Working with a spouse can be a juggling act on its own but add two kids with talent for the performing arts on top of it, and Krissy Lenz has a show-stopping family routine running the National Comedy Theatre in Downtown Mesa.
The Lenz family does everything together; her husband is her co-director of the improv troupe at National Comedy Theatre, her 14-year-old is teaching improv teams, and her 10-year-old is already a budding star in the teen improve troupe, although he’s still three-feet shorter than most of the other kids.
Read on for how Krissy has applied improv techniques and approaches into her parenting style, and how this family has built a life that enables them to eat, sleep and dream their passion into every nook and cranny of their lifestyle.
- Name: Krissy Lenz
- Age: 39
- Location: Mesa, AZ
- Children: Zoe Violet, 14 and Rocket, 10
Why did you want to start your own business?
I have always been intrigued by the amazing teachers and directors of improv troupes—the ones who run the show. I kind of always knew that it was my goal to be one of those people (in the room where it happens) who make improv, comedy, and building a community their job- and get to eat, sleep and dream it everyday.
Being a mompreneur made sense for where the various wormholes and pathways of life have directed my family. A huge part of improv is being open to possibilities and saying yes to opportunities. Saying an enthusiastic YES to being a mompreneur was an easy decision for me.
Tell us a little bit about your family
I love our family! We do everything, well, nearly everything together. Everything we do is family business.
Zoe is a brilliant and an amazing human who is starting high school this year. In addition to being an award winning member of the Latin Classics Club and a straight A student, she also founded and teaches her schools first ever Improv Comedy Team!
Rocket is a bouncing ball of positive energy. He is the life of any party or even the life of any non-party situation.
Both kids had their birthday parties at the NCT shows last year and gosh, it makes us so proud that they love comedy as much as we do.
How do you make time for self-care in between all that you have going on?
I love self care and I absolutely value it. It is an important thing to model for our kids that being busy, productive and goal oriented does not mean exhausting yourself and neglecting to take time for rest and to recharge.
I love to go to the movies. In the “before COVID” times, one of the things I did for myself every week was to see a movie on Friday mornings, by myself. There is something thrilling about unapologetically eating buttery popcorn at 10 a.m., mostly by yourself in a beautifully dark and cool movie theater.
What lessons have you learned in your career that you apply to parenting?
I believe that our entrepreneurial lives have led the kids to realize that we can each help to make the world we want to live in without waiting for permission. Not only has Zoe started the first ever Improv Club at her school, she is also pioneering their first Gay Straight Alliance club on her campus.
What do you teach your children about success and failure?
Improv is great for this one too! Failure is a core value in improv. From day one we learn to embrace failure, celebrate it, and never fear it. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow- therefore- failure and being open to it is, itself, success. We teach this lesson to kids, teens and adults and we live it every day! I am also very committed to sharing with my kids the idea that there is no finish line in this corporeal life. There’s no end zone where we go, “yay! This is it! Welcome to SUCCESS!”
All of us are ongoing projects that learn, grow, change and fail and stumble while we move forward. Success isn’t an end zone or an eventuality, it’s the process of putting effort into being our best selves all the time. And, to tie back into self care, understanding that we will sometimes fail at being our best selves all the time and it’s totally ok to take a nap when that happens.
For some fun chit-chat, now!
- Favorite East Valley date night activity: Strolling around and shopping before getting dinner on Main Street in downtown Mesa. Then seeing a show at the Mesa Arts Center or one of the many local entertainment venues in Downtown Mesa, then a drink after at one of the amazing local brewers or taprooms.
- Coffee order: Iced Tea, please. Unsweetened.
- Greatest challenge in your career thus far: The struggle to adapt and reinvent our business to survive Covid-19 closure.
- Most embarrassing mom moment: Crying at my daughters first improv show
- Last Netflix show you binged: Schitts Creek over and over again!
- Favorite family tradition: Going to movie premiers on opening night! The kids don’t know how lucky they have it that we get to reserve seats online rather than wait in line all night like we used to!