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dear Toronto:

Please come to JUST KIDDING tonight.

It’s at a bar called the Black Swan, just a little ways east of Broadview and Danforth.

It costs $10 for students, $12 for regular folks.

It’ll consist of funny people reading material they wrote when they were kids.

And 100% of the proceeds are benefiting the LGBT Youthline, truly one of the more worthy causes I can think of.

I’ll be there and so will my boyfriend. COME LAUGH WITH US!

there was a thread on reddit tonight asking women what interests/skills/talents they find instantly sexy in a man.

i said: playing a musical instrument/being interested in music, being a good writer, involvement in theatre and/or improv.

apparently people liked my comment because it got a lot of upvotes… but several people (men) commented to say some variation of, “your ideal man is gay.”

look, i don’t care how “funny” you think that is - it’s factually incorrect and it’s also disgusting to say that.

i went to an arts high school, and honestly? there weren’t even that many gay guys there. i don’t even think there was necessarily a higher proportion of male queerness at my school than there was in the real world, which i guess would be surprising to some people.

but it’s not surprising to me. an interest in the arts is not a “feminine” quality. humans are, as a rule, interested in the arts. that’s why the arts have survived this long in our collective culture.

i can honestly say that i see no correlation in my own life between guys who are gay and guys who are interested in the arts. my own boyfriend, who is the straightest guy i know, is a pixel artist, has a strong interest in music, and comes with me to improv shows regularly. my brother, who’s primarily straight, plays more than 4 different musical instruments, writes his own songs, and even takes theatre history classes at school. and there were a bunch of boys on the improv team i coached, and the teams i was a part of in high school, who were straight, as far as i’m aware (liam, sasa, nick, connor, stefan, alex) but are nonetheless brilliant improvisors and very much interested in that side of theatre. many of them even pursue theatre in other ways (i know nick, for example, was in summerworks last year, stefan is at actors’ college, and connor was considering going into theatre tech as a profession).

i think some straight guys accuse artsy guys of being gay because they’re jealous of that artsiness. and they have a right to be jealous of that, because artsy guys are incredibly sexy and desirable and interesting and wonderful. but not all of them are gay. in fact, maybe one-tenth of the guys i met in my theatre classes were even a little bit gay.

(plus, who the fuck cares if i want to date a guy who’s “a little bit gay” anyway? i’ve dated two bi guys and there really is no practical difference, incase any biphobic stereotypin’ motherfuckers are out there and are convinced that bi guys can’t be good boyfriends to ladies. they can.)


Yeah. My high school’s improv team occasionally got up to some ill-advised hi-jinks. We were cool kids. That’s what happens when you always “yes and.”

This happened. And Kathleen drew it. And it’s awesome.

Listen. Say yes. Live in the moment. Make sure you play with people who have your back. Make big choices early and often. Don’t start a scene where two people are talking about jumping out of a plane, start the scene having already jumped. If you’re scared, look into your partner’s eyes. You will feel better.

—Amy Poehler on how improv lessons apply to life

I need your help!

I’ve been doing this exercise called Fast Food Stanislavski with the kids in my improv club.

Basically, the game consists of giving each player (there are two) a motive or intention for the scene, without telling them what the other player’s conflicting intention is.

Then they improvise a scene using these motives, being as creative & varied as possible in the ways they try to get the other player to do what they want.

e.g. Player A has planned a surprise party for Player B. The party is in the other room. A wants B to go into the other room, but all B wants to do is seduce A & keep him/her in the bedroom for sexytymez.

e.g. Player A is going to propose to Player B, & has hidden an engagement ring in the food. B secretly loathes A’s food & doesn’t want to eat it because it gives him/her stomach cramps.

e.g. Player A is an alcoholic, has had a hard day at work, & just wants to drink the booze that they’ve hidden in the bathroom. Player B has just found said booze, & wants to keep A away from it.

I’m having trouble thinking of more scenarios like this that would work. Any ideas, Tumblr?

getting back into the swing of things

Today I started my new job running the improv club/team at my old high school. It feels weird even referring to it as a “job” because a) the time commitment is only 2-3 hours a week & b) it’s something I love so much, I would gladly do it for free (& was intending on asking if I could do so, when I was offered the position as a paid opportunity).

It felt so, so good to return to Rosedale. I think coaching the team is an excellent thing for me to be doing during my gap year, because it’ll make the transition from high school to “real life” a bit smoother - I didn’t have to completely say goodbye to my beloved school when I graduated from it in June. That knowledge was enough to keep me from completely falling apart on my last day.

After a somewhat depressing week spent job-hunting, making half-hearted plans, & fretting about my decision to take a year off, this afternoon was an absolute ray of sunshine. I got to go to my old cafeteria & play drama games with a bunch of enthusiastic high school students for an hour. That probably sounds like some people’s idea of hell, but to me it was indescribably wonderful. The improv environment, particularly at Rosedale, is a place where my dogged introversion seems to fall right off me like a heavy coat. I was trained to treat improv club as a place where we leave our hang-ups at the door & embrace others like they’re our best friends already; this is an attitude I intend to bring with me as coach, because it has helped me so much.

Despite how desperately lost I felt this past week, I think improv is going to bring me back to being me again. Not just Rosedale improv, but also the professional classes I’m considering taking. My grade 12 sociology teacher, Joel Gottlieb, always a fountain of wisdom, frequently told us, “When you do something & the rest of the world disappears, you know that that’s the thing you should be spending your life doing.” The rest of the world disappears when I do improv, or even when I’m just watching improv. I don’t know if it’s something I want to spend my life doing, but I feel immensely privileged to be doing it now.

I love my friends, I really do.

I love my friends, I really do.

me & miss zekiel doin’ improv at theatre passe muraille on friday.
note the ex-boyfriend in the background.
i love improv photos way too much.

me & miss zekiel doin’ improv at theatre passe muraille on friday.
note the ex-boyfriend in the background.
i love improv photos way too much.