Improv Team Q&A: Susan Toppen

1. What bug are you?

On the Chicago trip—I couldn’t make it because I was working a lot—they all sat down at dinner and decided what bug we were. So, personally, I am a lightning bug. There’s no specific reason behind these bugs; it’s just what fits. It simply is.”

2. What is your favorite improv game?

One of the classic improv games that we do [is] called Bachelor. But, it’s a really fun game because you can be whatever. You have one main person who is the bachelor, and they have three contestants. And the three contestants are places, they’re objects, they’re maybe famous people, maybe they hate elbows, I don’t know. The audience gets to pick who each of the contestants are, and then the bachelor, who has no idea because we don’t hear any of it, has to come on and try to guess by asking ‘what’s your favorite place to eat,’ [or] ‘what do you enjoy,’ and the contestants have to say something that will help the bachelor lead them to who they are. I think that’s one of my favorite games; it’s really fun.”

3. Tell me a story…

There are so many. This is kind of soft, but one of my favorite practices was I think our very first practice. At that point pretty much all of us were new to it, so we didn’t know the games or the rules or how to help someone in a scene or carry it on. Specifically, my favorite product that we have come up with to this day in improv is ‘vacuum shoes.’ We had a very fun scene.”

4. Why does the show start at 7:33? Why not 7:32? Or 7:34?

Starting at 7:34 is way too late to start a show.”

5. If you were a fast-food chain, what would you be and why?

I am Bob Evans. I am friendly and welcoming and homey on the outside, but on the inside, there is so much happening that you turn away and you walk back out the doors and say ‘that was a time I just had.’ Plus, the biscuits are *chef’s kiss* but that’s not important.”

6. What is your favorite Minecraft block?

Personally, I don’t play Minecraft that often, but I feel like there has to be some kind of dirt. I would say a classic dirt [block] because it is from dirt that we build all. It is from dirt where we start, and it is from dirt where we end. Therefore, my favorite Minecraft block would be dirt.”

7. Why did you decide to join improv?

I decided improv because one of my favorite things to do is make people laugh. And it’s usually not because I say a good joke or anything. It’s usually because people are like, ‘Oh, my God. Pity.’ So, I decided that the best way I could share joy and have great people around me— because the theater department is a great place with so many different people and friend groups that all come together— [was to join improv]. Why not just try out for it? Our team captain, Aaron Jachim, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life, and I love him so much. When I found out that he was captain this year, I knew that I had to go for it. Spending time and with the rest of the kids that even just auditioned was such a fun and fulfilling time. So, yeah, that’s why. There’s my other soft answer.”

8. Give us your best car salesman pitch for improv.

Hello laddie, welcome down to this shop. I am so glad that you came in. Today, I am going to tell you about this beautiful, beautiful place, and it’s called Improv Central. See, at Improv Central, there’s a mix and variety of everything you could ever need in life. Do you want a car? Do you want a man? Everything we’ve got, you need. So, I believe you should come down at 7:33 at the FAC. 7:34 is too late. Don’t be there at 7:34. 7:33 on the dot. Just come on down because what else are you going to be doing?”

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