We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Giralo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I’ve been performing improv for over 10 years. It’s difficult to think of the most important lesson learned, because improv is about a growth mindset. Progress not perfection. Improv teaches me to see beauty in mistakes and that mistakes aren’t actually mistakes. Improv teaches me how to practice mindfulness in a very practical way. Improv teaches me how to think about the bigger picture and about the details. Improv teaches me about true active listening and how to validate others and make them feel heard. The most important lesson would be that I am not a different person onstage, which taught me that I am not a different person in other contexts. What I mean by that is the habits I have, whether constructive or destructive, follow me everywhere and that I need to work on them in order to improve all types of relationships (professional, interpersonal, improvisational, etc.). I personally struggle with control issues. I had to really learn where that came from and what that means. And once I traced that back, I could see how control has been a theme throughout my life. Improv taught me that and has helped me to accept what is.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am excited to be part of an ever-growing comedy culture in Phoenix. The people are passionate about producing quality shows and working on their skills and craft. I’ve recently had the privilege of interviewing several improvisers and comedians on the Building Bridges Improv Podcast and recently on Instagram Live. The conversations have been energizing, each one learning more about that person’s journey and their lessons learned and then sharing those interviews with the community. I’ve realized that I am very passionate about making the community a better place and lifting up marginalized voices. I’d like to continue sharing other people’s stories and talents and create more platforms to help comedy be more accessible.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I always take people to The Grand, The Churchill, Hula’s Modern Tiki, Bitters Bar and Food, The Coronado, Dark Hall Coffee, Cornish Pasty, Barrio Queen, Malee’s Thai Bistro, FEZ, and Spinato’s Pizzaria, Hot Sauce and Pepper.

Lately I have really been into rooftop bars: Floor 13 (Phoenix), From the Rooftop (Phoenix), and Alibi (Tempe).

Make sure to check out the arts: The Phoenix Theatre Company, Black Theatre Troupe

Comedy venues: Bridge Improv Theater (Tempe), Improvmania (Chandler), Neighborhood Comedy Theatre (Mesa)

Concerts: Crescent Ballroom, The Van Buren, Rebel Lounge.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a huge shoutout to Bridge Improv Theater (David Raftery and Travis Johnson) for the opportunities, growth, and environment to learn. Bridge Improv Theater lifts up voices and provides a supportive environment to practice the art of improv.

I also want to shoutout David Raftery, Jess Klemm, Caitlyn Rogers, Meredith Howell, Aleks Hollis, Jason Davids Scott, Jose Gonzalez, and Brandi Bigley for their talents, support, and modeling the kind of performer I want to be, one that makes it a better place.

Website: jennifergiralo.com

Instagram: @Jennifer_Giralo

Image Credits
Anthony Benites, Brandi Bigley, Joshua James Boyle

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