Introducing Jennifer Pielak, local improvisor and singer, creator of the Off-Key Players, and member of team SIDESHOW!
What got you started improvising? I decided to face my performing fears and try doing improv at a Table23 Comedy improv show. They told me I had to do the whole show or not at all - so I jumped and went for it. 6 months later I was asked to be a part of the group.
What is your favourite part of improvising? The unexpected genius comedic moments that happen without you realizing it. The audience laughs, and after the show, you realize why it was so funny.
How does musical improv actually work? Everyone needs to be listening really well in order to collaborate as best as they can - everything is truly made up on the spot - the music, lyrics, story, characters, and all those magic moments. We also workshop A LOT. You need to study singing, song structure, musicals, acting, storytelling, movement - all of these skills need to be developed in order to put on a successful show. A lot like a jazz musician knowing her keys and scales.
Who is your role model, when it comes to performing? In the improv world - I love TJ and Dave from Chicago - they put on really amazing two person improv shows - their characters are so real, and they are experts in their work. I also love Blaine Swen from Chicago - he put on a one-man improvised musical, which is so amazing. I’d love to do that one day. Oh, and of course Meryl.
If you were to get a Sharpie tattoo on your back, what would it be? A music note with the words, “Laugh. Think. Love."
What is your favourite way to unwind at the end of a long week? A glass of BC wine and an episode of Game of Thrones with my hunky man.
Five people you want to have for dinner? I want to eat everyone in the cast with a side of ice cream. Yum.
Are you afraid of ghosts? No.
Give me three “fun facts” about you.
1) I was born in Germany.
2) I can do a loon call.
3) I LOVE snow.