Defrost Festival Launch Sale – 30% Off Tickets
Our favourite mid-winter comedy festival is back this August, and it's bigger than ever! Check out our performance lineup and snag 30% off tickets with code LAUNCH – offer ends Saturday at Noon, or whenever each show's promo allocation is exhausted.

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Legacy Blog

Oldies but goodies from the archives of The Improv Conspiracy Theatre
Showing 1 to 10 of 103 results
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

How to make a movie during lockdown

Being confined to your house during a global pandemic isn't exactly the most productive environment if you want to make a movie, but in August 2020, the community members of the Improv Conspiracy Theatre set to work and pushed all their creative gears into motion to put on the first ever “Home Made Film Festival”; a short film festival dedicated to making films within a 5km radius of your house, under Victoria's Stage 4 lockdown restrictions.

The festival was a call out to a community of creatives which asked them to make something tangible whilst in lockdown. The added challenge was that they had to make it in just one week and include specific props, actions and dialogue in a unique and imaginative way. 

Many of them had never made a film before, let alone in the short timeframe assigned, but even with all the hurdles in front of them, the result was a truly beautiful collection of funny and heartfelt movies, and while all of them were amazing in their own way, they were also put to the test of being critiqued by a panel of judges who selected winners under a few categories:

- The Story Award (for best narrative idea)
- The Lockdown Award (for most creative workaround of the Stage 4 restrictions)
- The Solo Award (for highest achievement by a single filmmaker, not a collaboration)
- The Innovation Award (for most imaginative use of the guidelines)

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Announcing our Harold Hero Competition

There’s something magical about Harold Night. Not only is it a place to see some mind-blowing improv and enjoy some big laughs, but it’s also the de facto social hub of the community, with so many students, alums and performers coming through every Thursday.

We’ve seen time after time that students who prioritise Harold Night attendance tend to be among the strongest in their classes, and also end up being quite comfortable with the social aspects of our community, relative to their peers.

Still, not everyone knows about it, or why it’s so important to our community. Many of our students, especially in the lower levels (where we have the highest concentration of students) haven’t been to the theatre on a Thursday. It’s time to change that!

We’re thrilled to announce an exciting new incentive program for our students and alumni in 2020… the HAROLD HERO COMPETITION.

In short, if you're a student or alum of our improv workshops program, we’d love for you to binge on as many Harolds as you can, for FREE. Not only will you get to enjoy some great shows, but you’ll also go into the running for some great prizes. (Not a student yet? Sign up for a class here!)

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner: On Love and Improv

One of the most useful lessons that improv can teach you is that things go a lot better when you decide to like the person that’s in front of you. 

It’s a lesson that stems from another improv gem, backed up by years of Adlerian psychology and Stoic philosophy: emotions are, in large part, a choice. Their impulse may be involuntary, but the way you use them is in your hands.

An emotional impulse is frequently generated by the actions of another person. If you were to take a person and place them in stasis, floating frozen in a blank room, what would your opinion of them be? Let’s add the caveat that they have no past actions to judge them by; they are an object of only the present. Would you have any reason to be mad at them? Sad about them? To have a problem with them? I don’t believe you would. Any way that you feel about them will be entirely your own choice. Why not make your choice a positive one?

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Just Freakin' Try!

My partner recently held a talent night for his birthday – open stage for all, he said, comedy, music, mime, ribbon – everyone is welcome. Of the ~70 people that came, I was astonished only one of the 12 performers was not a straight white dude. I was then surprised at my own surprise, because in just over a year, I had forgotten about how long it took for me to throw my own hat onto the performance stage. 

When I was 19, my ex and I would talk of moving to Melbourne and “doing comedy” – neither of us had a performance background and we didn’t know where to start. It was something that we dreamed of while we pursued safe study pathways as a homage to our Sri Lankan parents who’d migrated to Australia for a better life. Perth did not have a big comedy scene back then, so we downloaded all of the comedy content we could get our dodgy little virtual hands on and dreamt up exceptionally stupid skits. 

We continued to voraciously consume comedy as our safe study pathways turned into safe career pathways and took us overseas. After we parted ways at 28, I forgot about comedy. No one ever explicitly told me I couldn’t do comedy on my own, it just never occurred to me that I could, or should. I’d always thought of my ex as “the funny one”, and what we watched was written, produced and led by (mostly white) men – back then, Mindy Kaling was holding up the fort as the only brown female on screen.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How To Be Funny

Being funny is not easy. I do not say this because of the "sad clown" myth or the tale of Pagliacci or the fact that participation in any comedy circuit is a largely thankless task. I say it because being funny is, on a fundamental level beyond the professional sphere, the product of hours upon hours of effort. 

