Going on a blind date is nerve-racking enough – imagine going on one with strangers watching. Sounds painful, but Rebecca Northan does it all the time.
The actress, who studied drama at the University of Calgary and taught a semester at the school, is bringing her improv show, Blind Date, to Edmonton this month. In it,Northan plays Mimi, a French clown, who goes on a date with a randomly chosen member of the audience.
While Northam isn’t single and has never gone on a blind date in real life, she still gets to play the field through her alter ego. “I marvel at the amazing men I’ve met because of Mimi. I tend to be a bit more shy,” says Northan.
Now Northan bounces back and forth between Calgary and Toronto. On top of acting, she directs, produces, writes and teaches, all while travelling to various cities, including New York, to perform Blind Date and other shows.
Northan began acting out parodies of commercials with her younger brother when she was five. At age 16, she studied improv at the Loose Moose Theatre Company in Calgary. “I was encouraged to make mistakes and be positive about it because failing at something is the fastest way to learn,” says Northan.
Sounds kind of like the dating scene. No matter how much you plan for a date, you can’t foresee what will happen; just like with Northan’s show. “I don’t know how the show is going to go on any given night,” she says, “It’s like a real blind date – you hope for the best, you pray for a human connection. I’ve been very lucky.”