Some lucky people stumble onto opportunities. Most people work hard to make opportunities for themselves. And then there are a few rare, generous people who work hard to make opportunities for others.
I wish I could say I knew Michelle Dobrawsky better. I knew her from around the New York comedy/improv scene. I knew she co-organized SuperEgo Comedy, which was not just open-mic comedy show, but a supportive environment where a lot of comedians first attempted stand-up. She was a contributor to I Can Bring Home The Bacon, a blog offering advice to and promoting women operating their own businesses. I knew her from the Improv Resource Center message board, where she seemed to appear in nearly every thread where somebody needed help, be it comedy-related or not.
It was on such a thread, about finding motivation to write, where Michelle posted:
I say we declare September NationalSketchWritingMonth - one sketch per day, thirty days, thirty sketches. Boom! Who’s in?
The funny thing is, this discussion took place in the last week of July, with August right around the corner. I don’t know why she picked September. Maybe it was for the alliteration. Maybe it was because September offered a nice round 30 days, compared with August’s 31. Maybe she realized people needed more than a few days to ramp up to the idea of writing one sketch a day for a month.
I never thought to ask her. And now we’ll never know.
For over a year, she had been fighting rectal cancer. Michelle was tough, reliable, and generous, and it honestly never occurred to me that she might not win.
Earlier today, Michelle passed away.
Goodbye, Michelle. We’ll miss you.