Improvisation, Surprise and Laughter – Starlight Foundation & Icarus Troupe
by Jessica Flood.
I’m a filmmaker. I’ve the luxury of a second take, which suits me fine as a perfectionist – but a lot of my mates are street performers, and if they bomb, there’s no safety net, just the hard concrete of a disapproving audience.
Averil Yeo and Sally Dulson are two such mates. The pair both work for Icarus, a Sydney based performance company, which has jetted them everywhere from the Glastonbury Festival to an Indian wedding in Turkey. Such travel has revealed the way in which audiences differ worldwide, the vocality of Japanese fans versus the quieter reactions of Aussies. Both say improvisation and street theatre has affected their performances in more traditional forms, as well as their personalities.
Yeo and Dulson also work at the Starlight Children’s Foundation – Sally as a Captain Starlight, Averil as manager (though once a Captain herself). Rather than creating characters, Captain Starlights must take the best parts of themselves, and give that to the seriously ill children whom they entertain. This in itself is a skill helped by years of performing on the streets. It creates a filter, through which a performer might assess the personality type of an audience member, and alter their character and act accordingly.
Tune in next Thursday at 6pm to Eastside 89.7FM to hear Julian Ramundi give you your weekly guide to alternative arts and culture.