Colin Mochrie applies improv lessons to writing, life

WINNIPEG – Colin Mochrie’s new book, Not Quite the Classics, takes a common improv game and gives it a new twist.

Mochrie, who gained fame on the TV improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, is in Winnipeg Tuesday to promote the book and perform An Evening with Colin Mochrie at the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre.

For his first book, Mochrie took the first and last lines from classic tales and wrote new stories in between, creating The Grateful Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) and The Cat and My Dad (The Cat in the Hat), among others.

The idea came from an improv game called First Line, Last Line, in which the audience supplies the first and last lines of a sketch and the actors take it from there.

“I really have no idea how to write a book so I was just doing whatever came out of my head, which is sometimes scary,” he told Derek Taylor on Global Winnipeg’s Morning News.

Mochrie said using the rules of improv also works well in life.

“I’m trying to apply improv more to my actual life,“ he said. “All the rules of improv are things we don’t do in real life. You’re supposed to listen, you accept people’s ideas and you build on it, you work as a group – and I never do that in my real life, either, and I really should.

“It only took me 40 years to learn that,” he said with a laugh.

Writing a book was a new endeavour for Mochrie and he said it was a lot of work.

He’s not a fan of work – he was drawn to improv because there are no lines to learn, no costumes to wear, no gear to haul – so he’s not sure he’ll write another, he said.

“I’m hoping it’s like childbirth and you forget what it was like the first time and have another one.”

© 2013 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories