By Mia Maaytah
Liked., a Toronto-based improv-group, performed an interactive comedy show on Jan. 10 at the Bad Dog Comedy Theatre, by interpreting an audience member’s Instagram posts and impersonating her life.
The group of seven performers, which featured second-year journalism student Carley Thorne and fourth-year philosophy student Emma Decourte, worked together to satirically recreate the life of a randomly chosen audience member, by scrolling through her Instagram profile and asking questions about her pictures.
“How fun would it be to improvise an audience member’s lifestyle,” said Thorne, referring to how the idea came about.
Once they had learned enough about the attendee, the performers took on different roles in her life: her athletic best friend, her overprotective mother, her pet cat Oreo, even her coffee-and-John-Mayer-obsessed ex-boyfriend.
Casidhe Gardiner, who had her Instagram on display and parodied during the show, said the experience showcased how social media can help create a separate online identity for some. She said that although she shares pictures infrequently on Instagram, she still only shares the ones that maintain a certain image.
“I use [Instagram] to share snips of my life, but it definitely still only reflects the snips I want people to see, not the whole picture,” said Gardiner. “It’s a space to create a brand or perception of yourself.”
But that’s not even what Liked. initially set out to highlight. Thorne added that the group originally wanted to use interviewing as a method to learn about someone in the crowd, but believed they wouldn’t learn enough in the time they had. That’s when they turned to social media.
“What’s the easiest way to get the most information about somebody? Because people are bad at being interviewed and we were like, ‘oh we’ll just do it on their Instagram,’” said Thorne.
The idea of creeping attendees’ Instagram accounts was inspired by the science-fiction television series Black Mirror.
“From a really dumb idea we were able to build a more philosophical, serious meaning to [the show] afterwards.”
Liked. hits the stage again on Feb. 8 at the Bad Dog Comedy Theatre.