My mom inspired my love for the stage. When I was in grade school, she would direct our school plays and talent shows. Sometimes we would have a script, but most of the stuff was student led. My mom would start the rehearsals with improv games, and eventually we’d come up with sketches and dance routines as a group. I remember playing Cousin Itt in an Addams Family sketch, a mummy in a “Walk Like an Egyptian” dance routine, and one of the most feared nuns in my Catholic grade school’s history. The shows were silly, fun, and empowering for us kids since we played a major role in creating the sketches.
Before I was born and when I was very young, my mom was part of an improv troupe in Cincinnati. She told me recently that she was once in a scene where she pretended to be George Carlin’s pregnant mother parachuting from a great height. So now I know my first improv role: George Carlin as a fetus.
Something that has always impressed me about my mom is her ability to set people at ease. Even if she’s not performing in the traditional sense, she still has a way of entertaining a crowd with stories. I’m glad to be like her in that respect.
A photo of my mom from her improv days:
Me performing improv with my group Shark Party at the SweetWater 420 Fest: