Posts Tagged ‘Hustle’

Why Improv? (6 years ago)

Why Improv? Zach Ward (from micah philbrook)

Over 6 years ago I was interviewed by Micah Philbrook (@pHinkasaurus) in Chicago and asked, “Why Improv?”. I just watched my clip and heard my answers for the first time yesterday. I had already moved back to my hometown in North Carolina so I could start working on DSI Comedy Theater and grow the NC Comedy Arts Festival. I was back up for the week as Associate Producer for the Chicago Improv Festival.

It was an interesting look back; Try not to judge my lack of beard and my young rave kid vocabulary. Trust me, I judged myself plenty. But my content around the business of comedy and my enthusiasm for improv as an Art have not changed. The #Hustle has been with me always. And now it heads to ImprovBoston!

Next stop, Boston!

On May 5th I accepted my new job as Managing Director of ImprovBoston. The week since has been a whirlwind of packing and planning for myself and Jessica, considering options for DSI Comedy Theater, and OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS! Wait, before I continue, you should read THE ANNOUNCEMENT!

DSI Comedy Fans can rest assured, North Carolina will enjoy the same quality comedy classes and weekly performances that they have come to expect from DSI. My #Hustle and our local company wouldn’t have it any other way. I will stay Executive Producer, but the theater will be under new management starting this Summer. And Lord knows NCCAF (@nccomedyarts) can’t stop and won’t stop, So get ready for 2012!

We’ve already confirmed Second City and are partnering with Carolina Theatre to present Mike Birbiglia!

My publicist Carrie Gorn released the Boston news to press while I recorded a surprise curtain speech.

I know, I could have slowed down. I just didn’t have an audience and I was excited about THE ANNOUNCEMENT!

I am offline for most of the weekend, but I wanted to thank everyone for being so supportive and for all the congratulations. YES! AND! Accepting the job as Managing Director is an incredible career opening for me and a great challenge for the ZW #Hustle, it’s a critical growth move for an already successful organization like ImprovBoston and it’s a real opportunity for my company of performers, teachers and directors at DSI Comedy Theater to step up and grab leadership positions, to defy logic, exceed expectations and continue to make a significant impact on the community, audiences, students and each other.

I ended my official ImprovBoston job announcement news to DSI Company Members earlier this week with this next paragraph, and I think, if you’re from a different improv community, or maybe even a company that just operates like a family, you could change a few details and it might still be appropriate for you.

There is a world-famous comedy theater open for business on a loading dock, behind a diner and near some sketchy railroad tracks, in a small town where you would least expect it. Let’s work hard to keep it that way. For a lot of people, myself included, that place has become a second home.

I would “officially” like to thank coffee, @garyvee and #vampiremode for making this possible.

I would actually like to thank the Board of Directors and Staff at ImprovBoston, you know, for the job.

But, most of all, I would really like to thank my future wife Jessica, not only for agreeing to marry me, but for packing up her life and agreeing to move with me to Boston, so I could do what I love to do.

What Shall We Do?

Morning question, What good shall I do this day?

Evening question, What good have I done today?

Everyday I ask, Who have I served? Who could I help? What do they need? What more can I do?

I’ve felt a certain amount of social accountability my whole life. And honestly, it can be overwhelming at times. It’s only in the last year that I’ve allowed myself to “do good” and serve other people more effectively by simplifying my own life and making simple deliberate choices each day.

Now with #vampiremode and a relationship where we are both lucky enough to make our own schedules, I am certainly not operating by the same hours Ben Franklin scheduled in his day planner, but I’ve employed his approach to give myself perspective; I’ve made time each day for diversion, reading, consideration and examination of my work, and lately I’ve been sleeping more, for me. I also dine WELL (ilyms).

Now… What Shall We Do?

What shall we do with the layout of our lives so that we can make the greatest impact on the world?

What do you do to foster the personal focus and energy necessary to ask, “What good shall I do this day?” and “What good have I done today?” And what do you do to ensure that you feel the sense of social responsibility that pushes you to follow through, especially when it’s easier to quit?


Also, Thanks to Ben Franklin for Daylight Savings Time.