The Big HOO-HAA! are turning 8! Since 2010 this rambunctious bunch of hearts and bones have been improvising their way across stages, through festivals, and into the hearts of Melbourne comedy audiences. To celebrate, they’re throwing a 1980s themed show, where the laughs are sure to be as big as the shoulder pads. We caught up with ensemble member Brianna Williams to chat about the upcoming show, and to offer our readers a sweet free double pass!
Congrats on the birthday! 8 years of the Big HOO-HAA! What made you choose an 80s theme for this celebration?
We pick a theme based on the birthday number every year- as you can imagine, eight to eighties was not too much of a stretch!
What do you like most about the 80s?
I was around for five years of them. I very clearly remember one day wearing my She-Ra: Princess of Power t-shirt and screaming the theme song at cars that went by. That’s my favourite part. Also Queen.
What’s your favourite improv game and why?
That’s a hard one to pick, but I can always rely on “New Choice” to make my night. It’s a game where if the ref doesn’t like the last thing you said, they can blow their whistle and say “New Choice”, forcing you to come up with a new line of dialogue. The best part is, the ref never has to stop blowing the whistle. I’ve seen people’s brains explode after having to come up with ten new lines of dialogue on the spot.
You were previously a high school teacher! If you could teach your former students anything you learnt from your comedy career, what would it be?
They should NOT be like me. Stay in school, kids. But also: make as many mistakes as you can so that you know you’ll survive them. Nothing is the end of the world (except the apocalypse).
What’s the strangest improv suggestion an audience member has ever given you?
What’s the best thing about performing with the Big HOO-HAA?
Without sounding trite, it’s the friendships. I’m sure that sounded trite anyway. Just call me Tritey McTrite Face.
Recently you have also hosted the Bachelor Unpacked. Do you like reality TV? What’s the hardest part about doing these recaps?
I like that reality TV is pretty unapologetic about what it is. People deride it, but the most popular Australian shows are reality TV shows, so there’s obviously something about it that people love. The hardest part about doing the recaps is probably knowing that Dan will always have better hair than me. I’ve come to terms with it now, but it’s been hard.
What advice do you have for people looking to do improv (aside from doing classes with the Big HOO-HAA! Of course)
Don’t take it too seriously and just do it. The embarrassment and awkwardness are all a part of it- enjoy the pain! It makes you a better performer and you’ll probably end up hooking up with someone in the class (literally everyone does).
The Big HOO-HAA! Birthday performance is on Saturday 14 July at Howler in Brunswick. For tickets, show details and accessibility information, head to the Big HOO-HAA! website.