I got interviewed by my old improv team, USS Rock ‘N Roll for a “where are they now” kind of piece.
Molly Hale is an actor, writer and comedian who did improv in Chicago for eight years before moving to LA to pursue her dreams. You can read more about her at www.MollyHale.net. Molly also works as the content manager for her husband’s web design company. Their elegant design and beautiful websites, along with email contact and rates can be seen at www.MaterialDsign.com.
I checked in with former USS’er Molly “The Plague” Hale recently and asked her a few questions about her life and what she has been up to since her retirement from improv. Enjoy all that she has to say.
What are you doing with all your extra time?
1. Educating myself on this human evolution we are all working through.
2. Figuring out what practical things I can do to help turn my town from one that is dependent on oil into one that is sustainable. Mini projects include building a washing machine that you power with a bicycle, starting my own vegetable garden, and finding the good in people.
3. Practicing my arts
What is artistically inspiring to you right now?
What’s really inspiring me is this evolution. I think it’s clear that we are at a point in history where the machine is breaking down. It is so inspiring to be alive during THE time when people WILL come together to figure out the survival of the human race. Period. It is a challenge we have never faced before and it is eminent. Not only are we going to have to evolve to survive, (which I have no doubt we will) but we will be the first species on Earth, (that we know of) to be fully aware of and witnesses to our own evolution! It’s becoming clearer and clearer all the time that the way we’re all gonna make it through the jump is with compassion, love and laughter. I see people working against the doom and gloom with terrific grace, vulnerability and open hearts. It’s more than inspirational, it’s downright hopeful.
I went to Mindshare here in LA last month and heard Don O’Shannon (a writer and producer for shows like Cheers and Modern Family) speak about comedy. One thing he said was that laughter is a knee jerk response that caveman types had as a stress release to almost dying or to near-misses of harmful situations. We, as humanoids, then adapted and transformed that knee jerk response as a way to communicate with each other that we like something. Comedians use a primal form of communication and are connected to the very first peoples.
I truly believe that good comedians not only have something really powerful to say, but that they are geniuses. In the face of our own evolution I believe that comedians will help the masses to move forward through what can potentially be a very scary time with a smile on our faces.
I’ll take it one step further and say that now, more than ever our comedians are profits. They show us the truth, but in a way that we can take the pill, with a release of serotonin through laughter. I’m inspired by my favorite comedians. They rule.
What do you miss most about performing with USS?
Seeing my friends.
What triggered your move away from improv?
It was just time to try something new on. I started doing improv in high school and can’t remember a time for many years where improv didn’t take up almost every night of my life. I, often times, had 2 and 3 shows/rehearsals in a single day. I love improv and what it’s done for my life, but I moved to LA to follow my biggest, craziest dreams. I took a huge risk to move here, as everyone does, and I will kick myself in 10 years if I look back and realize I didn’t give those dreams the proper commitment. It was just time to put my money where my mouth is.
What is making you laugh these days?
Comedy, in general, is getting better than ever. It’s no secret that I consume media in huge quantities and the shows that I think are funny now are some of my favorite shows ever; Archer, Community, Louie. Comedy writers are getting smarter and smarter. We have all the jokes of history to look back on and learn from. Go back and watch a “comedy” film from the 80′s. It gets real clear, real quick how far we’ve come and how fast. We’re living in a time when there are no rules and it’s making everything really, really good.
How many days away is Burning Man?
36 minutes and 58 seconds
5 words why people should go to Burning Man
Do you think about improv any more? If yes, what do you think about it?
Mostly when I think about improv, I just miss my friends. But also, I think the laws of improv are relevant to creating this new world we’re moving into during our evolution. Opening up, making each other look good, “yes, and”, full body listening, giving gifts, specificity, group mind… you know, these are all things that if used practically in our daily lives, can open us all up to creating the kind of communities we all want in the future. I’m not just talking about living in a neighborhood. I’m talking about real COMMUNITY and community is going to save us all.
What is the question that you wished I would have asked?
What’s changed you the most since you’ve left?
What is the answer to that question?
Meditation and love.