Maddie Parker recently crunched the numbers, and it turns out she’s been improvising for more of her life than not. She’s also an actor, writer, and producer.
Maddie considers herself very lucky to have been able to learn, perform and teach improvisation in Sydney, across Australia, and around the world. Her favourite moments have been performing in New York as part of the Del Close Marathon (twice!), winning ITS Smackdown as one half of duo The Wine Mums, and being awarded best character at the 2018 New Zealand Improv Festival for playing an aggressively feminist space captain. Improvising makes her happier than almost anything, and she plans to keep doing it for a very long time.
A strongly intuitive improviser (a euphemism for ’never trained anywhere’), Maddie believes that the best way to learn improvisation is just to get up and do it (that’s how she did it). She knows that there is no single way of approaching improv that will work for everyone, and so as a teacher she encourages her students to experiment, explore and occasionally get it oh-so wrong, to help figure out what works best for them. She lives for the moment when a student’s eyes light up in that ‘ohhhhh, I get it’ moment. Her style of play is strongly relationship- and character-based; she strives at all times to make her improv collaborative, playful and joyful.
Maddie’s other passions are saving the planet (she’s currently completing her Masters in Sustainability), birdwatching, and sewing.