The Constant Struggle

A podcast about balancing art and life.

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Monday Feb 28, 2022

In this episode, Nick and Brie chat with Wellesley Robertson III; a circus-artist, breakdancer, improviser, puppeteer, actor… self proclaimed “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Wellesley has spent the better part of the last decade travelling the world performing with various theatrical productions, seemingly falling into one amazing opportunity after the next. 
Join us on this exciting trip around the world and back as we chat with Wellesley about how he got into performing physical theatre, how he takes advantage of his “working vacations” and certainly, since it is an episode of #StrugglePod after all, some of the challenging elements of his performance career - staying connected to his home base of Toronto, navigating international travel and Covid-19 and other fascinating occurrences on his journey around the world again and again.
Fans of theatre, performing arts, circus, improv and TRAVEL will absolutely adore this episode with the ever-gracious, multi-talented Wellesley Robertson.
Your Key Creative Tips:
Performance, Theatre, Touring, Puppetry, Circus, Touring, Unions, Acting.
Nick's Update: Editing his Toronto Star Short Story competition submission. 
Brie's Update: We didn’t get into it this episode, so just visit for more info!
Robert Lepage: Needles & Opium promo
Follow Wellesley Robertson:
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Monday Jan 31, 2022

Happy New Year Strugglers!
We’re back with another great episode! This time, Nick & Brie chat with Toronto-based special effects make-up artist and instructor Megan Fraser. Megan takes us through her creative journey, starting in Calgary with papier mâché and glue all over her childhood bedroom floor to, probably a fairly similar floor-situation in present day - except with way more silicone fingers.
It wouldn’t be #StrugglePod if we didn’t chat about some of the more challenging elements of Megan’s artistic undertakings. It’s all part of the package to having a thriving career in film and television make-up. Fans of comedy, make-up, politics and puppets will absolutely dig this episode with the immensely talented and creative Meg Fraser. 
Your Key Creative Tips:Make-Up, Special Effects make-up, Comedy, Stand-Up Comedy, Twitter, Satire Writing & Body Art
Nick's Update: Working on his Toronto Star Short Story competition submission. Brie's Update: Gearing up to go back to teaching and performing in-person… again…
 BOOK: Stats Canada: Satire on a National Scale
More from Megan Fraser: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
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Thanks for listening & #StruggleOn

Thursday Dec 30, 2021

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.
For context, Brie worked as a tour guide at Vimy Ridge and McFarland House.
100 Days of Improv
Watch Ainsi va Manu / Hogtown > Web Series in which Brie performed
Watch Brie’s episode of “An Unexpected Killer” (if you’re in the USA)
Alan Alda: If I Understood You, Would I Have this Look on my Face? 
In the Soil Arts Festival
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Thursday Sep 30, 2021

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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Monday Aug 30, 2021

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!
This is How We Duo - Sep 20
Travel Azores
Now Magazine
Toronto Business Development Program
I Think You Should Leave
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Monday Aug 02, 2021

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
Seagate Backup Drives
Son of a Critch TV Series Coming Soon
The Beaverton
Nike Run Club
Yoga with Adriene
More from CATHRYN:
Podcast: Buckets & Tea NBA Show
The Pick-Up - A WNBA Podcast
Thinking about starting your own podcast? Click HERE to get one free month of hosting.
Thanks for listening and #StruggleOn

Monday Jun 28, 2021

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.
Cadley Brooper & Duo Derby
More from PATRICK & RYAN
Facebook: Kirk McCullough
Instagram: Kirk McCullough
Thinking about starting your own podcast? Click HERE to get one free month of hosting.

Monday May 31, 2021

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
The Parrothead Podcast
Radio Margaritaville
Campfire Media Podcast Network
More from PATRICK & RYAN
Twitter: Parrothead Podcast
Twitter: Patrick McDonald
Instagram: Patrick McDonald
Email: Parrothead Podcast
Thinking about starting your own podcast? Click HERE to get one free month of hosting.

Monday Apr 26, 2021

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?
Sean Browning’s I Don’t Seem So Bright in a Well Lit Room
Story Well Publishing
Steven King “On Writing”
Will Hines & Billy Merrit “Pirate Robot Ninja”
Sean Browning Website
Twitter: @Sean_Browning
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Monday Mar 29, 2021

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!
Bad Dog Theatre
Black & Funny Improv Festival
Being Boss Podcast
Coko Galore Website
Instagram: @cokogalore
Bad Dog Instagram: @baddogtheatre
Thinking about starting your own podcast? Click HERE to get one free month of hosting.

Copyright 2023 Brie & Nick Watson. All rights reserved.

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