Laser Heart is one of the newest rising troupes coming out of The New Movement Austin training center. This team of talented individuals is fresh off a weekly September slot and hasn’t slowed down since. You can find Laser Heart performing in the Improv mini-marathon on Thursday. Laser Heart consists of the wonderful Reagan Ward, Andy Sams, Ellen Kubecka and Allen Rogers. They spread knowledge from them forming together to thoughts on Nickelodeon Slime.
Laser Heart is making their festival debut at Hell Yes Fest. Are you guys excited? Nervous?
Andy Sams: We’re excited to go hang out in New Orleans with all of our friends and hang out with Chris and Tami. We’ve been asked to step up to the plate several times and I think that we’re nervous heading in, but we all enjoy performing and we kind of thrive a bit off of pressure.
Allen Rogers: Also, it’s really cool what it feels like a really big movement. There’s a lot of momentum right now with people getting off different tours. There’s a lot of buzz. I just read a post today on a New Orleans culture website that is all about Hell Yes Fest. So it’s getting some publicity and there’s a lot of momentum. It’s really cool to be a part of that.
Ellen Kubecka: We’re all insanely gracious and honored to be asked to do this because we’re a fresh new group
You guys haven’t been a troupe for very long, but have been performing regularly since your residency in September. How did you guys come together?
Allen: Maybe a little known fact by the whole theater, but we actually all started in level one class together. We’re only the second troupe to form a troupe from the same class I believe you know what the other one is (ed’s note: Delta Burka). Kind of a brain child of Tami Nelson actually. We came up under her tutelage all the way through.
Andy: Tami kind of took us under her wing right at the beginning. In a way it was her last couple months in town and I think she just bonded with us and we ended up becoming really good friends with her.
How did you come up with such an amazing name?
Reagan Ward: We went back and forth. We had multiple variations of Lasers and Hearts.
Andy: It’s short and compassionate at the same time. It’s a good juxtaposition.
Ellen: Andy wanted “Chip and the Salsa”
How would you describe your style of improv and what can we expect to see in your show?
Allen: Our coach is Vanessa [Gonzalez] and it’s a good personality dynamic, because we kind of play with a goofy lovable feel. It’s a good fit.
Reagan: It’s like a Nickelodeon Slime Hug. And also real hugs afterwards. And high fives.
Ellen: And we’re all made from Gak.
Reagan: And Floam. With hearts made out of silly putty.
How would you explain your compatibility together? Is it hard starting out with just four people?
Ellen: It’s actually a perfect number, because you all get even amount of time to play. Nobody gets stuck in one scene. And you can vary it up really easily.
Reagan: Initially I think it was a little bit interesting getting used to playing with four because in class we had always played with more than that. It was a thing we adapted to really well I think. And as far as Laser Heart as a troupe goes I think four really works because we all sort of like balance each other across the board.
Andy: It’s conducive to different scenes coming about, because our personalities are complimentary but different. It’s nice to have two guys and two girls too, because two girls can go out and do one thing and two guys can go and rock out a different type of scene.
Ellen: It’s a very good balance of personality and gender.
Interview and intro by Mike Breese, writer and improviser at The New Movement Theater in Austin, TX.