Spitfire Spotlight: Betsy Roller
What's your day job?
I am an Instructional Staff Developer and Special Olympics Director with Pinellas County Schools.
Do you have any hobbies outside of improv?
I love to cook, especially for a crowd; my husband and I are huge Marvel fans; we kayak on the water by our home; I am a novice gardener, trying to learn to grow things in the Florida heat; I used to sing in a couple a cappella groups but haven't picked that back up since we moved to Florida; I love the beach; and I read as often and as many books as possible!
What drew you to improv?
My husband, Brian Roller, has been an improv performer for about 15 years and I have always loved watching him perform. We actually met when I brought a client to a workshop his improv troupe was hosting and was talked into auditioning with my client. I didn't get into the troupe because I had zero experience, but I got my best friend and most favorite person out of the experience so that's a definite win. I was drawn to classes at Spitfire because, although my daytime job has me in front of crowds frequently, it is a very controlled and structured "performance" in front of large groups. Improv allows me to cut loose and just have fun, letting my inner snark fly, without having to temper or censor my words.
What do you like to do most on stage?
When I step into a scene, I like to challenge my current barriers by assuming a role that I am less comfortable with, or that others don't anticipate, in order to find new ways to be present.
What makes a good scene in your opinion?
For me, a good scene carries the audience along, lets them in on the joke, so they feel they have a part in what is happening, rather than just being an outside observer, immersing them in the world you are creating.
What's the most memorable moment you've had at Spitfire?
I am so new to the experience I have few memories to share! I suppose my favorite memory this early on would be performing for the first time in the Level 1 Showcase and feeling good about the results. I'm a very self-critical person so it is a pretty big deal for me to feel positive after the first time I do something.
How would you explain Spitfire shows to someone who's never been?
When I explain the shows to a new audience member, I tell them they are different to most any other live show you can attend because you get to have an active role in how the show develops. It's like Choose Your Own Adventure in show format!
How would you describe the Spitfire community in 5 words or less?
I would describe the community at Spitfire as: Supportive, Brilliant, Enthusiastic, and Eclectic.
You can see Betsy perform in her Level 2 Showcase on our YouTube channel.