The Constant Struggle

A podcast about balancing art and life.

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

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

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.

Monday Feb 22, 2021

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 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & check out his comedy album Violently Nice!

Monday Jan 25, 2021

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

Tuesday Dec 29, 2020

FLORIAN FRANCOIS is a bilingual, dual citizen (France-Canada) actor, producer, writer & improviser. Florian spoke with Nick & Brie from the comfort of his home-recording closet about his journey working in a big marketing firm in Paris to hitchhiking across Canada, ultimately discovering his calling as an actor. We chat networking, collaboration and of course improv! We talk about Florian's main source of work during Covid and his hopes and challenges looking to the future. We discuss the struggles of feeling like an outsider when you're an immigrant in a country, especially in an industry with specific limitations when it comes to the way people speak. What we're left with is a highly quotable and very motivating chat about making the things you want to make.
Be sure to check out Florian's Bell Fibe TV series Rencontres & FOR SURE check out his music video for Le Mec du Grill from his slam poetry / hip hop star days. 
Follow Florian on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & imdb.
#StruggleOn Strugglies! 

Copyright 2023 Brie & Nick Watson. All rights reserved.

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