I’d like to share a commercial in which I had the pleasure of performing. It was so fun, and so funny and I was so lucky to be cast in it. I also think it’s real fitting that the first speaking role I get in an ad is for a CBD product. Truly, it all add up!
I really gotta write in this blog more. And not only when friggin’ sweet stuff happens.
I’m not saying I was some filthy dirtbag at work or anything. Just that I remember doing laundry was always a scramble. And maybe it still is from time to time. And maybe you’re thinking: “Why is this so-called comedian talking about laundry?” Well, you do laundry, don’t you? We all do freakin’ laundry! It’s just nice to be able to get ready to go to an audition, or to go play softball, or to have a gig at night, and not have to fish out what I want to wear out of the dirty clothes basket, or the floor for that matter in all it’s wrinkly, deodorant-stained splendour.
Also, this is ultimately more about time than it is laundry. It’s nice to have the time to do basic human maintenance.
Sometimes, it’s these little things that stand out and need acknowledging.
What are some of the little things you do to help keep you feeling positive?
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this thing, and what’s the point of having a blog if not to post? I guess I’ve been feeling the need to post something profound or meaningful like other bloggers I follow who put a bunch of preparation and research into their pieces. But that was never the point of Clown College Confessions.
CCC exists so that years down the line I can remind myself of what was going on throughout the stages of my journey in comedy from clown college onward. And, if it can help / entertain others along the way, bonus round! Let’s take a look at what’s new then, shall we?
I’m so stoked to be in a Fringe show this year. Last year I stage managed a really awesome show, but I learned that working the tech could never satiate the desire to be on stage. So, the opportunity to perform this year is a huge #blessing for me. I’m playing a Mom/Teacher (totally my wheelhouse) in a Kids Fringe show called “Boy vs. Fly.” If you have kids, nieces, nephews or you just like cute shows, you should totally check it out.
In the Soil
St. Catharines, or the Niagara Region, I should say, doesn’t have a Fringe festival per se. They do have something called In the Soil, which is organized by the Suitcase in Point theatre company. A huge endeavour to showcase visual and performing artists of the Niagara Region.
I was very happy when I found out Improv Niagara was accepted to In the Soil this year. The point of the festival this year (or maybe every year?) is to present something brand new that audiences have never seen a particular company present. For IN, who regularly perform a short form competition show, we were happy to try something new to us. Narrative longform improv. *insert dramatic sting.
We rehearsed a BUNCH. IN is the first team I’ve really coached/directed, so it was friggin’ incredible to see a few things:
The progress from the first time we tried to run a long form and were like “wait, how do we include all these extra bits if we’ve never just done narrative before?!” Rewind, let’s start from the beginning.
The progress from the first time we got to like, 20 minutes and thought that was a victory, knowing eventually the show we were going to put on would be closer to 50 mins.
Seeing the group come together, learn each other’s and their own individual strengths and weaknesses working them over and over again in rehearsal as we improvised a number of different books from sci-fi to Harlequin romance. Not to mention the discovering the complications of time-travel.
The audience’s delighted response when we finally got to put Off the Shelf on its feet. Knowing the hard work paid off and that people were following along with our story as it built up to a ridiculous blaze of gun-shot sound effects (as these things do.) Ugh, what a fun and special and proud and awesome feeling.
Oh hey, I don’t thing I posted at all about opening a studio space, but we did that too. (Improv Niagara, that is.) Lots of stuff keeps happening, and for some reason I don’t think it’s worthy to blog about. But it is. It’s awesome. And I’ll try to keep it up.
Oh yeah, ALSO… the Niagara Region released some of the short videos we created a while back. Check out the first one, and then just keep watching them all and learn to recycle properly, k?
What are you working on that’s awesome these days?
How epic was this Friday’s Improv Fallout?! The house was absolutely packed. There was a line-up to get in. A line-up! People came from out of town (read: another country) to see the show, to laugh with us and to celebrate.
The support from the community in Niagara has been absolutely incredible, and I mean that. Because I know what it’s like to put on a show, and to have it fall flat with low support from community. I know what that feels like when you put on a show that you think people will really enjoy, you assemble a great cast, and the concept for the show is really interesting, then for months, nobody shows.
Because I know what that’s like, and because I know how much the cast of Improv Fallout actually cares about getting up there and doing their best, supporting one another, and putting in the effort, judgement-free and enthusiastic, that’s why I feel a whole year of Improv Fallout is nothing short of a triumph.
That’s why I feel honoured when new audience members come to check us out. That’s why I feel proud when audiences return time and again.
This cast is an ensemble. They have grown together. They lift one another up.
No pretence. No competition. They prioritize learning, growing, friendship and in-so-doing, they make funny, funny magic.
I feel lucky to be a part of it.
Photos by Erica Sherwood. Except the one OF her. Who took that one?
For me, the problem doesn’t seem to be judging based on what we would like other people to be, but rather judging people based on past encounters or experience we’ve had with them or witnessing them.
Ideally, I wouldn’t judge anyone at all, really. But as a social creature, and an anxious one, I tend to build up walls to protect myself in different scenarios and judgement becomes a defence mechanism used to avoid getting hurt.
Recently, I feel like this defence has been bumming me out more than protecting me, so I’m trying to work on it.
I don’t condone this is in my improv, so why should I live by it?
In an effort to practice mindfulness, I’m trying to distance myself from thoughts about past interactions, observations and assumptions about people and working double-time on just being present with everyone I encounter, so that each new moment is a better opportunity for meaningful connection.
So far, I haven’t been great at it. In my mind, I already ruined brunch with two wonderful colleagues by complaining about situations over which I have no control. I should have just been present, enjoyed their company, and made new moments and memories (rather than obsessing over old, shitty ego wounds.)
But I will continue trying. And failing. And hopefully get better and better at just being with the multiple wonderful humans I have the pleasure of encountering in this incredible comedy community of which I am lucky to be a part.
Sometimes, you teach a drop-in improv class, and a dude who’s never done improv before pitches to your class a “Loving Clock” (because that’s the nature of the game you’re playing – and that was the suggestion he received) – and for the rest of your week (and maybe life) you sweetly say:
“Babygirl, I love you!”
… every single time you check to see what time it is.
Have you heard an improv quote that’s either a) positively reinforced your attitude permanently or b) you’ve never been able to get out of your head? What was it?