Brittany White is a big name in the Brisbane impro scene, regularly performing as part of big name events around Brisbane bringing her unique, quick-witted comedy style to anything she’s involved with. She has a certain brand of black comedy which she masterfully handles which is as ridiculous as it is hilarious. It’s no wonder she was one of three representing Queensland for the Theatresports National Championships in Sydney this weekend past. She’s a truly unique performer who often steals the show whenever she’s on stage.
“I’ve done impro for 12 years. I started improvising in June 2005 and have improvised in Canberra and Sydney before joining ImproMafia in Queensland in 2012.”
With a huge backlog of shows that Brittany has been a part of since moving to Brisbane, I asked if there was any one in particular that stuck in her memory as being a favourite.
“There was a wonderful ImproMafia show I performed in at the Brisbane Arts Theatre in 2012 called Critical Hit. I have especially fond memories of that show because it was one of the first shows I did with ImproMafia and it was all about roleplaying games (such as Dungeon & Dragons) which I LOVE.”
Nerdy credentials always go down well with something as niche as Comedy Commentary Cinema.
“I am a giant, inexcusable nerd. But not like one of those cool nerds, one of those really pathetic ones. I once played Final Fantasy 7 on Playstation for more than 24 hours straight without sleeping at all and only barely eating. I turned up to the midnight premiere of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace dressed in costume as the character I played in the Star Wars Roleplaying game I was playing at the time. “
The best kind of nerd, I’m sure you can agree. I wanted to know what Brittany finds funny to get an idea of what we can expect on the night.
“Cats on the internet. Dad jokes. The deal with airline food.”
Perhaps the least controversial answer of all time, take note Trump. Maybe some of that diplomacy comes from Brittany’s background as a principal solicitor at her own law firm. I asked Brittany if there were any overlapping skills in the worlds of comedy and law.
“I remember a time I was sitting in the back of the Courtroom waiting to appear for my matter and watching a poor gentleman being sentenced to time in jail. Police Officers started to escort this man to the watchhouse and he almost got the whole way there before the Magistrate realised he’d accidentally sentenced the wrong person, who was standing just to the right of the guy being dragged off.
I remember another time two unrepresented defendants tried to citizens arrest a Magistrate in the Courtroom for “impersonating a magistrate” because he wouldn’t show them his appointment papers.
Law is comedy. I have to laugh at what I do or I’ll cry. I think that’s the reason why so many lawyers turn to comedy.”
Naturally, my next question was to ask if you could travel back into the past, when would you travel to and what would you do?
“I’d like to go to Renaissance Italy in the late 1400s so that I could meet Leonardo Da Vinci and ask him what it’s like to lead the ninja turtles.
I’d like to go to ancient Egypt and check out the pyramids back in their heydey but preferably without being embalmed.
I’d like to travel back in time and talk to myself at age 16 and tell myself to freaking relax and that everything turns out fine.”
Sage advice indeed. Of course, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t bring up the topic of films. I wanted to know if Brittany was much of a film buff.
“I am the least cool person you will ever meet. I am definitely not that well-informed film buff hipster who knows about cool basement movies that no one has ever heard of.
Saying that, I do watch a lot of popular movies and I do hold controversial opinions. For example, I am shamefully addicted to terrible romantic comedies like Notting Hill and, sure, I objectively know they’re bad, but I can’t stop watching them.
Conversely, my nerd friends will be severely disappointed to hear that I hate mostly every superhero film ever made, with the exceptions of Tim Burton’s and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies and the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies.”
What about the worst thing she’s ever done in a cinema?
“I saw Battlefield Earth. I want my money back, L Ron Hubbard.”
I was ready for something bad, but nothing as sordid as that answer. It was time to up the ante and start asking the heavy hitting questions. I asked what the worst haircut was that Brittany had ever had.
“I once tried to trim my own hair and dyed it green without bleaching it first. It came out looking like sad algae.”
Move over geek pie, the sad algae’s this decade’s look. To end on a high, I asked Brittany what’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to her on stage?
“There are too many amazing moments to count and they’re each special in their own unique way. So although I can’t tell you the most amazing thing, I can tell you one of them. Last night I was in a wonderful scene about a children’s television show called “Catscarf and Friend”, where the presenters Catscarf and Miscellaneous Friend team up and present children’s television whilst also solving crimes. It was just a pub show in front of a tiny audience but it was just so random and fun. That’s what impro is all about.”