Friend a Day | March 9, 2014
Today’s Friend a Day is Maria Bartholdi.
Maria Bartholdi is an improviser, a writer, a video and television producer, a Welsh scholar, a gamer, and a podcaster. I’ve known and known of Maria a bit for a number of years as we have a bunch of improv people in common. We’ve been professional colleagues for the last bunch of months which means she has to tolerate me on a daily basis.
One of my favorite things about Maria is how totally cool with herself she seems to be. She is a straight up gaming nerd but not in the “it’s cool to be a nerd” thing that seems to be happening more these days. Maria is legit into stereotypically nerdy things and she neither makes that all her identity or keeps it separate from the rest of her identity. What I think this highlights about Maria is how she does the things she does. If something matters to her there is no guilt about being into that thing and she will, possibly violently, fight anyone who questions the validity of caring about those things.
Maria get’s play on an internal level. This means that she is able to find, in her professional work, elements of storytelling and ways to highlight and capture joy in both documentary and scripted work that a lot of editors and producers may overlook. It also means she’s terribly funny in a way that she can’t completely control. If you give Maria the opportunity to do something silly, strange or playful her instincts are to run towards opportunities without taking a moment to examine whether the social situation allows for the strange or the silly.
Honestly, when I first found out I would be spending roughly eight hours a day, five days a week sitting two feet from Maria I didn’t know if that would be awesome. She’s an improviser above all else and, speaking as an improviser myself, we can be obnoxious. I know if I had the ability to spend less time with my own improviser brain I’d probably take it. But Maria, while not constantly doing bits, is always ready to do bits. At the same time, she can have a sincere conversation about just about anything.
In short, Maria is pretty far from terrible.
For more internet things from Maria check out Maria Bartholdi Dot Com.