Joey Lucius was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta where he is currently in his third season with Rapid Fire Theatre. Joey also appears on YTV’s That’s So Weird. His other works include this very bio!
HOW DID YOU END UP AT RAPID FIRE THEATRE?
The first time I attempted improv for an audience was in junior high. I convinced my friends that we didn't need to do any prep for a class project and we could just make it all up on the spot. So we did. Our teacher said he loved it but couldn’t reward us for “literally not doing any work”. 56 per cent. Then, when I was in high school, I saw a few Rapid Fire shows and after I graduated I decided to start taking public workshops the company was offering. I eventually got an invite to audition.
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPROV SCENE?
Well, when I see a scene that I really love they always have one or both of these things: commitment to a performance and the improvisers are clearly having fun. Watching players who really buy into their character and really believe in what their doing on stage gives what you’re watching longevity. You’ll remember a good performance. I saw Marc Schulte do a scene where he played an Asian guy, and he played it so honestly and sincerely. It stuck with me. I also love watching improvisers who are having fun on stage, getting mischievous. There are some improvisers who get that sly grin and you know something hilarious is about to go down.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR AUDIENCE MEMBERS ABOUT PROVIDING SUGGESTIONS?
Get creative. If you’re asked for a location or family relationship, sure a kitchen or brother/sister is great but what about a WWI trench or fraternal twins. I think improvisers want to be excited about the suggestion and if you offer one that gets you excited, that’ll probably stand out.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CHiMPROV TROUPES:
Right now I’m involved with three troupes. One of them is with Joleen Ballendine, Josephine Hendrick, and Joe Vanderhelm. We call ourselves “JoJoJoJo.” The idea is, we each get a shot at playing the same character, so the audience gets to see their hero played four different ways. “The Three Kings” is a bluesy venture with Gordie Lucius and Neil LeGrandeur with Nick Shostak on guitar. And the “Boxcar Children” is a sketch troupe with Gordie, Jessie McPhee, and Tim Mikula. Tons of fun working with three of the funniest guys I know. We’ve written a lot of funny stuff I’m really proud of.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR IMPROV STYLE?
Charactery? I like playing characters. I think I play a lot of middle-aged women - a lot of moms and wives. Weird.
DESCRIBE WORKING FOR RFT IN A SINGLE SENTENCE:
Hell on earth is exactly the opposite of how I would describe working for Rapid Fire.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
I’m a bit of a foodie. I like to eat, I like cooking, and you best believe come the holiday season you’ll catch me watching a Food Network marathon. I actually went on a road trip last year that was heavily influenced by Guy Fieri. Wow, I feel that reveals too much about me.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT ON STAGE?
I once ordered a pizza during a show hoping that when the delivery guy showed up he would join in on the scene. Unfortunately he was too timid. Like terrified. Like pure, sheer terror. God … his eyes. But we have such a great audience. I remember it being one of the loudest responses I’ve heard on stage when everyone was giving him encouragement cheers and applause. Now that I think about it, the noise probably just frightened him even more…
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I spent the past few years working on YTV’s sketch show That’s So Weird. The shows all wrapped up now and I’ve just been loafing around Edmonton. So, in the spring I’m making the move to Toronto for school and to just mix things up. I’m definitely going to miss Edmonton and Rapid Fire. We got a truly wonderful thing going here.