UA-90241941-1 The Constant Struggle

E74: 2021 in Review / Struggle Bus


In this Year in Review episode, Nick and Brie enjoy a host-cast chat about the year that was; what accomplishments we were able to achieve given the colossal mess of a year we all just collectively endured and what struggles (other than the colossal mess) we endured and attempted to overcome.

Thanks for listening this year pals, and feel free to share your wins from 2021 and your goals for 2022!

Your Key Creative Tips:

Writing, Editing, Gamification of work, Planning, Parenting, Improv, Acting, Travel, Pet ownership.


Nick's Update: Finished writing third book / NaNoWriMo - back to editing. 

Brie's Update: Burger commercial, so long as she doesn’t get Covid.




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E73 - Gary Rideout Jr.‘s Habitat for Comedy


Chances are if you've performed comedy in Toronto, you're likely one degree of separation from this episode's guest; Gary 

Rideout Jr., owner of Toronto's famous Comedy Bar & Director of Business Development at The Second City in Toronto. This episode dives into Gary's timeline as a budding comedian-turned-business owner and  tracks the many successes he's had along the way, the struggles that come with taking risks and putting yourself out there, as well as some truly great lessons learned along the way.

With the recent tease on social media announcing the opening of a second Comedy Bar location, on the Danforth, we're thrilled to get to chat with Gary about his journey in Toronto comedy and his excitement for all that's to come. 

This is an episode for comedians and for fans of comedy. You'll see what it takes to create a space for an entire community of comedy artists; how to foster that community and the heights where it can lead. 


Comedy, Writing, Performance, Touring, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Accessibility.


Nick's Update:

Editing again, and prepping for NaNoWriMo

Brie's Update:

Niagara Falls Night of Art, Improv Fallout back at Mahtay Café, Writing Accountability Partner



Comedy Bar

The Second City


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E72 - Creating a Comedy Business with Alan Belerique


Alan Belerique (or Alan Bee as many know him) is a live comedy producer, actor, improviser and writer. His production company This Is Not TV has been creating live comedy content for Toronto audiences for the better part of a decade. His show “This is How We Duo” is making its return to live audiences on September 20th at Comedy Bar in Toronto.

Alan takes us on his journey through the world of comedy from his humble beginnings playing Goldilocks in elementary school, to a year spent in the Azores of Portugal, through to the many shows he’s produced both pre and post-Facebook. All throughout, a big part of Alan’s decisions have been based in creating space for community.

His experience is not without struggles and we’re reminded in this episode that there’s a reason they call this show business. We chat with him about finding balance, as Alan also runs his own company outside his career in comedy. It’s often tough to manage both businesses, making time for clients and customers to be happy in both worlds.

Actors, producers, creators and fans of Jason Momoa will greatly benefit from this episode with the hard-working and multi-talented Alan Belerique.


Key Creative Tips:

Producing, Comedy, Improv Comedy, Entrepreneurship, Community, Real Estate


Nick's Update: Editing again! Working on his horror novel.

Brie's Update: Improv Niagara’s live shows, and classes beginning in September. Also ghost tours!




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E71 - How to Write When You Don’t Feel Like Writing with Cathryn Naiker


Cathryn Naiker is a comedy writer, podcaster and stand-up comic. Join us as we explore the journey that took Cathryn from googling “How to Write Comedy?” to becoming a professional TV writer, most recently for the CBC’s upcoming comedy series “Son of a Critch” starring comedian and 22 Minutes veteran Mark Critch.

Cathryn gives us some seriously helpful insight in the biggest change she made from writing as a hobby to writing professionally and we chat about how the pandemic has held up some important progress in her stand-up career. 

It wouldn’t be #StrugglePod if we didn’t chat about some of the more challenging elements of our guest’s journey; this time including the financial worries of moving back to Toronto and concerns about weight, health and physical fitness.

Aspiring and working writers, comedians and creatives of all kinds will hugely benefit from this interview with the super talented Cathryn Naiker.


Key Creative Tips:

Writing, Comedy, Stand-Up Comedy, Admin, Screenwriting, Mindset 

Nick's Update: New Struggles = dog ownership! Old Struggles = writing.

Brie's Update: Improv Niagara wins 2021 Readers Choice Award for Best Live Theatre



More from CATHRYN:


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Thanks for listening and #StruggleOn

E70 - Kirk McCullough on the Balance Between Money and Joy


In this episode, Nick and Brie celebrate the end of the school year with improviser, producer, and Kindergarten teacher Kirk McCullough. Kirk came into the Toronto improv community as one of the most organized show producers on the scene. One half of the improv duo Cadley Brooper, Kirk produces Duo Derby, one of the only live shows to seemingly seamlessly transition to an ideal online improv experience. Having studied at The Second City and now a member of the Assembly, Kirk is bringing positive, supportive and joyful vibes to the community, both online and off.

When it comes to splitting focus between teaching kids and improvising with grown-ups, balance is required, and we learn some of the challenges Kirk has faced along the way when it comes to making sure he’s putting his energy in the right places.

Teacher by day, performer by night. This episode answers the ultimate question: “HOW DOES SHE DO IT?”

Key Creative Tips:

Live / Online Comedy Show Producing, Improv, Teaching, Teaching Online, Finding Balance, Going with the Flow, LGBTQ Pride.


