My turkey was mostly digested (and two pieces of pumpkin pie), The Godfather Marathon on AMC started over again, and I was at my desk working at my home-office – which many guests insist should be called an office-home after they see it – when I sent the following message to my current company of 45 performers at DSI Comedy Theater, thanking them for another incredible year:
“It’s been amazing to see our shows and teams take off over the past 12 months and for the company to simply enjoy the benefit of SO MUCH talent on stage and support off stage. We have so many things at the theater to be thankful for, and so many new friends this year, but I just wanted to take a minute to say to everyone, You’re AWESOME. Truly. Nothing we do could happen if we didn’t all jump in 100% to help make the theater run the way it does.
We are a family of incredible talented and supportive friends that work together, play together and give back to the community in really meaningful and inspiring ways. Because of our dedication to the team and our philosophy of play the community we live in benefits from our creativity and generosity. Positivity, Trust and UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT are what made our Theater thrive. So thank you. I’m looking forward to another incredible year.”
DSI was born out of the Dirty South Improv Festival (now the NC Comedy Arts Festival) My company started teaching improv classes and producing comedy in North Carolina in 2003 and now, three Training Centers later (so much painting!), we have taught over 800 students. We have performed more than 1000 shows in our own theater (so much vacuuming!), and over 300 shows in other venues.
My company and I have donated time and expertise to help raise money for organizations all over the Triangle. Our Annual 24LIVE Comedy Marathon (now YLAUGH) has benefitted the IFC Shelter, The Women’s Center of Chapel Hill, NC Children’s Hospital, WCOM, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA. Food drives for tickets have been incredibly successful and allow our Fans to help us help the community. DSI Comedy Theater was a major sponsor of the Anderson Park Disc Golf Course with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Sunrise Rotary Club. We have provided corporate training, communication services, event facilitation, and custom entertainment at significant discounts to The ArtsCenter, Self-Help, Local Motive, Reality Check 2009, Leadership Triangle, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Leadership, Lineberger Cancer Center and more.
DSI Comedy Theater currently offers 5 shows per week, FREE – $10. Our Comedy Training Center opens new classes every month in standup and improvisation. A member of our DSI Faculty coaches GIUSEPPE, our DSI High School improv team, every Friday after school. Our DSI Witness News writing staff has work featured On Air at WCHL 1360 every weekday (and podcast), over 120 episodes and counting.
And our 10th Annual Comedy Festival is just 2 months away.
How Thankful am I? More than I can explain.
I couldn’t have accomplished half of these things over the past 9 years without my DSI Family. I am constantly amazed at what people can accomplish when they work as a team. We teach agreement – We teach unconditional support – But when I see those fundamentals put into action like I have with my own company it can still make me overwhelmed by the power of improv. Our philosophy of play and constant discovery built this theater. I am thankful for a company of performers and staff that constantly works to improve themselves. Always. DSI figures things out while they’re happening – “Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.” Right Del? – Well, we jumped. And whenever we jump we always look up. Interesting thing about constant discovery (and constant jumping), it NEVER feels like we hit ground. So either I was out of my mind when I decided to open a theater or else working towards a goal where you enjoy process as much as product, surrounded by so many positive people, it just feels like you’re floating ALL THE TIME.