I found my people

Kinkonauts FebSo far, 2015 has been a bag of mixed nuts. Work has been really stressful. I got a promotion to be a manager, which is great, but I am also working my old position to which has yet to be filled. I am used to killing it at work and working days ahead at a time and now instead I am working a day behind, can’t keep up with my emails and feel like I am neglecting my employees. Monday to Friday, I can be found stress crying in a ladies bathroom stall at work far too many times than I would like to admit.

Then there was a flash of false hope when I thought I could move to Toronto. The offer came suddenly and I was very gullible to believe it. Kids remember, if something seems too good to be true – it probably is. Toronto and Second City have been a dream of mine for over half my life and I know that one day I will get there but when I do, it will be on my own timeline and because I put the work in to get there. Truth be told, I have a lot of work to do before I get there, and as much as I kick and scream about being in Calgary, Calgary is the place to get this work done.

Here is the delicious chocolate covered nuts in that mixed bag of nuts I was referring to earlier, improv. At the age of 32, I am finding my voice and a place where I actually might fit in. I am a short, round, ethnic, socially awkward nerd who has never fit in. In dating, sometimes even at work and definitely in social situation this has been an issue. And then I found the Kinkonauts, this welcoming group of misfit comedy nerds who took me in and accepted my freak flag and encouraged me to let it fly in the wind. Now that I have this little family who accepts, supports and trusts me, I feel fearless and excited to try out EVERYTHING. I want  to produce more shows, do more podcast, try sketch, I have been writing songs and I have never been hungrier for the stage. This week was show week and man did it validate all the love I have for the Kinkonauts.

Sunday was the day STU (the lovely Kinkonauts group I am in) moved the stage from the Lab to the Birds & Stone Theatre for the shows. Things started off rather bumpy with our normally punctual coach being about an hour late and forgetting the keys when he got there. It was a snowy and cold night and we could have been pretty bratty about it but I am super proud of how we handled it as a group. We played games together in the stairwell of the Movie Poster store while we waited, we broke into the church and theatre to practice and when we got the keys to move the stage we hauled ass to get in some practice time afterwards. I was so proud to be a part of such a badass group! On Wednesday, we got perform as one group for a full half an hour set to open show week up for the first time ever. While the set was a bit chaotic and needed a dash of polish, our energy was off the charts and I think we all had a lot of fun playing together. I am really happy with how far we have come and super jazzed to be a part of such a dedicated and supportive group.

The majority of the shows this show week were sold out and the crowds were filled with people who have never seen the Kinkonauts before and I wondered if they would have the same experience I had a little over a year ago when I saw the Kinkonauts for the first time. Seeing the inspiring and fresh shows that I saw this week, I know that they must have connected to the experience the way I had. The Kinkonauts space is tiny black box space in basement of unitarian church and their stage is a super tiny. Just the kind of places you read about theatre companies like Upright Citizen Brigade getting started in New York and Chicago. It has an underground, indie feel that makes it badass and artsy but the community is filled with talented gems who are supportive of one another on and off stage. The energy when you are there is fun-filled and warm & welcoming whether your a Kinkonauts or an audience member.

This week the Kinkonauts did their first ever Improv Musical with assistance from special guests the super talented and supportive Louie Pearlman (Magnet Theatre) and the dynamic accompanist and funny man, Leif Ingebrigtsen (Rapid Fire Theatre). The first night they did the musical Shera Princess of Power and it was magical with a slow jam from a singing Unicorn. I was blown away by how cohesive it was (it was all made up on the spot!?)  and super pumped to take Louie’s musical improv workshop. The class was packed! Louie taught us so many formats and we got to improv sing together…. *sigh*… just one of the best days in 2015 so far! I even did a solo song, which is like the scariest thing in the world for me if I am not alone in my kitchen…but my excitement to be there in the class pushed me up on stage and it was SO much fun. Show week ended with a turkey gobbling and hilarious set from the Adventure, another amazing improv musical (the time under the sea) from The Kinkonauts and a very weird and wonderful Mixtape – followed by a super fun dance party with my little improv family.

I am super grateful to be a part of this amazing group who is always bringing something new the scene while encouraging their troupe members of all levels to do the same. I am SO excited to see what lies ahead for this little group that could!