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Making it up as they go

Donna Pasichnyk said she can't tell jokes — but that doesn't mean she's not funny. Instead of rehearsing punch lines, the local woman has found her niche in making it up as she goes through the art of improvisation.
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Douglas Thistle, Donna Pasichnyk, Dixie Permezel and Mark Mahonen are part of a local improv group. Pasichnyk said participating in the group has helped her become more confident. Supplied photo.
Donna Pasichnyk said she can't tell jokes — but that doesn't mean she's not funny.

Instead of rehearsing punch lines, the local woman has found her niche in making it up as she goes through the art of improvisation. Since she began acting with a group of others interested in improv, she's become more self-assured and comfortable speaking to people — a long way from the shy woman that she was when she started.

“I never could imagine I could possibly do it,” she said.

Luckily, she took the plunge and found out how wrong she was. Improv has also given her the chance to kick her stress in constructive way, and have a good time.

“Mostly it's a lot of fun,” she said.

For the last year, she's been facilitating a group for Greater Sudburians interested in exploring the art of improv. Pasichnyk said she does offer a bit of instruction, but the charm of improv is the ability to be in the moment.

“I don't think you can teach someone to be themselves,” she said.

She does prepare a few ideas before meeting the group, like having the others speak in gibberish, or walk only backwards for a particular skit, but she does like to leave some of it undecided.

After all, that's what improv is all about.

“There's an old saying in improv — if you're in your head, you're dead,” she said. “You have to be spontaneous.”

The group meets every Tuesday at St. Andrew's Place at 7 p.m., ready to make the most of their evening.

For more information, phone Pasichnyk at 705-675-8797.

Posted by Heidi Ulrichsen


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