I have heard it said that "you can’t teach funny". I reject this attitude; it begins from a false premise. The question the people that say this should be asking is "can you learn funny?" The answer to that question is undoubtedly yes. It is proven by the fact that funny people exist. If we accept that the way a human being acts is the product of all that they have learnt (a stance that any amount of armchair psychology will vindicate), then it stands to reason that a funny person, at some point, learned how to be funny. How? Simple. Whether they noticed they were doing it or not, they paid attention.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dealing With Nerves

Palms are sweaty.
Knees weak.
Arms are heavy.
Something, something, something. (*)
Mom’s spaghetti.

Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is a classic banger about a highly relevant issue: performing despite feeling nervous. It’s true, nerves can be incredibly debilitating. Trust me, I know! Showing up to my first ever workshop at The Improv Conspiracy (TIC) in late 2017, I did so many nervous wees beforehand I was almost late.

As an improviser, actor and acting coach, I am constantly surrounded by nerves: my own and those of others. I have learnt so much about performing under pressure and in doing so have helped many performers push through the nerves and book amazing acting jobs (despite them or I sweating profusely). Before every show I do at the TIC theatre, I still get butterflies. In this blog post I’d like to share with you how I deal with nerves, in the hopes it helps you enter your first improv workshop, or your upcoming audition with ease. 

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

How to disappoint your immigrant parents with improv! Perspective from a performer of colour.

When I started at The Improv Conspiracy Theatre in November 2015, I could count all the performers of colour on one hand… actually one finger… the answer is one. There was exactly one person of colour on the TIC stage (shout out to my improv sifu Kay Chan!). Beyond that, the only other people of colour in the entire student community were my classmates – two of whom joined me to form Yolk Yolk Yolk, the first ever non-white improv team in Australia*.

(* we never fact-checked this but it sounds about right.)

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Introducing our new senior management team

Meet the senior managers: Broni Lisle (Education Director), Laura Buskes (Theatre Operations Manager), Adam Kangas (Artistic Director)

I've learned a lot in my ten years of improvising, and the most important lesson for a control freak like me is that improv isn't an art form that allows for solo success: your only hope to succeed is by working with a team of people you trust and respect, honouring their contributions and generally trying to make them look like geniuses along the way. Trying to dominate a scene or a Harold by yourself is almost certainly a recipe for disaster. We've all seen (or even been) different shades of that guy on stage... and it's never good.

As we've ramped up our efforts in corporate improv education, it's really sunk in that some of the basic tenets of improv have obvious implications in the business world too. I can see now that one of the biggest things preventing this company and community from reaching their full potential is my need to hold on tightly to every aspect of how things are run around here. Solo micromanagement in all areas helped get this beautiful experiment off the ground, but now it's time to graciously ask for help.

Luckily, I'm surrounded by some seriously lovely and talented people who believe in this place, and have accepted permanent senior positions with The Improv Conspiracy Theatre. Let's meet them!

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Melbourne Fringe 2017: Free Comedy Open House


It's our fifth consecutive year of participation in the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and we're thrilled to celebrate by giving away three weeks of FREE TICKETS to our fans new and old. Between Thursday September 14th and Sunday October 1st you can pick any exciting show from our calendar and bring your mates and dates to see it for free.

There are no prebookings. Each show's physical tickets will be handed out at our box office starting 60 minutes before showtime. Come down early, grab some tickets, and enjoy a drink with us or another one of the awesome businesses in Meyers Place.

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Now Hiring: Theatre Operations Manager / Assistant Artistic Director

[Update 12 September: The role has been filled.]

Theatre Operations Manager / Assistant Artistic Director (AAD)

Part-Time Salaried Role (20-30 hours weekly, negotiable)

(Want something approaching full-time income from TIC? The person in this role would be strongly considered to fill any teaching, coaching, and corporate training opportunities as they arise…)

The Improv Conspiracy Theatre’s mission is to foster and showcase the best improv and comedy in Australia. We host over 12 hours of original comedy content every week, on Thursday-Sunday nights, split between in-house productions and shows produced by external stakeholders. We seek a new management-level hire to help with the day-to-day operations of the theatre, and the execution of the Artistic Director’s vision, both of which grow increasingly complex as our audience sizes and our community of performers expand.

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Showing 1 to 10 of 103 results

Our community watering hole

Enjoy some good times downstairs at Theory Bar

Fancy a beverage after your next show or class session? Our ground floor bar is open Wednesday–Sunday.

Community members and ticket-holders get 10% off*

(* Sundays and Public Holidays excepted)

Product screenshot