Thirty-something Will Hinesting of Booger Hole, West Virginia is a janitor at the improv dojo tucked away high up in the Appalachian Mountains. When famous actor Stellan Skarsgård posts a difficult improv scene scenario on a blackboard as a challenge for his pirate, ninja and robot students, Will solves the problem anonymously, stunning both the students and professor Skarsgård. Then improv teacher Robin Williams shows up and hangs out with Will Hinesting a bunch. A lot of crazy stuff happens, such as celebrities Minnie Driver and Casey Affleck popping up repeatedly. Basically, that guy Robin Williams (played by renowned improv teacher Will Hines) teaches Will Hinesting (played by Jan Roger Henden) lots of good life lessons and they learn and grow together before Will makes an important life decision. The entire thing was really a 126-minute-long improv set all along, which ironically won some big award for ‘Best Original Screenplay’.
Just like in the film, Will Hines is in real life a terrific improv teacher. For over two decades he has trained, performed and taught at the famous ‘Upright Citizens Brigade’ both in the Big Apple and La-La Land. Hines is also an actor and has appeared in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’. In addition to having written ‘How to be the Greatest Improviser on Earth’ he is also the co-author of ‘Pirate Robot Ninja: An Improv Fable’. This was quite eye-opening for us at Broken Chair Improv, helping us learn what type of improviser we are and how we can play to our strengths. And that’s a good life lesson in general, isn’t it? Everyone has different skill sets but we can complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work together to create art and solve problems.
Stop press: Thanks to The Atom Improv, Will’s running a workshop in Liverpool tomorrow and there a couple of tickets left (if you’re quick). Why not take advantage of this rare opportunity and learn from a master.