The most recent activity you may have encountered Vincent in are: Afterlives, Zastrozzi, Death: LIVE! and The Survival of Pigeons as Studied by Human Lovers all of which he directed/choreographed in various Fringes. At the Varscona you may have seen him in The Ambassador’s Wives, The Scent of Compulsion and The Hoof and Mouth Advantage with Teatro La Quindicina, or as a cast member on Die-Nasty: The Legendary improvised soap opera and countless 50-hour Soap-a-thons. Vincent is proud to have also been a part of The Tall Building with Azimuth Theatre and Dog (Sterling award for best independent production) with Surreal SoReal Theatre which he co-founded with Jon Lachlan Stewart. A graduate of the B.F.A – Acting Program at the University of Alberta, Vincent was recently awarded a Jessie award (Vancouver Theatre Awards) for Best Actor in a TYA show in The Gooble Portrait.
Vincent tries to be as many things as possible, all at once. Currently he is an actor / dancer / choreographer /
What are you favourites?
I’ll end all of my answers with something local because I love Edmonton so much!
TV Shows: Drama – Luther, Sherlock, House of Cards, The West Wing / Comedy – Community, Park & Recreation, Coupling, Tiny Plastic Men.
Actors: Men- Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo Dicaprio, Nick Offerman, Jeff Haslam. Women- Tina Fey, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, Shannon Blanchet.
Video Games: There is no easy answer for this because you sort of have to consider how good a video game was for it’s time. Bearing that in mind I would say the N64 still remains the best system for it’s time with the best games for it’s time. Think about: Starfox 64, Mario 64, Mario CartSmashBrosTennisParty 64, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Goldeneye. For more recent games I love Bioshock, Fallout and Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and of course Mass Effect.
Authors: Chuck Klosterman, Shel Silverstein, Anton Chekhov, Martin Mcdonagh, Richard Greenberg, Stewart Lemoine
Music: Billy Joel, Justin Timberlake, Jason Mraz, Scott Shpeley and Joel Crichton.
Food: I’m all about the P’s – Pizza, Popcorn, Pudding, Perogies, Pasta, Potstickers, Poptarts, Pie (Pumpkin),
Places to eat in Edmonton: I’m a deals fiend. So we’re talking – Steak Sandwich Mondays, Pasta Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays, Shrimp Thursdays, Brunch Sundays and no eating on the weekends. (Take away the deals and I’d tell you to go to Three Boars, Nextact and Corso 32)
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH RAPID FIRE?
Improv is a pretty big thing in the French world (more so in Quebec) so I’ve always been doing it here and there. I got involved in Die Nasty the Legendary Improvised Soap Opera a few years back and from there I met a lot of interesting improvisers. Eventually I had talks with Chris Craddock and Kevin Gillese and they said I should audition. By the time I did though Amy Shostak was the AD and we didn’t know each other very well, which I like, because it meant I really had to prove myself in my audition. I suppose I did.
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
I feel like it is so easy to offer differing opinions on this. For some people the key is don’t think, for others it’s listen, consider, then speak. I’d say the advice I can offer based on my style of improv is to remember that it’s acting. In a play or film you need to ask yourself: Who am I? Where am I? What do I want? If you can do that in the moment then you are golden, you won’t always be funny but you’ll always be present and interesting. 99% of the time I get a laugh I don’t even know why, because I was just reacting honestly to the situation.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE ABOUT GIVING SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVISERS?
We constantly remind people to give suggestions that aren’t necessarily funny on their own. This is important, but I would say that the most important thing to do is offer something you really want to see, make it personal, make it something you’ve never seen before. My favorite suggestions are the ones that say something about the person who shouts it out. If you just keep shouting out different genitals I have to assume you’ve never seen any, and that’s sad, for you, cause they are great, in private (pun intended).
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT LONGFORM AND SHORTFORM IMPROV?
In short form I feel like an athlete, I get to really work up a sweat and condense everything I’m doing so the audience wants more. The reason lightning is so beautiful is that you only get to see it for a moment. In long form there is more time to expand and commit to character and world. We can paint a masterpiece. This is where the artistry becomes evident. It’s a chance to prove how deep we can go as improvisers.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE OUR IMPROV STYLE?
I’d call my improv style the booming observer. I shine most when I can watch a bit from the sidelines to see where my fellows are headed and then enter with expansion and sometimes solutions. That being said I love to throw myself in immediately sometimes so I can Kamikaze surprise myself.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
In terms of improv, I’d have to say my most memorable moment was dressing up as and playing Mark Meer for Halloween Theatresports. On stage I got to do an impression of him to his face but offstage I kept fooling all the other performers as they’d come up and ask me questions about where they were supposed to go for makeup etc… I think I even fooled his wife, Belinda Cornish, for a moment.
WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?
I am happy to say that I don’t have a day job. This month I am coming up on two years of successfully living by only working in the arts. It’s a great accomplishment but it comes with many sacrifices. I am constantly splitting my mind/time between directing, dancing, acting, improvising, producing, stage-managing, voice-over and more. I usually end up working anywhere between 8-18 hours a day. This makes it difficult to see my family and friends as much as I’d like and with all that effort I still often make less than a person working in a restaurant so if anyone would like to donate money to me be my guest! In all seriousness though, when you are doing what you love it’s worth it.
HOW DO YOU USE IMPROV IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?
Here is a little secret about me. I am an extremely open person to my friends and family, and I love conversation, BUT I really have a hard time speaking to strangers in everyday life. When it comes to the taxi driver, the pizza man, the homeless man on the bus, the drunk girl at the bar I don’t want to be at, I tend to prefer improvising something. That’s right. I’m a situational liar. If I don’t expect to ever see a person again I will often pretend that I am a student studying architecture, or that my parents abandoned me when I was 10 years old, or that I care at all about Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. Am I a bad person? Yes. Is lying fun? Also yes.