Marguerite Lawler has been improvising since 2011, and hasn’t looked back since. She is a proud alumni of the Wildfire Festival (’12-’15) went to Nationals that one time, and has dabbled in coaching and improvised singing. She is a student at U of A, and can be found doing various artsy things around the beautiful city of Edmonton. She has appeared in numerous (scripted) shows, and is studying singing and voice on the side. Aside from making things up, she enjoys leading summer camps, learning sweet tunes on new instruments, and the scent of rain.
TV Shows: Chill with Bob Ross, Wet Hot American Summer, Community, Lady Dynamite, 30 Rock, The Office, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Brooklyn 99, How I Met Your Mother, SNL, Arrested Development.
Movies: BIRDMAN (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, KRAMPUS, Kicking and Screaming, Matilda, The Parent Trap (1998), Little Miss Sunshine, The Dark Knight, Whiplash, Shaun of The Dead, The Shining, Stick It, and Hocus Pocus!
Actors: Edward Norton, Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Alicia Vikander, Emma Stone, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Eddie Redmayne, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Helen Mirren, Michael Caine, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Heath Ledger, Natasha Richardson, and Kevin Spacey (Master Actor).
Video Games: I never had any video games as a kid except for the math and typing ones at school and the occasional attempt to grasp the point of Wii at friends’ houses. Never too late! I’ll go buy Mario Kart RIGHT NOW
Books: I LOVE BOOKS! Like many people, every book I read in university felt like it changed the very matter of my being. Special mentions: No Country for Old Men, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Circle, all of the books telling my main man Harry Potter’s story, Breathe: A Ghost Story, Yes Please! To Kill A Mockingbird.
Authors: Dr. Seuss, Harper Lee, Pittacus Lore, J. K. Rowling, Sarah Kane (playwright).
Music: I will honestly listen to anything, but I love me some movie scores (especially the work of John Williams and Hans Zimmer), Billy Joel, Owl City, the work of the great Seal, Debussy and Mozart, showtunes (especially Next to Normal and Fun Home), Sara Bareilles, Caravan Palace, and a whole mess of other things.
Food: I love shahi paneer, ice cream, and potatoes. Also the genius invention of chicken and waffles, like… WHAT? ALWAYS!
Words to live by: The ones we love never truly leave us, you can always find them right here (*gesture to heart vicinity).
You’re allowed to say, “I don’t know”.
Learn, laugh, play.
HOW YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?
I started doing improv in Grade 9, and my coaches (first the amazingly talented Josephine Hendrick, then later my phenomenal drama teacher, Joe Vanderhelm, to whom I owe a great deal, as well as a friend and another improv hero Sam Stralak) were in Rapid Fire and encouraged us to see the shows. I did, and immediately knew that’s where I wanted to be. I started volunteering, taking workshops and kept improvising in school, then in my final year I was asked to audition, and the rest is HISTORY!
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
As Amy Poehler said “Don’t start a scene where two people are talking about jumping out of a plane. Start the scene having already jumped.”. Get things DONE, don’t just talk about it! In improv we don’t have to worry about huge effects and jazz, we’re already making it up so why NOT jump out of a plane! Try a kooky character! She also says to look into your partner’s eyes — which is equally as important. When you’re trying to make the other person look good, that’s honestly the best improv you can do. Just like in acting, you have to LISTEN to what your partner is saying and go from there. Also have a strong platform because scenes will often go to crap if you don’t.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?
Shout something you want to see a scene about! I always find that exciting as an improviser when the audience is actually pumped about what they’re yelling. Add your own flavours (spooky kitchen, spooky carnival, spooky summer camp… spooky spooks).
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT FORM VS. LONG FORM AND VICE VERSA?
Both are amazing! Short form has more room for snipes and ridiculous bits (only four minutes of it, which admittedly sometimes is for the best). I also LOVE the feeling of being halfway through a long form after setting up for (maybe) a huge elaborate story and lobbing offers into the world and having absolutely no clue where it’s going and tying things together knowing (hoping) it’ll somehow all work out.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?
I really like to start with fun and weird characters and seeing where that takes it, and finding their heart in the scene with some jokes along the way. I also just recently realized I really like to mime wearing a backpack, that’s definitely in (my) style.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
The first two that came to mind was 1) when I was about to throw a box in the CIG, and then tipped it over somewhat gently but grandly, yelling “THIS IS THE SOPHIE’S CHOICE OF RADIO!” 2) Doing an improvised song with another improv hero Julia Grochowski where the lyric was “I’ll keep putting paprika on your eggs, you keep putting a baby in my legs.” That was one of my favourite improv moments ever.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF RFT?
I am currently getting my BFA in Acting at the University of Alberta. Also I’m a camp counsellor, I teach improv, and like to make sure my dog keeps a strong social presence in the media.
HOW DOES IMPROV COME IN HANDY IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE?
There is no way it does not come in handy. Almost every part of life is made easier or at least more fun because of improv training. Saying yes AND offering more, connection, following the fear, positivity is always more interesting than negativity, the list honestly goes on for miles, I wrote a full essay on it once.
DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RAPID FIRE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE:
The closest thing to Hogwarts in Edmonton, if Hogwarts served Friendly Fires and was full of the most supportive friends you can imagine who you make jokes with.