Rising Up with Ha’s by Susanna Spies

There’s always the thought that when the year ends, we have to get all ducks in a row, to prepare for the new year. But how that works, I’ll never quite understand. I mean, couldn’t it be that the end is just the beginning, and the beginning is just the end, and so on?

Well, for resolutions I suppose it’s like a calendar bookmark. It tracks where we are before moving forward, allows us to reflect back what we’ve accomplished, and forge ahead toward what we wish to achieve, pursue, challenge, overcome, and strive for. We hurdle within the last 31 days of December, towards the finish and starting line, of January 1st.

Here’s the thing. Every year I used to make a new years resolution. Yet, I frankly would never follow them after 72 hours past midnight. I mean the truth is that the more you squeeze the “must”, “should”, and “better”, the more I “won’t”, “can’t”, and “ain’t”! But the will towards bettering, goal making, and aspiring towards new things- I dig. It has to come when you’re ready…when it meets you and you meet it. Ya dig?

Elevator Going Up

Meeting your new year’s resolution is like a stranger on an elevator. You can ignore, smile and acknowledge, stand next to, move far away from, sense a hovering behind you, or is subtle but present, until you get to your chosen floor. All until you meet again. There are so many great ways you can learn from what you walk into, whether an elevator, or a new year.

Awkwardness Awards

I’m a gold medalist in getting the “Awkward Award” are you? I’ve done tons of things that have felt or became awkward. But I’ve learned it’s one of the greatest gifts we have for developing humor and comedy.

I love to study people. The way they walk, talk, move, smile, cry, laugh. It’s fascinating that we recognize emotion, from our own unique vault of what triggers that emotion, and it’s multi-dimensional forms. Connecting on understanding, and drawing from our own personal story. It’s like a mirror, a mirror has two faces. Yours to look in, and the face reflecting back what it sees. The take away? How others see us and how we see ourselves is very different.

I always giggle when folks have that magnetic draw to catch a glimpse of themselves at a mirror near by. That wall at the karate studio in the waiting room while picking up your brother or sister. That mirror in the car wash lobby while you or your parents wait for the car to be washed. That 3 inch mirror that you try to squeeze a glimpse in while trying on sunglasses at the glasses rack. Elevators have this same draw. Most of them have mirrors.

So here’s some comedy fun.


  1. See who avoids the mirror inside the elevator, who looks in, who blatantly uses the mirror and applies lipstick, who ignores it, and who looks down? What happens if you catch that the mirror is on the elevator ceiling? Is it somehow weird to bust out a brush, lipstick, hairspray, curling iron, perfume, and BUST out the beauties on the elevator? Who looks in, and who negates it? What do you do when there’s a mirror?
  2. Hum your favorite tune on the elevator. See if you find a way to build through the awkwardness, to connect find positivity and comedy gold!
  3. Face the elevator in the opposite direction. See how the awkward may bring about humor, joy, and fun!

© 2014 Daniel ScherlAbout the Author: Susanna SPIES is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a seasoned educator and Founder and President of Comedy Playground, LLC, showcasing at The Hollywood Improv. With a performance background, Spies has worked within mediums of television and film, and has performed stand up comedy on stages throughout the nation. Known for her many “faces”, in 2013 she debuted over 30 characters in her one-woman show “The Dryer” and was featured on Nuvo TV’s Stand & Deliver, E-One Entertainment’s Uncontrolled Comedy, and the Youtube sensation “Carol” of “Carol & Claire in The Angela Hoover web series, as well as dozens of national commercials, and Independent Feature Films. Read More…

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