“A Day in the Life” with Sweet Action Theatre’s Gordon Neill

While toiling in a finance career, Gordon Neill received negative feedback on what was deemed his garbage personality. Undeterred, he enrolled in improvisation classes to correct it. He didn’t know that improvisers love garbage, and they accepted him readily. With his all-in approach to physical comedy, generous spirit and quick wit, he quickly found his place performing and producing shows around North America with the troupe Orson Whales and the duo Ginger & Minge.

Through clown work with Ken Hall and John Beale, Gord became more interested in theatrical clown. He began flirting with the idea of moving abroad to study comedy more closely before deciding to bring international instructors home instead. Through this, Sweet Action Theatre Company was born, and with it, a beautiful accessible space in the west end of Toronto. With a few sold-out shows under his belt and ongoing workshops, the future looks bright.

-Bio written by Linda Julia Paolucci

Ginger and Minge: Getting ready to go on as part of Ginger and Minge, the weirdo improv duo. There's also a Starbucks cup in frame. Coincidence?
Ginger and Minge: Getting ready to go on as part of Ginger and Minge, the weirdo improv duo. There’s also a Starbucks cup in frame. Coincidence?
CC: My lovely improv troupe Orson Whales allowing me to teach them about CC Peniston in front of an audience.
CC: My lovely improv troupe Orson Whales allowing me to teach them about CC Peniston in front of an audience.
Incubated: The cast of the June Incubator sessions. These are all the people that made me buy a theatre by just being lovely.
Incubated: The cast of the June Incubator sessions. These are all the people that made me buy a theatre by just being lovely.
Rolling: If I could roll around like this all day I would.
Rolling: If I could roll around like this all day I would.
Theatre Owner: Just thinking about life. In a nifty new chair!
Theatre Owner: Just thinking about life. In a nifty new chair!
Too Scared to Look: The Sweet Action Home Opener was exciting. So exciting that I was unable to look. Tricky when you're teching.
Too Scared to Look: The Sweet Action Home Opener was exciting. So exciting that I was unable to look. Tricky when you’re teching.
Aitor Unimpressed: Aitor came all the way from Spain to make that face.
Aitor Unimpressed: Aitor came all the way from Spain to make that face.
Bernard Mc Clatchie: My clown, Bernard Mc Clatchie. I can't remember if it's 0% authority with 100% power or 100% authority with 0% power. Whatever is lower status.
Bernard Mc Clatchie: My clown, Bernard Mc Clatchie. I can’t remember if it’s 0% authority with 100% power or 100% authority with 0% power. Whatever is lower status.

What ‘hood(s) do you live in and work in?

My day job is up at Yonge and Finch, also where I live. My night job is down at Artscape Youngplace where I don’t yet live.

What do you do?

I’m a repo trader, kinda like the movie Trading Places but with far fewer ups and downs. And now I also run a theatre.

What are you currently working on?

Most of my time has been spent on building Sweet Action Theatre, but now that it’s pretty much done I have to fill it with workshops, rehearsals and shows. We just had Aitor Basauri teaching a Clown Masterclass and John Gilkey teaching an Idiot Workshop. Next up is Chad Damiani and Chloe Payne, and a bunch more to follow!

Where can we find your work?

It’s all going on at Sweet Action Theatre inside Artscape Youngplace by Queen and Shaw. For more you can check out www.sweetaction.ca.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1598 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography