My mother was an actress in London back in the 1960s. In 1967, one-hundred years after Canada got it's independence from Britain, the British returned in the form of my mum. She met my dad that summer, decided to permanently move to Toronto, got married, and had two ginormous babies. Needless to say, she shelved her acting career.
After retirement, my mum chose to get back into acting. She joined a retired actors group, and she has been performing in plays and musicals ever since. My eighty-year-old mother is a big reason why I started performing improv again.
My history with improv began with training at Second City in Toronto. After graduation, I moved to Ireland, where I started an improv troupe. Together we performed weekly shows that I always looked forward to. When I moved back to Toronto, I tried to get another troupe together but my attempts failed. So I gave up on improv altogether.
My Passion for Performance
One of my biggest pleasures is to speak at conferences and events. I love sharing stories with actionable advice that help people move forward in their businesses and careers.
Last year, I was invited to do a presentation at Hubspot's Inbound, which is a marketing conference in Boston. I felt like I would be preaching to the converted if my presentation was yet another one about marketing. So, I decided to do my talk about the lessons I have learned from studying and performing improvisation. My presentation, Improve with Improv, also inspired my mini ebook of the same name.
I have always had a deep love for reading, writing, watching, and performing comedy. Last summer, I read Judd Apatow's Sick In The Head, which features his inspiring interviews with many of the most famous comedians out there. The guest's stories in his book made me crave improv.
As I was online, I noticed an open audition announcement from Nashville Improv. On a whim, I decided to go and give it a shot. I didn't tell Heather or any of my friends that I was doing it. Next thing I knew, I had a callback to return for a second audition. As it turned out, I was accepted as a cast member in the company.
OMG, I'm in an improv troupe again!
Each Monday night, I get to enjoy rehearsing improv with an impressive cast of actors and comedians. The company directors, Lacie Madison and Michael Kearney, are not only incredibly gifted people, but they are clearly passionate about improv and Nashville's thriving comedy community. So far, we have performed live together twice and tonight, I get to do it again (at Zanies at 8 pm, you should come).
Your turn. Now start.
I got back into improv for a few main reasons.
- I wanted to tap into another creative medium.
- I needed to get outside of my comfort zone.
- With a dad with dementia, I understand the importance of strengthening my brain.
- I understand that life is too short not to enjoy what makes us happy.
What passions have you shelved for whatever reason? Take a moment now and jot them down on a piece of paper. Review what you wrote. Which of these passions would be okay to tap back into? Don't do it as a business move, do it as a gift to yourself. Now jot down a few steps it will take for you to get started. Now start.