YEDaily: Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus

Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus both took major initiative in kickstarting their careers, an effort which culminated in the founding of the National Theatre of the World. What was the inspiration behind their career route? Find out in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell. 
We started the National Theatre of the World, a fresh, award-winning progressive theatre company intent on creating captivating live theatre through the art of improvisation. We make things up on the spot in a fun and theatrical way. Our job is to be in a constant state of unprepared preparedness.  

Why did you start working at your company? 
We started the National Theatre Of the World (With Ron Pederson) because we wanted to be a part of both the comedy AND theatre communities. We wanted to do something that we could call our own. 

What was the inspiration for this career route? 
Naomi: I have always admired people who start things from nothing; companies like Studio 180 or Gary Rideout Jr. at The Comedy Bar, they make things happen in our community and we are all better off for it.

Matt: I was tired of waiting for the phone to ring. And when it did ring it was usually just a telemarketer. Then I got rid of my landline and started this company. Haven’t looked back. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? 
We get to hang out with people that make us laugh every day!  

The most challenging part? 
Crossing the i’s and dotting the t’s – there’s lots of details to worry about to make sure a show is produced professionally and everyone has a good time. Protecting our funny friends from doing something they might not be proud of. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
We want to do a bit of everything – we heard that Fred Willard and his wife still do a sketch show in LA. We always want to be a part of our community, doing live performances and creating funny shows in some way. 

What does success look like to you?
When we’re involved in a project with fun people and everyone is laughing and having a good time, but also feeling pride in the project, that’s ideal. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career? 
Naomi: When I crashed the auditions for Second City, that was big. It had always been a dream of mine to work there, and when I took a deep breath and found the courage to turn up for an audition I wasn’t supposed to be at, that was big.

Matt: Moving to Toronto was the best thing I ever did for my career. I was able to reinvent myself out east after leaving Alberta. I am where I am because I took that risk and I think it paid off. 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals? 
Naomi: Do what you love. If you want to be a performer, perform. Don’t wait for someone to allow you to follow your dream – make your own opportunities.

Matt: If you are really good at what you do and you love it, then whatever you do, don’t have a backup plan. Just do what you do.  

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Naomi: Youth Diabetes. My little nephew has diabetes; he’s a tough cookie and my hero. His sister is also my hero, but for her craft expertise.

Matt: Brain Cancer research. I lost my eldest brother to the disease and he was one of the funniest guys I ever knew. 

What to you is notable?
Legacies, recipes and memos to tell your partner that you’ve fed the dog before you went to work.  

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
We both have an iPhone. It took some convincing to get Naomi to get one. But now I can’t pry the thing away from her. Sometimes I get a bit jealous.