moved to Edmonton, they encouraged me to audition!
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
Have fun and make your scene partner look great!
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?
I never met a suggestion I didn’t like, but I usually choose ones that I hear less often. I’ve done 100 scenes at a bowling alley and would be happy to do 1,000 more, but if one person shouts out “bowling alley” and another shouts out “outlet mall” or “greenhouse” or something else that I haven’t done in recent memory, then I’m probably going to choose the latter.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT FORM VS. LONG FORM AND VICE VERSA?
I like short form because you can try weirder things without worrying about it flopping for a long set. When I’m captain of a theatre sports team, I usually can convince my team to play a game we completely made up right before the show, because you can take those risks in short form. I like long form because you can take your time figuring out all the elements of your story, and explore ideas more deeply.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?
I tend to be the responsible scene partner which comes out by playing a lot of characters who could best be described as “helpful”. I also love narrative work and explaining details.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
One time in a Maestro show, I got to the final round and was asked to sing a solo song. Solo scenes are scary and singing is just not a skill in my wheelhouse. Yet somehow, in the middle of my terrible jig, I realized I was having SO MUCH FUN! I’m not an improviser because I want to always stay in my comfort zone. Hard stuff is fun! A ship is safe in the harbour, but that’s not what ships are for, you know?
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF RFT?
I read a lot of books and think-piecey columnists. I’m also at the gym for several hours almost every day since I’m an Olympic weightlifter and I do CrossFit, plus I coach a bunch of teens in lifting and CrossFit. I love lifting heaving things over my head and I love those dang teens! My day job is at a consulting company downtown, where I lead research and analyze data to help make websites more useful, usable, and fun to use.
DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RAPID FIRE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE
RFT gives me opportunities to shine at what I love most, opportunities to work on things that are challenging for me, opportunities to try totally new things, and all the best friends in the world.