Yesterday was Say Day: a day when improvisers share how grateful we are to know and work with our fellow improvisers.
I am in Baltimore this weekend for the Baltimore Improv Festival. I'm super excited for this festival as I've heard great things. I've already seen some amazing shows, and I get to spend today with Irony City and Change Machine (some of my closest friends and most inspirational improvisers). But it means I missed the Pittsburgh Say Day festivities.
So I am carrying on my now 2 year tradition of posting some appreciations here. This has been a transformative year for me. I am beginning the journey of purposefully focusing more of my time and attention on things that matter most me (vs. things I feel obligated to do) and figuring out how to pay more attention to my mental and physical health every day.
I would love to call out every single person that has been important on this journey, but there are just too many! If I don't explicitly list anyone, it doesn't mean I don't value them. I do! I just don't want the inclusion/exclusion problem to prevent me from publicly thanking a few people here:
Nicole Havranek: You are my love, my support, my encouragement. I included you specifically here because of the impact you have had on my improv (and various other artistic pursuits). Your work is inspiring to me, and our conversations have helped me to better sort out what I want out of my own work.
Greg Gillotti: Getting to play even more with Iguanatron and teach with you again was pure fun for me. While we both enjoy similar things, you are always pushing me and surprising me, and I will always want to work more with you, as evidenced by our overwhelming slate of projects together.
Aaron Tarnow, Anna C. Reilly, and Nick Stamatakis: I don't say enough (ever?) how grateful I am for all you do and the care and attention you give to PCF. I am really proud of the festival, what we've been able to create, and I am so thankful that the three of you have taken the lead this year. I know I am a pain in the ass a lot of the time, but you still make this happen and I am so thankful for that.
Change Machine: Thank you so much for dedicating your time, energy and hard work to Change Machine these past 2.5 years. I am so proud of this team (for example).
Chris Leon: You are one of the kindest, most genuine people I know. I am inspired by your attitude, approach to life, and choice in clothing. It means a lot to have you involved in so many of my projects.
Kristy Nolen and Mike Rubino: Since last Say Day, we've launched Beta Stage (maybe just before Say Day) and Pop-Up Night (and we've talked through a ton of other details here and there). I am so grateful for your support and continued encouragement of the projects we do together.
Mary Parker: You have had a big impact on me and my understanding of how I perform and teach improv this year. Not to mention your contributions to the community committee at PCF. You are always genuinely interested in connecting with people, whether it's on projects you're a part of or in social settings, and I really appreciate that.
Tessa Karel: You continue to show me what it looks like to lead a responsible and fulfilling adult life, and it's meant a lot that you allowed me the opportunity to use my improv experience and skills to do something more meaningful.
Woody Drennan: You just want people you work with to succeed. You are always eager to talk discuss (sometimes at length) an issue Writers Room is having, lend equipment (even if it's just something I'm doing for work), or help out however you can.
Thank you all–and all I could not include explicitly–for making Pittsburgh a great place to live and do comedy!