Interview with Arnaud Pierre

Get to know Arnaud Pierre, instructor of the Comedic Improvisation (Intro) workshop and many of HCAC’s comedy & improvisation workshops. This french acteur and comédian has experience with a number of improvisation formats such as Keith Johnstone, Del Close’s organic approach and Viola Spolin’s games-based format.

Arnaud Teaching7 - Credit HCAC

Arnaud has performed with a variety of different improv troupes in France, and in national and international festivals. Arnaud arrived in Singapore in 2012, wide-eyed and eager to experience the Improv scene in the Lion City. More about Arnaud and our instructors here.

We asked him 10 Questions in our last interview with him. But let’s get to know more about Arnaud’s beginnings, his influences and aspirations.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a baguette in the chicken rice land. I also happen to be an improviser striving for great improv scenes. I have been practicing this art form for more than 10 years and I really want it to get the same recognization as any other kind of theatre.

2. What is one thing that we don’t know just by looking at you?

I ended up in the top 10 at a competitive exam involving more than 5000 students. The education system was made for people like me but I always felt that there was something wrong with it. The school programs didn’t develop my potential as much as improv did. It was not before I started to act on stage that I began to learn about life and who I was.

3. How old were you when you first started getting involved with theatre?

If low-quality movies shot in my backyard counts, then it’s something like 7, but I acted in my real first play when I was 12.

4. Tell us your favourite memory as a performer.

A rhyming improv scene in Alexandrines, during a match. The category was “Greek Tragedy”. I loved the challenge of the genre, the rhyming, the verse construction… it was hard but lots of training helped me to nail that scene. The audience was on the edge of their seats. The players were completely helping each other. It was some kind of communion moment where we forgot everything and just lived for the craft. Probably my greatest “stage high”.

5. Who is your favourite theatre practitioner?

Keith Johnstone has the most influence on me because he is all about freeing your mind.

6. What do you teach?

Improvisation Theatre, Storytelling, Acting and Game-Design. Some people say I teach Comedy, but to me it’s just a by-product of all of these. Comedy comes to you when you don’t look for it.

7. What is your teaching philosophy?

  • Right and Wrong do not exist. Let’s see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Failing is a good thing. Let it teach you.
  • Fun frees intelligence. Let’s have some fun!

8. What skills, values or mindset do you most want to impart to your students?

Fear is a talent thief. Once you will get rid of fear, you will have more fun than ever had.

9. Tell us your favorite memory as a teacher.

Seeing my students doing a hilarious scene on their own during the Shanghai Improv Festival. It was fun, honest and thrilling. The smiles on their face right after was memorable…

10. What do you wish you’d known before you started your journey as a theatre maker?

Theatre is a collective art. There are limitations to your influence on the quality of the play. And you have to be ok with that.

11. What do you hope for the future of theatre to be like?

May it stay true to its medium and not try to imitate the cinema. May it not confuse eccentricity for originality. May it keep questioning the world we live in.

Watch this video to learn more about Arnaud Pierre’s Comedic Improvisation workshop!

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