Hitchhikers Improv started from the bottom, now they’re here
These champs have gone 0-100 real fast
Improv comedy might have started as a fun hobby for Hitchhikers founders Cam Chomyn and Andrew Parry, but it has since grown into a big part of their lives and helped build on the improv community in Regina.
I sat down with the two Regina funnymen to talk about their beginnings in improv, the creation of Hitchhikers, and the growing community that they have helped to build in Regina.
Both Chomyn and Parry started out at Miller High School in Regina, where they had different ways of getting involved in improv.
“My favourite story about me starting improv was because I had a crush on a girl at the time who was in improv, and I did it to impress her, but that didn’t work out. But she turned out to be one of my greatest friends!” Chomyn says with a smile. “But, as I started doing improve in high school, you kind of just get throw in the community of what improv is, and it is so accepting.”
Parry had a bit of a different approach, being nudged along into the art by friends, and hasn’t looked back after being a part of some of the biggest competitions in Canada.
“Someone had told me that I should just try out and go to the auditions for it. Someone had pushed me, and I thought ‘man I don’t know if I should;’ then I did, and I loved the heck out of it, got on the team that year, and just continued doing it from there.”
When high school ended, though, both Chomyn and Parry didn’t want that to be the end of their improv days, so they got together with fellow improvisers Danny Murphy and Sam Gross, and so the original Hitchhiker’s group was started.
Although things might have started slowly, Chomyn states that things have really picked up as of late, and their popularity has soared, selling out crowds when they used to only be able to sell tickets to their supporting parents. With that increased popularity, changes were made to the Hitchhikers troupe, and it expanded into Hitchhikers the company, bringing in a number of other people along the way.
Chomyn explains, “At the end of last year, we started seeing our shows selling out, and we thought how could we make this bigger, and get more people involved. So we made Hitchhikers the troupe, into Hitchhikers the company. This season we haven’t dropped below 100 people.”
Speaking of shows, the Hitchhikers Christmas show was their best yet, drawing 137 people, which has them as excited as ever to continue that momentum the rest of 2015. With the increased popularity, thoughts of adding shows have become a priority for the group.
“Next year, as of right now, we’re planning on doing two shows on a Friday night, so that improvisers have more stage time and more diversity in the shows,” Parry told me. “And really making a good core to represent to these other people that represents what Regina improv is like.”
Chomyn continued on by saying that improv is just like playing make-believe, but for adults, and that it’s something new every night.
“Whether you see a show in Regina, the same company twice, it is always going to be different, which is the cool thing about the art form.”
One thing is certain. No matter what you see at their shows, it will be a unique and fun experience, full of talented and genuinely funny, hard-working people like Chomyn and Parry.