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Leave the maroon and blues at home … this is a State of the Origin that requires some real balls. We speak to actor and comedienne Bridie Connell, repping NSW for the Cranston Cup-carrying dysleXia Men, as she flexes her funny bone in the warm up to the big game.

So, theatresports. Scary for most. How do you get in “the zone”?  Honestly, it’s not as much about psyching myself up as it is calming myself down! I like to feel relaxed before a big show, so that I can be at my funniest with no distractions. Whiskey can help with this.

What do you do when an on-stage moment starts to take a nosedive? Past experience has taught me that running screaming into the audience isn’t the best way to deal with this, so now I just try to laugh it off and keep going. Even the best players will have the occasional dud scene, but it’s just trying to find the fun in every moment and not worry too much!

Funniest moment in competition so far? At the Cranston Cup Grand Final last year, the (very-funny) hosts were lowered onto stage from a great height wearing superhero costumes. Seeing two grown women simultaneously fulfil a childhood dream of flying and battle with the pain of a too-tight harness will stay with me for a while.

What secret weapon does the NSW team have up its sleeve?  We have all kinds of psychological warfare tactics to deploy on the night. That, and a range of funny hats.

Which past winner serves as inspiration to the team? Bec de Unamuno, who’s going to host the nationals, is a personal hero. She’s a former world champ and is one of the funniest people I know. She’s super inventive and never misses a beat on stage.

If you win, the first thing you’ll do is … Tell my school careers counsellor “See! Impro is a viable career option! Right? Right?”

May 19, 8pm, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Enmore, $36-56, 9020 6966, improaustralia.com.au