Guerrilla Troupe member Tiffany Navarro talks bicycles and lovers

Navarro practices her improv with Flower Mound senior Addison Pattillo and Jacksonville, Fla., junior Grant Virtue, fellow Guerrilla Troupe members. Photo credit: Penelope Shirey

Guerrilla Troupe is hosting its last independent show of the semester at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. today, as well as at 10 p.m. tomorrow, in Jones Theatre.

The show is titled “Where in the World is G Troupe?” due to the fact that the last time the gang all performed together was during Guerrilla Troupe’s Sing Spectacular in February. This weekend, audience members can take advantage of their last opportunity to see Guerrilla Troupe in full swing before summer break arrives.

In its decade-long existence, Guerrilla Troupe’s popularity has skyrocketed from 15 audience members a night to selling out three performances in a row in one of the biggest theaters on campus.

“The new people coming into G-Troupe are the ones reenergizing it,” Spicewood junior Tiffany Navarro said. “And I think it’s cool that it’s lasted this long.”

Guerrilla Troupe will also be featured from 11 a.m. to noon on Diadeloso at the Bill Daniel Student Center’s SUB Bowl. Although it will not be a full-length, independent show, it will be Guerrilla Troupe’s final appearance this semester.

The Lariat sat down with Navarro to talk about her ups and downs in Guerrilla Troupe.

Meet the Members of Guerrilla Troupe: Tiffany Navarro

What made you want to join Guerrilla Troupe?

When I was a freshman, I remember watching G-Troupe and thinking, “Wow, these people are so cool, I can’t believe they can do this.” My friends I’d made in the theater department freshman year told me I was funny and should audition.

I auditioned my freshman year and didn’t get a callback. I was super discouraged, because I thought that they thought I was funny.

I started becoming really good friends with some of the people in the Troupe, and they took me under their wing as a little freshman. They explained improv to me, because just being funny isn’t enough to be in G-Troupe. You have to know how to do improv. When the auditions came around the second time, I actually kind of knew how to do it. I got a callback and then I got in, and I was super stoked about it.

What was your first defining moment in Guerrilla Troupe?

The first thing I remember about G-Troupe was hating it. I got in and I was like, “Cool, I’m in.” Then we started rehearsals and then I had to actually start doing it. I wouldn’t know what to do and was really unsure of myself. They’d try to direct me and say, “Just get out of your head. You’re thinking too hard.” They started yelling at me, and I wanted to quit.

My first show came up, and I was so nervous. I thought it was going to be a nightmare. It took me two or three shows to think, “Why am I nervous?” I can’t plan anything that’s going to happen. There’s literally nothing you can prepare for.

What do you hope to achieve from improv acting?

I want to move to Chicago after school. Henry [Greenberg], Garrett [Williams] and Rachel [Smith] all moved up to Chicago, and they’re taking classes at Second City. That’s kind of what I want to do. I’ve actually applied for a bunch of internships in Chicago this summer so I can take classes at Second City and work up there. That’s my goal with it. And just having improv training is great for being an actor.

I’m a director now too, so working with actors who are willing to try things and come up with stuff on their own is so much easier than having to pull things out of them. Improv has helped me in my acting and my directing. It’s helped me be in groups because I can get people pumped up about stuff. Going forward, I do want to pursue comedy, but it’s also helped me do theater and do anything.

What would you tell any Guerrilla Troupe newcomers that are considering coming out to the show?

I would tell them that one, it’s cheap entertainment, which is great for college students. Something you can’t get from movies is the live aspect of it. When you go watch a funny movie in the theaters, the audience is going to laugh at the same parts every time because it’s how the script was written. Nothing is going to change about the movie, and you can see it a bunch of times, which is a great thing. But the thing about seeing live theater and improv is that you’re seeing a show that’s never been done before and never will happen again. It’s a one-time experience that you get. It’s a fun, simple, laid-back thing. You just get to watch people be goofballs in front of you.

What was your best improv moment?

My favorite improv moment was when Rachel Smith and I were playing the Ding game, and we were playing sister wives. That was my favorite moment ever. The huge part was that Rachel is so good, and that’s something I love about being in the Troupe with older members. They kind of carry the weight, and you just get to be funny and not have to try too hard because they know exactly what they’re doing.

And your worst?

Sometimes the worst ones end up being the funniest. I remember one time when I was just mortified was when we were playing the Line game, where people write lines out for us. The plot got super messed up. I called someone my husband, and then he called me his sister, and we just weren’t listening to each other. The scene was really messy. I just walked across the stage and said, “I have many lovers.” It was super funny and everyone laughed, but I thought “Why did I just say that?” I had just assumed this character that has all these husbands and lovers. It was a nightmare. I remember that one being super embarrassing.

Tell us one thing about yourself.

Wow, so much pressure. Well, I was never taught to ride a bike. I actually don’t know how to ride a bike and I’ve never ridden one. I think I could do it if I was given a bike. I danced, so I have balance. But I’ve never been granted the opportunity to ride a bike in my whole life. When I was a little kid, I’d play poker with my dad, but I never got the bike. I came to college and saw so many people riding bikes and realized I’d missed out on a crucial life skill. People have been promising to teach me since the third grade, but no one’s followed through, so now I have extreme trust issues with people who know how to ride bikes.

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