Madi didn't give one damn about sci-fi growing up.
Madi Goff is co-directing Encounter at Impro Studio. The Ripleys asked her questions so that you can get to know one of our amazing directors and what inspired her to work on Encounter. We hope you get to learn more about Madi, her love of sci-fi, and cool secrets about the show!!
At what age did you get interested in sci-fi?
My first experience with sci-fi was - most likely - when I started watching Doctor Who in college, preparing for a narrative improv show. I wasn't exposed to a lot of media as a kid. I grew up in the Texas hill country, and I can't remember even having a TV. I'm sure we had one... maybe... maybe not. But in any case, as soon as I started watching Doctor Who, I. WAS. HOOKED. Hooked on Doctor Who and on the genre as a whole.
What are your favorite sci-fi stories? Why do they speak to you?
It might be cliche and selfish, but I dig stories I can relate to: stories where characters have lost the same things I've lost or want the same things I want. I'm also inspired by characters who love someone or some creature in a big way. Unconditional love is fascinating and utterly captivating to me. The way The Doctor loves humans. Picard loves his crew. The love between Han and Leia, broken at times, but arguably unconditional. And there's a great deal of pain that comes with unconditional love. I relate to that as well. I adore narratives that lift up some overlooked element of an underdog. They awaken empathy in real humans and serve to unite us. Very specifically, I'm into lonely, off-center, misfits with big hearts who make big mistakes and their little families of weirdos that ban together to resist the bullies of the universe.
Why do you think sci-fi is important to the world?
Sci-fi is a place where everyone is included and anything is possible. The genre gets to both look towards the future and reframe the past with one eye on hope and the other on doom. Sci-fi storytellers get to explore the infinite "what ifs" of our existence. We can learn from our mistakes and reshape our future with lessons from the sci-fi universe.
What's your favorite character from a sci-fi story?
Doctor Who at this very moment. But ask me in two minutes, and it'll be Han Solo. And two minutes after that: Rocket Raccoon, or Sam Bell, or WALL-E.
Is there anything special about Encounter we should look forward to?
Oh yes. But my lips are zipped. You'll have to come see it for yourself.