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After an emotionally charged 2016, we wanted to know people’s thoughts, goals, hopes, and wishes for the year ahead. Some are funny, some are profound, and all of them are inspiring. 

Laura Salvas: Take action on my secret plan to write for TV. This means facing my fear of being a nuisance or learning that I suck and asking people for advice or to read my original pilot. My 2016 plan of shyly waiting around in an artistic coma, hoping to simply be discovered like Snow White, didn’t work as well as I’d hoped.

James Gangl: In 2017 I want to use my experience to help people. Right now, I bring my life experience to the stage primarily to entertain and primarily for me…folks get something out of it, gravy. In 2017 I’d like to devote time and talent to causes focused on those dealing with childhood trauma, and use storytelling to give voice to those who haven’t been given the opportunity to be heard. That and find a nice coffee table for my new apartment.

Nelu Handa: No one really has any of this figured out. So maybe just get real quiet and ask yourself for the answers instead. Feel like an imposter if you must, but get over it faster. Tell your cynicism to fuck off.

Colin Munch: This whole “2016 was the worst” thing is bullshit. It’s chaff, a distraction. Beautiful and terrible things happened this year like they do every year, and all we can do is carve out a little life for ourselves in the maelstrom of life. I resolve to spend 2017 the way I’ve spent the last 10 years: I will bring the people that matter to me closer, grow distant from the people that don’t, work hard, make art that matters to me, and learn more about the universe while keeping my own fragility in perspective. That’s all I can do.

Erin Goldsmith: In 2017 I’d really love to learn a new language. Not half-ass it; fully commit. I want to be double valuable.

Oliver Georgiou: I’d like to start working on a lesson plan for my own specialty improv classes. An expanded one for a 4-8 week course, but more immediately a condensed or specific three-hour workshop with which I can travel to festivals. 2016 has been a period of significant growth for myself as a comedian and artist, and I feel like I have much to share with anyone who’d be willing to listen.

Isaac Kessler: In 2016 I had about seven emotional breakdowns, compared to zero emotional breakdowns that I had never experienced. And ya know what, even if I was a time traveller with a cool car alarm laser weapon, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. In 2016 I also experienced more miracles than ever, and not some sea-parting-for-a-cool-chase-sequence miracle, I’m talking step-out-of-your-comfort-zone-real-deal-self-created miracles. And sure, maybe in 2017 I don’t want to shower in my own tears as much as I did this past year, but I certainly am going to keep leaping into beautiful growth and making sure I spread joy as far and as wide as I can. I wish for all of us a year filled with creation and learning and discovering the beauty that we possess, and how to share that beauty with the world around us.

Candace Meeks: My personal goals for the year are to write more, and simplify my wardrobe. 30 is creepin’ up, y’all! My community goals include encouraging women and LGBTQA persons in comedy to live fearlessly in 2017, myself included. I don’t want anyone to worry about what they look like or how likeable they are on stage. Instead I want them to not give a fuck what other people think and just go for it!

Nug Nahrgang: In the coming year let’s focus on supporting each other in the real world, much like we do on stage. Wouldn’t it be great to feel like you can do anyone with people supporting you all the time?

Jimmy Carrane: My wish for improvisers in 2017:

That you keep performing.

That you become even more comfortable in failing, because that is how we get better.

That you try out things that scare you and you don’t care about the results.

That you understand rejection is part of the process and there’s no need to take it personally.

And to realize you are enough. Because you are.

We need your unique voice today more than ever.

Rob Norman: This is an impossible job to do without community. Everyone wants to help you make cool things. Engage. Reach out. Ask for help.

Wayne Jones: In 2017, I’m focused on making smart choices, and supporting great people around me. Whether it’s a friendship, or a creative/business relationship, I will motivate and encourage people by being the best example I can. I will collaborate with wonderful and talented people to reach new heights and exciting achievements. Efficiency is another major key. Getting things done in a more concise manner. Focusing on a smoother, faster, more productive effort. I won’t work longer, but clearer and more organized. This will lead to a higher success rate, and greater number of accomplishments. I will forgive more, be kinder to all, and protect the ones I love. Live with love in your heart, compassion in your soul, and strength in your body and mind. God bless every last one of ya.

Chris Moody: I want to make Improv Utopia East, West, and Yosemite the most anticipated improv weekends of the year.

David Razowsky: In my lifetime there hasn’t been a time where my art and my fellow students have meant more to me. We share the language of connection, communication, and collaboration. What I will continue to do in 2017 is to keep being the change I’d like to see in others: to keep being aware, alive, fierce, focused, passionate, open, empathetic and honest. I will dare to be lovely, I will dare to be kind, I will dare to be vulnerable, I will dare to keep listening, and I will dare to be moved. In other words, I will continue to live my life by the tenets of compelling scene work.

Dani Alon, Chris Hannay & Val Perelshtein: In 2017, no matter what else is going on in the world, we know we can make our space one in which people feel safe to express themselves, practice their art, and laugh.

Carmine Lucarelli: If I start it, I’ll finish it.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their insights. Eighteen people. Eighteen visions. Now what about yours?

Douglas Coupland makes incredible Lego cityscapes, like this one he built through crowd-sourcing. We’ve all got used to buying those kits where each piece goes in a pre-determined order. These colourful structures are a reminder of the power of imagination and collaboration.

Let’s all think outside the box again, and make 2017 the world we want to live in.

Photo © People and Chairs

Photo © People and Chairs

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