Mark Kelly began studying improv in 2015, shortly after seeing improv for the first time at a Rapid Fire Theatre show. After training with the University of Alberta’s UIG and Rapid Fire Theatre, Mark joined the company in 2016. When he isn’t performing, Mark can be found watching improv, ‘singing’ karaoke, or napping.
TV Shows: Nathan for You, Summer Heights High, Kenny vs. Spenny
Movies: There Will Be Blood, Jurassic Park 3, Dirty Work
Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Saoirse Ronan, Dom DeLuise
Music: S Club 7, RATATAT, Gilbert and Sullivan
HOW YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?
I quickly became obsessed with watching the company’s shows after seeing improv for the first time at Rapid Fire Theatre. Shortly thereafter, I began volunteering with RFT and taking improv workshops—after a bit of time, I was asked to audition for the company.
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
Improv scenes are most successful when the improvisers are having fun. Their excitement is contagious to the audience.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?
Don’t think too hard—give suggestions based on your “boring” everyday life. What’s old hat to you may be new and exciting to the audience and performers.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT FORM VS. LONG FORM AND VICE VERSA?
It’s all the same to me!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?
My improv style consists of big eyes and weird offers.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
I played Benjamin Buchholtz’s love interest in a scene and he asked me to jump into his arms so he could romantically carry me off. Immediately after jumping toward him, Ben made a very weak attempt to catch me and my body crashed to the ground. Real-life me knew that Ben couldn’t hold my weight, but improv has taught me to fully trust my scene partners, so I occasionally forget about their real-world limitations.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF RFT?
I’m currently in my last year of medical school at the U of A.
DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RAPID FIRE IN A SINGLE SENTENCE:
A bunch of weirdos doing weird things.