Naomi Snieckus cracks me up, especially when I catch a glimpse of her as a scratch & win enthusiast in the Cash For Life Lottery commercial. She knows how to deliver a punchline and she's a fast thinker which is extremely helpful in her chosen career as a comedian, improv superstar and actress. You may have seen her on TV in one of the many funny commercials she's been in or on the mainstage at Second City, if not - please meet Naomi Snieckus, our Hip + Urban Girl of the Week.
How did you end up with a career in comedy & improv?
I always loved comedy - my family used to watch SCTV religiously. After finishing theatre school I did a lot of classical theatre but then I realized something, I wanted work at Second City more than anything else. I crashed the auditions, got a spot with the touring company and within the first month of working there I knew I didn't want to do anything else - I love comedy and the people it brings together!
|Naomi with Matt Baram|
I think in improv you need to like people cause you need to share a stage with people. I also think you have to be able to turn your brain off and just play!
How do you come up with stuff so damn fast?
Well, I'm never on stage alone - and I trust that if I'm living in the moment - I can just react naturally to the situation as the character I'm playing. And breathing...that's really important - let oxygen get to your brain to help you think!!
What is your typical day like?
Every day in our house is so different - that's what I like about our industry. One day you may be filming, another day you maybe be doing a voice over, another day you may be cutting flyers and another day you may be cleaning out the basement! It's a pretty great variety. Most days I get to be around people that make me laugh - that's the consistency about my job I love. Plus- living with the funniest man in the world, Matt Baram keeps things pretty funny!
|Hanging with Colin Mochrie|
I think everything I get to do is a cool opportunity. I pinch myself when I get to work with my heroes from the SCTV days. I feel REALLY lucky. With our company National Theatre of the World, we have also created cool experiences - like travelling to Berlin and Israel this March and working with The Young Centre - I have a lot of red marks on my arm from pinching myself.
What is a disadvantage of your job that maybe we don't think about?
Other than the lack of job security it's the best job in the world. Also, I think one of the things that is tricky is the number the industry does on your confidence. So, I would encourage people to recognize in yourself when you do a good job or a not so good job so you're not waiting for others to be your cheerleaders.
Where did you go for college/university and what did you study?
University of Waterloo - General Arts/Drama, Ryerson Theatre School - Acting
Is there anything you would have done differently or advise others about?
I don't think I have any regrets, everything I've done: the victories, the failures have lead me to where I am today - and I feel pretty lucky with the life I live now. I would also say don't wait for people to give you opportunities, go out and create things. If you are your own boss you'll always have work!
What would you tell your 20 year-old self?
Don't cut your hair that short - it'll take forever to grow out.
What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
Take note of the things you love doing - which emails do you open first, what are you excited about doing during the week, what do you look forward to? I think it's important to try a lot of different passions till you find out what you love doing - be curious, be fascinated. Be open to opportunities, anything can lead to other things, so do things to the best of your abilities always -you never know who may see something special in you and what that will lead to!
Naomi and Matt's company - National Theatre of the World will be bringing their three time Canadian Comedy Award winning improvised play series Impromptu Splendor to Berlin, Germany and Tel Aviv, Israel. They are participating in the 2013 International Festival for Improvisational Theatre (IMPRO) for the second year in a row.
Catch Naomi on CBC's hit comedy show Mr. D and as a regular and featured panelist on the George Stroumboulopoulos Show.
Photo credits: David Leyes and Tara Noelle