The Dave McCabe Edition
Edited by Natalie De Paz
Beloved SCITIzen, half of the improv duo Bas(e) Theory, soloproviser extraordinaire, super tech, and spot-on Patrick Warburton impressionist (the Puddy version), Dave McCabe daylights as an operations manager of a pest control company. Dave is an essential worker who helps our world keep turning.
We interviewed Dave via email about what his world looks like right now. Our conversation has been edited.
Tell us about a day in the life for you in the outside world.
For my team and I, not a lot has changed as far as performing our services. I selfishly admit that I am appreciating the lack of traffic. I also admit I feel concerned as I see more cars on the roads. We are dedicated to keeping people safe. We also help protect the food and water supplies. There is a very real, increased sense of purpose and dedication to each day. I have found it to be inspiring. We have been blessed with being provided proper PPE through these times. We also provide sanitation services for large and small businesses. It is a rewarding feeling to know we are increasing the safety of the workers for the necessary businesses.
What is a funny moment you observed or experienced recently?
During the sanitation services, we are all PPE’d up. My team wears backpack sprayers and we kind of look like Ghostbusters. As we pass the employees that move out of the area they often shout “Who ya gonna call?” Or “Don’t cross the streams!” Or sing the Ghostbuster’s theme. I know we are smiling under our masks. 😉
Specifically, during the beginning of this, it was interesting just watching people move in the world. It was like kids navigating in a new playground, not sure of how to interact or what the rules were. When folks would get near each other, they would just go still, waiting for the other person to move. It was also interesting to watch people estimate what 6 feet actually was and judge if they felt others were too close. It was like an adult version of “cooties” from kindergarten.
With all of the masks out there, my comedy brain was thinking, “How do we know who the robbers are?” If I were to yell, “stick ‘em up!” Would the folks that did not “stick ‘em up” in fact be robbers themselves?
Another funny thing that occurred is the management team at work decided we needed to do something nice for our teams that come in day after day to keep us all safe. We decided to make up small movie night themed gift bags with soda, chips, and candy. It felt really odd to be going through the grocery store with what clearly looked like a bulk order of these items. It felt weird, and I felt like shouting, “Not a hoarder…! Purchasing for a good cause… Nothing to see here… Nope, not a hoarder!” I confessed to the checkout person that I was feeling awkward. They looked at me, looked at my cart, and said, “Oh…. this ain’t nothing.” I felt better.
The SCIT community knows you as an improviser who always commits 1000%. How would you say this quality manifests itself during these times, especially at work?
Some performances go well and some miss their mark. Both are successes when you commit. The only time you fail on stage is when you just mail it in. I bring that same passion to my work role. I am part of a leadership team that provides solutions to keep us all safe. I am committed to the team. The team is committed to our customers. Now, more than ever, our efforts make such a positive impact on us all. Mailing it in is not an option.
What are you most looking forward to right now?
I am very much looking forward to the outcome/impact these times will have on humanity.
Many things folks have felt were important have been changed or taken away. We have a clearer understanding of what is necessary. As not much has changed for me, it has provided quite a perspective to watch others grow and adapt. I am looking forward to interacting with people that have gone through this shared experience. Together we have a stronger, brighter future.
What helps you feel supported?
People being in the moment. I know that is an improv attribute. People are now more aware and more conscious of others in the world. They are more engaged with their impact to others while protecting what is theirs. During an improv scene or an interaction with your boss/coworker you are most supported when they are in the moment with you. You can tell when they are thinking of their next funny line, or planning the next conference call. Being present is a way of supporting and being supported.
What message would you like to send out to your fellow SCITizens?
Practice empathy. Everyone handles these situations in their own way. You have no idea what individual challenges someone might be facing. If folks need to vent, give them a non-judgmental ear. If folks seem withdrawn, be sure to ask them if they want to talk about it. Make them feel supported. Listen. You are enough. Remind someone in need that they are enough. Oh yeah— and find some reason to laugh or smile, for goodness sakes. Yeesh!