Nick's Update: No writing. Spending time with Kids.

Brie's Update: New Second City class on Hosting. Having enough students signed up to hold classes.



More from PATRICK & RYAN

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E69 - Juggling Your Passion with Patrick McDonald & Ryan Middledorf


In this episode, Nick and Brie sail the high seas of fun as they welcome podcasters Patrick McDonald & Ryan Middledorf of the Parrothead Podcast to the Struggle Zone. Patrick and Ryan were recently invited to join Radio Margaritaville as hosts of their own show! (Fins up, boys!) So, it goes without saying that the boys discuss Jimmy Buffett a little bit in this episode; their relationships with Bubba and the opportunities a Parrothead lifestyle has brought them.

But it's not ALL cheeseburgers in Paradise! We find out what it takes to run a podcast production company, and how quickly processes needed to be adapted with the arrival of a mandatory lockdown. We also find out about the challenges facing comedians living in LA during these difficult times - even performers who are "up for anything." 

The struggle in this episode mainly involved pacing our own laughter because it was an incredibly goofy journey; but one filled with excellent insight on the creative process and the resilience of creatives amidst this global pandemic.

Key Creative Tips:

Podcasting, Comedy, Music, Podcast Production, Webseries, Getting gigs in LA, Jugging your Passion and your Responsibilities, Improv. 


Nick's Update: Nothing.

Brie's Update: Lots of Teaching & New Online Improv Shows



More from PATRICK & RYAN

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E68 - Put Yourself into Your Work with Sean Browning


In this episode, Nick and Brie chat with science fiction writer Sean Browning, author of “I don’t Seem So Bright in a Well Lit Room” (Story Well Publishing.) We chat about Sean’s process; how he wrote his book and published it with a publishing house that wouldn’t have existed without him!

We learn about how Sean developed his artistry through music, improvisation and sketch comedy, and how that led to the story that would eventually become his first book. 

And it wouldn’t be an episode of #StrugglePod if we didn’t talk about the struggles! We learn about the impact the pandemic has had on Sean’s writing, family-life and self-esteem.

An emotional episode filled with helpful insight for writers, and all creatives.

Key Creative Tips:

Writing, Science Fiction, Parenting, Publishing, Time Management, Mental Health, Comedy, Improv, Music, Playing in a Band, Sketch Comedy, Screenwriting, LGBTQ Allyship, Stay-at-Home Parenting.


Nick's Update: Editing.

Brie's Update: 100 Days of Improv. Now what?




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E67- Caring for Your Community - with Coko Galore


Nick & Brie interview Coko Galore, Artistic & Managing Director of Bad Dog Theatre in Toronto. Though this year's events may have caused the Bad Dog to shut its doors, find out how Coko and her team made a new home for the community with Bad Dog Comedy TV. We ask Coko how she's managed to keep Bad Dog alive and thriving and more inclusive and accessible than ever. 

We learn about how Coko found her place in comedy, how intensely she undertook training and how she finds family in uniting with other Black improvisers from across this continent.

Find out more about the struggles surrounding being in a key leadership position in Toronto's comedy community; and what's needed to push forward to find what's best for Bad Dog performers and audiences.

Key Creative Tips:

Improv, Improv Duos, Improv Training, Theatre Management, Community Leadership, Online Comedy Programming, BIPOC Experience in Improv, Accessibility in Theatre, Racism in the Workplace, and Celebrating Black and Asian voices.


Nick's Update: Filling his tank with fine HBO programming, while procrastinating on his edits.

Brie's Update: 100 Days of Improv & New Time Management system implementation to ensure more writing time!




Thinking about starting your own podcast? Click HERE to get one free month of hosting.


E66 - How To Overcome Creative Atrophy with stand-up comic Ryan Dillon


In this episode, Nick & Brie interview stand-up comic Ryan Dillon, who before the lockdown, had big plans for a booked comedy tour of the East Coast of Canada. But when the pandemic hit, all those plans evaporated quickly. We ask Ryan about how a stand-up comic can cope and continue working on his craft in a time where live shows are no longer possible. 

We learn about how Ryan got into comedy, about how he uses comedy to heal painful wounds from the past. 

Find out more about Ryan’s writing process and some of the ways he manages audience expectations.

Key Creative Tips:

Writing, stand-up comedy, performance, starting out in Comedy, finding your Voice, performing on Zoom, performing with anxiety & depression, setting and achieving goals. 


Nick's Update: Submitting his short story by mail to the Toronto Star’s short story competition.

Brie's Update: 100 Days of Improv &  news from The Second City.


Thanks for listening. 

Thinking about starting your own podcast? Click HERE to get one free month of hosting.


Follow Ryan Dillon on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, TikTok & check out his comedy album Violently Nice!


E65 -2020 Year in Review or Keep Your Horse Moving Forward


Find out about Nick Watson & Brie Watson's creative Year in Review in this host-cast edition of The Constant Struggle Podcast. 

Nick chats about the processes he's put in place to streamline is writing, and how they've been helpful in other areas of his life.

Brie recaptures the year that was and starts 2021 off on the right foot with a new and exciting piece of news.

The episode is sponsored by Improv Niagara and don't forget to check out Apocalypse Chronicles if you're into spooky end-of-the world stories (I mean... now's the time!)

Let us know your goals for 2021 and remember #EatLocalandStruggleOn

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