Meet WIT’s board: Matt Alexander
One of the keys to WIT’s success is our active and knowledgable board of directors. While these folks a lot of time and energy into our community, most of their work is behind the scenes. In this series, we’ll introduce you to members of WIT’s board, starting with recent board addition Matt Alexander! Matt is an alumnus of WIT’s classes and, by day, runs his own architecture firm.
Quick get-to-know-you: Describe your life in ten words or fewer.
I am a Dad, Architect, and Improviser.
How did you wind up in DC and how did you get introduced to improv and WIT?
I ended up in DC as a result of completing my architecture degree at Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Center (WAAC). I first got introduced to improv by my good friend Kathy Baird, who encouraged me to take a class with her husband Shawn Westfall years ago at the DC Improv. Fast forward to about four years ago and I was ready to take improv classes again. I had gone to a few shows at WIT and knew several people that liked the program, so I signed up for a class and the rest is history.
How has improv changed your life?
Improv has had a huge and positive impact on my life! The biggest thing I would say is that it has helped me to really embrace the moment, to not hold back on trying new things, and to have the confidence to take risks. I started my own business earlier this year and I don’t think I would have had the courage to take such a big risk without improv. Perhaps just as importantly, I have developed (and continue to develop) wonderful friendships. To have a supportive group of friends while being part of a community such as WIT has been a great gift.
You’re the dad of teenagers. What do your kids think of your relatively new interest in improv?
I think they are both really happy and impressed that I have gotten into improv, and that I put myself out there. In some ways, I don’t think it is a big surprise to them because the person they see on stage is pretty much the same goofy dad that they grew up with. They have both been to my shows, and are very supportive while getting to know some of my fellow improviser friends. My daughter in particular was in drama and plays/musicals in high school and she came by herself to see my Level 1 Showcase a few years ago. In summary, I think they think I am weird, but a good weird.
Why did you join WIT’s board? What has the experience been like?
I saw this as an opportunity to get to know more people and learn more about how the organization runs. I also saw this as an opportunity to apply my professional expertise and life experiences to something I am passionate about.
So far it has been a learning curve for me, but very interesting.
What’s something about WIT that you’ve learned as a board member that you didn’t know before you joined the board?
I did not realize all of the effort it takes to run a nonprofit organization. Taking classes and/or participating in performances is just one aspect of what WIT does, and to do that, it takes a lot of work from a dedicated group of people.
Are you a pirate, robot, or a ninja?
Dogs or cats?
Last song you listened to?
‘I Love You’, by Climax Blues Band
Nothing very good, but for pure guilty pleasure my go to is 90 Day Fiance.
Improv advice that also applies to life?
Always approach life with a ‘Yes and’ attitude. Putting yourself out there for something you are excited about will make life much happier and more fulfilling.