Alison Chisholm is a familiar face - or voice - to anyone who's been around PT for a while. Our Operations Manager and Producer, she makes things happen behind the scenes, while being an active performer and improviser. Here's an interview with Alison, who will be performing in SIDESHOW!
What got you started improvising? I hated sports and my parents eventually figured that out. So they decided to sign me up for some acting classes. I loved them and one of my first acting coaches recommended I attend some drop-in improv workshops, so I did. I was the youngest by far at the time (I was only 15) but it was so much fun and such a welcoming community, I knew it was something I needed to do. I ended up taking a break from it for a number of years as I focused on my career as an administrator. I remember a time when I was in a rut and not feeling like myself anymore and that is when I went back to improv. For better or worse - I have never been more me.
What is your favourite part of improvising? I love the fact that you essentially have to put your full trust in someone else’s hands to make improv work well. There are dangers in that and sometimes things don’t always work out because not everyone is prepared. But when you succeed and everything works out - wow, is it ever an awesome feeling.
How does musical improv actually work? How does magic work? It just does okay. Don’t ask silly questions. Just sit back and enjoy!
Who is your role model, when it comes to performing? I can only have one? Well that doesn’t seem fair. I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I think they are hilarious, strong, intelligent women who are dedicated to their lives in comedy and that is something that I aspire for. Kristen Wiig also falls into that category. A friend of mine saw her on SNL for the first time and said she reminded him of me. That was a HUGE compliment to me. Also - I LOVE Kristen Bell. She’s funny, goofy, smart, and who knew she could sing? Have you seen FROZEN yet? Come on!!!
If you were to get a Sharpie tattoo on your back, what would it be? Probably the same as the actual tattoo I’d get if I were ever going to get one. It would be my family motto: Feros Ferio, which translates to “I am fierce with the fierce.”
What is your favourite way to unwind at the end of a long week? Board Games!!! If anyone has ever been to my apartment they know what I am talking about. If you can name a board game (or card game) I probably have it.
Five people you want to have for dinner? Well I would be honoured if I could host all those ladies I just mentioned. Dinner with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Bell, Kristen Wiig and me? Yes Please! But then I’ve only invited four. Let’s throw Felicia Day into that mix too. We’ll make it a funny sassy girls night!
Are you afraid of ghosts? Sometimes. Don’t judge!
Give me three “fun facts” about you.
I grew up with three brothers. (Ah yes, I make so much more sense now, don’t I?)
I’m just a Steeltown girl, living in a West Coast world.
I can make my toes dance. FACT!