We first met Andrew Phung when he MC'd at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards Gala. In our experience, many MCs can be pretty hit or miss, but the audience was literally hanging off every word Andrew said, howling in their seats. We knew Andrew from his role as Kimchee on CBC's hit show Kim's Convenience, but we never realized how funny he was until the night of the gala. That's when we knew we needed to cook up some trouble with him!
We sat down with Andrew over coffee and came up with some ideas about how we could share his story–the story of a local Calgary boy who took his passion for comedy and love of improv and made it to the big leagues. Andrew said a huge contributor to his success was Loose Moose Theatre, a local improvisational theatre known for its world-class techniques, training and presentation. The Moose also happened to be the place where Andrew got his start as the head of the high school improv program. It was easy to come up with the concept for our collaboration from there!
"When I was 16 years old, I first step foot into the Loose Moose Theatre Company and my life was forever changed. The home of Theatresports, the Moose showed me the world of improvised comedy and welcomed me with open arms. It was a place where I could learn, a stage where I could fail, and a green room where I created friendships that will last forever. In short, the Moose is a Calgary comedy institution, a place that true Calgarians know about, and a theatre that performers from around the world have read about.
Photo by Manveer Sandhu
This theatre changed my life and I owe everything to what I learned at the Moose. I wanted to create a custom piece that reflected the theatre and what so many people have learned from it.
The crest on the left side features the iconic Moose, looking upward and majestic. The broken pieces that form the Moose signify the rules we break on stage. As improvisers, we’re trained to build the basics of the scene, and when the time is right, we shake it up to create a change in our characters. That’s the fun of it all and what makes live improv so enjoyable.
Loose Moose collaboration design, created by Erin Lawerence.
When getting ready and prepped for shows, I’ve often written little pieces of advice to myself on my hand or on my wrist. I’d look down before a scene and read the words out quietly. I wanted to carry that tradition and have it reflected in this clothing piece.
These are three of the most important things I’ve learned at the Loose Moose Theatre Company. I’ve learned over the years that being positive, allowing myself to make mistakes and embracing the failure in my life, has made me a better performer, partner, father, and human being. So anytime you need a reminder of some ways to take on the stage, and life, look down at your sleeve and take a deep breath.
I’m so proud to work with Local Laundry on this crewneck sweater. It’s a piece that represents a place so uniquely Calgary, featuring words that have inspired performers and all people, and designed and produced locally.
This is for the Moosers around the world, it’s for anyone who’s laughed at our shows, and it’s for future generations of comedy kids playing silly improv games on weekends with their friends. Long live the Moose!