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  • Writer's pictureGretchen Siegfried

Barb Kelner, the Pizza Eater

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

A few months back, I posted a blog about being a lobster. I discovered a character who embodies what it means to be a lobster - Barb Kelner, the Pizza Eater.

I stumbled across an SNL sketch from

several years ago in which Melissa McCarthy plays a woman who wants a small business loan to help fund her dream of eating other people's leftover pizza. Within the six minute performance, she develops an incredible arc for her character - and I found myself watching it over and over again. What was drawing me to this six minute comedy bit?

Barb Kelner is a lobster. She is enthusiastic and confident about her "good business pizza plan" but most importantly, she is completely wide open and vulnerable. Her dream seems frivolous to the banker and when he rejected her idea, she is dejected, and my heart sank for her. Yet, as she leaves the bank - I knew she was undeterred. She is unflappable.

She IS the Pizza Eater.

As I approach my 45th birthday, I have found myself questioning my place in the circus world. All of this questioning lead to a ton of self doubt. I shelved "Stories in Flight," unsure that I could bring to life what I imagined in my mind. Instead of scaling down to make it a reality, I shut it down all together. I acted as a fearful crab rather than an adventurous lobster. Recently, I have watched the Barb Kelner sketch over and over because it gives me a much needed reminder about the importance of believing in yourself and approaching your dreams whole-heartedly. "Stories in Flight" will come to life because I AM an Aerialist/Educator/Storyteller and bringing this to life is my pursuit of passion.

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