Meet a Comedy Troupe: Falcon Powder
By Brianne Hogan
Falcon Powder may sound like a dry, bird-like substance used in some ancient ritual, but it is actually a Canadian Comedy Award-nominated sketch troupe that promises to “blow the socks off your mind’s feet while punching your heart in the face.” We chatted with member Scott Montgomery about secret inspirations, being the “best of the fest” and finding Buffalo airport.
How did your troupe come about?
Between 1974 and 1977 three Canadian couples living in separate provinces, and who (I might add) knew nothing of one another, procreated, thus literally laying the seeds that would one day become Falcon Powder.
What does Falcon Powder mean, anyway?
The ancients spoke of a rare substance that granted insight — to all those brave enough to coat themselves in it — into the true nature reality, as if seeing it from above like a soaring raptor. The name of that magical substance has long since been forgotten, and anyway it’s got nothing to do with Falcon Powder, which Kurt [Smeaton] thought up at a bar.
What can people expect from seeing your show?
I’d love to say “expect to be surprised,” but if you tell someone to expect a surprise it kind of neutralizes the element of surprise, so I definitely won’t say that. What I will say is this: collectively, we’ve been at this a long time, and we really love performing together. Unfortunately, we don’t get to do it as much as we’d like because, though we all work in showbiz full time, Falcon Powder in and of itself is not our “job,” so when we get the opportunity, we give it everything we’ve got. That’s probably not a very cool answer, but there you have it.
What’s your biggest achievement so far?
Finding the Buffalo airport. Too late, alas. Beyond that, getting nominated for the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Sketch Troupe in 2011 was pretty keen. Being the first local troupe named Best of the Fest at the Toronto Sketch Festival back in 2010 was great, then to win it two years in a row was both unexpected and quite an honour. But, yeah, probably the Buffalo airport thing, we really collaborated on that one.
You’ve played in a variety of sketch fests. What was the most memorable moment?
They say comedy festivals are like the ’60s: if you can remember them, you weren’t really there. Actually, no one says that. Well I do I guess, right now, but I don’t really mean it. Frankly, I remember every moment we’ve ever been on stage like it happened five minutes ago. I do not, however, remember the question.
What do you love most about sketch comedy?
Oh, the piles of money, the respect and admiration of bankers, lawyers and captains of industry, speedboat rides down the French Riviera, giraffe fights.... Who could choose?
Where do you find your inspiration for your sketches?
Our inspiration is our secret ingredient. In fact, it’s so secret even we don’t know it.
Who would you love to perform with?
Honestly, I think we’d all like to have the time to perform with each other more.
What’s next on your agenda?
Well, we’ve got the Best of the Fest Encore shows this week in Toronto, then we’re heading down to the Los Angeles Comedy Festival. After that, the sky’s the limit, because if history teaches anything it’s that going to Los Angeles always leads to triumph and fame...right?
Year established: 2007ish
Cast members: Jim Annan, Kurt Smeaton, Scott Montgomery
Influences: “Well, we all like The Marx Brothers a lot.”
Catch them at: The Best of the Fest Encore Weekend (The Second City, 51 Mercer Street, 416-343-0011. April 12, 10:30 p.m. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave., 416-915-6747. April 13, 9:30 p.m.)