The Soul behind Nora’s Numbers

I wrote “Nora’s Numbers” along with my number one comedy partner and bff, Analicia Kocher (who will

be playing Nora at this year’s St. Lou Fringe). Analicia and I have been performing together for the past

5 years, having cut our teeth at the Improv Shop. We’ve done improv and sketch throughout St. Louis as

well as performing in Fringe Festivals in Kansas City and Pittsburgh.

The idea for Nora began a year ago when Analicia and I filmed a short video for a show that Analicia was

doing at the Improv Shop. In the video, the Nora character goes to the zoo with her dead husband’s

ashes in tow (in a coffee pot). It was funny but it was also somber, and that’s the type of humor that has

always appealed to me. When Analicia and I started meeting to write the show, we wanted to make

sure that even though this script would have plenty of dumb bits, it also had to have soul.

How do you make sure something you create has soul? It’s hard to define what “soul” even means,

much less how you go about harnessing it, but one approach we took was to make sure we were being

authentic. Nora is Polish, so Analicia and I went down to Saint Stanislaus and took in a Polish mass. I

guess Analicia and I stood out because after the mass, Father Marek Bozek approached us and jokingly

said “you’re not Polish.” We had a lovely conversation with Father Marek about Saint Stan and the

neighborhood and about cats (he likes to joke about cats). If you have the time, you should definitely

check out Saint Stanislaus. It’s a beautiful church and I’m sure Father Marek will seek you out to chat

and joke around with afterwards as well. Analicia and I also revisited an old interview that I had done a

few years ago with an elderly Polish man, Fred Macinski. Fred literally grew up in the shadows of Saint

Stanislaus and a lot of the description of the neighborhood as it looked decades ago came from that

interview. I remember driving around the neighborhood with Fred and he was very proud of the Polish

heritage of the area and had plenty of stories to tell.

Father Marek and Fred Macinski definitely influenced our script and hopefully some of their “soul”

carried through into Nora’s Numbers.

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