Friday, January 16, 2009

Interview with Loose Moose's Dave Ware

This was only my second interview with a Loose Moose member and it was pre-audio as well. This should be the last of the text-only interviews, if I can help it. Without further ado..... Dave Ware:

K: How long have you been involved with Loose Moose?
Dave: I have been with Loose Moose since my first year of High School, so that would be going on 23 years, with a sabbatical or two in there.

K: Was there a movie or play that influenced you in your decision to get into performing? How old were you?
Dave: I got involved with Loose Moose when a friend suggested I go with him to see Theatresports. I put him off for a long time, as I figured it wasn’t something I’d be in to. Once I started going to the shows, I was amazed at the talent and the speed of the performers, people like Dennis Cahill, Gord Gubitz, Hashm Nasser, and Dave Duncan. I started volunteering as an usher, and moved into Kids Shows fairly quickly. I also began commentating shows early on. I didn’t do much on stage for a number of years, but I was the regular commentator on Sunday nights for a long while.

K: At what point in your life did you realize you were interested in improvisation?
Dave: Pretty much as soon as I saw it. I’ve always been interested in puzzles, trivia, anything involving quick thinking and decision making. I tend to be a “cerebral” improviser, which doesn’t lend itself well to physical stuff (though I try to remember to do some of that as well). I’ve always loved the quick witted comedians like Peter Cook, Eddie Izzard etc. It’s a bit of a hindrance as well, as one of the cardinal rules of improv is to not be clever. I remember a story a producer told when when Larry Day was watching one of my audition reels for a TV program, and he mentioned that I was clever, and if they could capture that, I’d be good for the show. I remember thinking “I’ve been improvising for 20 years, and the thing that still stands out it that I’m being clever. Keith (Johnstone) would not be pleased.”

K: I notice as I watch the performances at the theatre that the guys don’t seem to be shy about baring some flesh or donning women’s apparel. Can you identify with that? Is it fun to play a woman?
Dave: Part of the fun of doing shows is being a little risky, so the flesh part comes with that. I have an abundance of flesh, and it somehow finds its way on stage from time to time. I’m trying to correct that.

Playing women is a little different. Personally, I try to not play ridiculous women; I try to have some realism, or some aspect of the character that is realistic, instead of just stuffing something in my shirt and being flouncy.

K: Thinking back, what is one of the big highlights for you in your history with the company?
Dave: Memorable moments would include helping with the Olympic Arts Festival in 1988, being part of the first Summer School (for International Performers) as part of the support staff, and competing in the 1994 World Cup improve Tournament in Los Angeles (and going to a World Cup game as well).
The thing that means the most to me about my association with Loose Moose is that I’m part of something very special, something that is worth working on, and being part of such a great and diverse group of talented people.
I have friends around the world that I’ve met through Improv, the kind of people you meet once and they’ll remember you and pick up where you left off, even if a decade or two have passed in the meantime. Improvisors tend to be pretty accommodating people, and fun to be around.

K: If someone is thinking about giving improvisation a try but they don’t know where to begin, what advice would you offer?
Dave: I’d say “try it”. It’s not for everyone (as a lifestyle), but anyone can try it and have fun with it. Newcomers tend to forget the idea is to have fun with it, and get caught up with getting it right.

K: Besides performing, what other efforts do the volunteers at Loose Moose contribute to the company?
Dave: I can’t think of a player who had been around for more than a few years that isn’t involved in some aspect of the Moose offstage. From front-of-house to costuming, lighting and sound, publicity, building, painting etc.
In the last year, I’ve been personally involved with starting and running the Marketing committee, Promoting Kids Theatre, Directing and performing, Project managing the renovation of our concession, front of house, and whatever else needs doing.

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