TV star helps locals shine

By Kassidy Christensen

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

IT'S MY LINE Alex McDonald (centre) was brought up on stage in the second half to perform a scene alongside Colin Mochrie (right), Andrew Barber and Angela Galanopoulos (left). KASSIDY CHRISTENSEN LLS PHOTO

The Lloydminster Community High School (LCHS) Drama department and Barons’ Court Theatre put on their annual The Last Laugh: Improv Show & Fundraiser Sunday night with some special improv performers gracing the stage.
Three Vancouver TheatreSports League performers, Scott Patey, Andrew Barber and Angela Galanopoulos and Canadian comedy icon Colin Mochrie joined the high school improv troupe for the gut-busting performance.
With the improv show marking Mochrie’s second visit to the Border City, the famous Whose Line Is It Anyway star said he had a lot of fun.
Mochrie said one of the things he is most proud of with Whose Line Is It Anyway is that it got improv into the consciousness of the public.
“It started improv troupes so kids like this get to do improv,” Mochrie said.
“It’s always fun to see, it reminds you of when you first started out, just the fearlessness, and it reminds you of why you got into improv.”
Alex McDonald, Grade 12 LCHS student and senior improviser said it felt really awesome to perform with someone who is a professional improviser.
“I don’t get to perform with other people that aren’t just my fellow improvisers most of the time,” he said.
“That in itself is just really cool to be able to perform with somebody that is just a lot more experienced than myself or my peers.”
McDonald was the recipient of the most valuable improviser of the year award, and Kaitlyn McCallum received the award for most promising improviser of the year.
Later in the show, McDonald was brought up on stage to perform a scene alongside Mochrie, Patey, Barber and Galanopoulos.
Mochrie said he hopes to have taught something during his performance, to which he added with a laugh, “Some good things and bad things.”
“What I hope to teach is I hope to show that when I go out there all I’m doing is having fun,” Mochrie said.
“My main objective is to go out there with absolutely nothing and just depend on the people I’m working with and myself to make some things work,” he said.
Mochrie added he works towards being as relaxed as he can on stage because that’s when he’s most open to everything that’s happening.
“I like to have fun and with the guys I was working with tonight it’s always fun working with them,” Mochrie said.
Patey said being able to perform with Mochrie was fantastic, and said he used to watch Whose Line Is It Anyway with his brother in their Lloydminster home, looking up to the stars of the show as idols.
Patey has had the opportunity to perform with Mochrie before, and said it was a check off his improv bucket list.
“To be able to bring him here and to share that with the students was unbelievable,” Patey said.
With a nearly full house at the Vic Juba Community Theatre, Mochrie said he is used to performing in front of large audiences in large venues, but said he loves the smaller theatres.
“When I started out, it was usually (a) 150 seat theatre, and you’re right there with the audience,” Mochrie said.
Calling improv more of an intimate art, Mochrie said he loves feeling closer to the audiences.
“You really feel their energy and you feed off of it.”
McDonald said the number of people who attended was “really awesome,” adding the group is used to their little black box theatre at LCHS.
“Having that many people that came here and paid for a ticket was really awesome,” McDonald said.
“The crowd was just really loving it and that’s always super important that the audience is just invested in the moment.”
Mochrie said he hopes improvisers take away from the performance that improv can be done anywhere.
“As long as you have an audience that’s all you need,” he said.

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