Emy Doyle

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Emy Doyle

Postby mia » March 23rd, 2012, 1:29 pm

Emilia “Emy” Doyle started taking classes at the Hideout Theater in April of last year. When we signed up for classes together, we had to fill out a little information card for how we heard about the classes, what we hoped to gain, etc. One question said, “What would be the best possible outcome of the class for you?” I’m sure others wrote things like “I get over my stage fright,” or “Make new friends,” or “Sex with multiple partners” (because I snuck a peek at the other papers even though I wasn’t supposed to). On her paper, Emy wrote “Improv cures my cancer.” Well it didn’t, and Emy entered hospice care last week and passed away last night quietly in her sleep. She was in a lot of pain these last few months, and so I am taking heart knowing that she doesn’t have that pain anymore.
I want to share a few thoughts about Emy here on the forums because when her health really took a turn for the worse in October, she had to move back to the northeast to live with her family. She said her sister and improv were the two things that she would miss the most about Austin. She spent 22 days in the hospital before going back, and during that time several friends from class came to visit her and it made her day every time. If you didn’t know her well, I feel utterly sorry for you, because she was the best friend anyone could ask for. Rather than list her amazing qualities, here are some Emy facts.
Her true loves were Patrick Swayze and Axl Rose.
After we moved to Austin, Emy decided her computer programming job was boring so she traveled Eastern Europe and then worked on an organic farm in Florida for three months.
She was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancerous brain tumor shortly after that – nasopharyngeal carcinoma usually affects Southeastern Asian men over the age of 40. She underwent chemo and radiation at the same time. The radiation was on her face. If you don’t know a lot about cancer –like I didn’t- there are only four stages, and to go through chemotherapy and radiation simultaneously is practically unheard of. She liked the mask she had to wear during radiation because of its resemblance to Jason’s hockey mask.
She loved horror movies – especially zombie ones.
She won many a pub trivia because of her uncanny ability to recall arbitrary pop facts.
She moved back to Austin as soon as she got into UT’s Social Work Master’s program.
She volunteered at a clinic and the homeless shelter downtown. One time, when ACL music fest was going on, a man at the shelter was impatient and took it out on Emy as she was getting his mail for him. She explained that the office was closed and she had to run, but that she would quickly get his mail for him anyway. He said to her, “Oh, what, you’re going to be late for ACL? What, Daddy’s waiting in his car for you out front?” He kept harassing her about it. Emy was actually late to chemotherapy that day.
We were going to start a troupe after our classes at the Hideout were over.
Emy loved cats and Weird Al.
Okay, that doesn’t really cover it. I could go on forever. The last thing I want to say on here is thank you. As her friend I want to thank you all for bringing her a lot of joy in her last months. She loved seeing shows, she loved our teachers and the classes, she loved the sense of community and unique friends she made. Remembering the joy that our community brought to Emy just makes me happy, and it helps me remember how lucky we all are.
Play some Guns and Roses for Emy, and thanks for reading.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 23rd, 2012, 1:56 pm

so sorry to hear this. i didn't know her, but i'm sorry for the loss to her friends. she sounds amazing. prayers and condolences to those as need them. :(
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Postby acrouch » March 23rd, 2012, 2:00 pm

Emy was a pleasure to have in classes. She was brave, funny and a natural improviser. This sucks.
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Postby Kayla Lane » March 23rd, 2012, 2:13 pm

Emy was always so lovely to be around. I never got to know her as intimately as some others did, but every time I'd chat with her I was enamored by how confident and silly and fun she was. I was in Level 4 or 5 when I met her right after she joined classes, and she was already a way braver improviser than I felt I could ever be! I really admired that about her. I bet that having to deal with something as big as cancer helps put things into perspective; looking stupid on stage or making a social snafu in front of cool improv people are REALLY unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

When I joined my Level Six class, I had been looking forward to playing with all the cool people in there (Line Up in a Circle! Love you guys!) and I was disappointed because I thought Emy had dropped out of improv. That's when Mia told me she had cancer and had to return home. I would have never known because was always so happy and radiant.

I wish I had gotten to know Emy longer than just the few months that I did. But I am so grateful that she was a part of this community while she was here in Austin. Thank you for being you, Emy!
"You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down." - Ray Bradbury
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Postby jesspasc » March 23rd, 2012, 2:39 pm

I only met Emy briefly, but I watched her play in her first Maestro. She was one of those great improvisers who watch, assess, and then make the whole scene with a single line.

I do know you, Mia, and I know how much you loved Emy. All of the usual platitudes seem to fall short but please know that I am sending good thoughts to both Emy and you.
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Postby EmilyBee » March 23rd, 2012, 2:58 pm

I'm very sad to hear of Emy's passing. I did not know her, but she sounds like a wonderful person. I hope your good memories of her always remain new.
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Postby Jon Bolden » March 23rd, 2012, 3:00 pm

This is hard to hear. I TA'd and/or co-taught Emy's first improv classes and she was stood out to me. I'll never forget one time thinking she wasn't having fun in level one. I remember asking her after class, "Are you doing okay? Are you having fun?". She looked shocked and responded "what? are kidding? YES! I'm having the time of my life!" She always had this look on her face like she was confused or lost and then she would shock the whole room with a hilariously blunt or obvious statement. She exemplified being obvious & honest. When we played "come over if..." she eventually said "come over here if you have cancer!" At first people looked uncomfortable, but she said it with such a positive attitude that everyone clapped and laughed. She was a "no bullshit" kind of person and everyone loved that about her.

I knew when she had to move away, it was bad news. I will miss her and I'm glad to have met her and that improv was an important element of her final months.
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Postby Ryan Austin » March 23rd, 2012, 3:04 pm

Emy was a huge part of my improv world from level one and we started going to all the electives together and laying down plans for a troupe. I was heartbroken when she had to leave because I knew how much she loved this creative outlet and community.

She was wildly hilarious and naturally witty. She brought her Dad to an elective one time and he added a raccoon to the scene which Emy happened to do on her own the week before. It was so funny that their minds conjured up the same animal addition. She grew in improv by leaps and bounds. Her talent was incredibly solid.

She was as wonderful as Mia describes her and more. Though I got to know her very well, I wish it had been more. I wish she could have stayed in Austin because she really loved it here and she loved all of you. Our class moved through all the levels at the Hideout together and it's with a heavy heart we play our final showcase this Sunday. It will be dedicated to her.

Emy, you know we miss you, and you know we love you. You were honestly a great improviser, and I'm not just saying that. I loved getting to know you and your bizarre but brilliant sense of humor. I've been praying for you and your family and Mia. We're all playing a lot of shows this week and we're glad that you'll be able to catch them all (simultaneously), every one of them is for you.

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Postby troy » March 23rd, 2012, 3:25 pm

Thank you for posting this, Mia. I knew in my head that this was probably coming, but nothing can prepare you for the inevitable sadness you feel in your heart. Emy was a beautiful person, and always had such an upbeat demeanor. She was funny and immensely likeable. I'm honored that I was in her life in whatever small way. I will remember her smile, her quirky sensibility, her random hilarious sayings, her outlook on life. I will celebrate her life whenever I smile and laugh, because those are the things she brought into mine.
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Postby TeresaYork » March 23rd, 2012, 3:46 pm

This is very sad news. I only knew Emy briefly, but she always had a smile on her face. She really did have a great grasp on improv --she consistently had honest, endearing reactions in her scenes. I know it's been hard for many in my class as we watched her leave something she loved so much. Sadness.
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Postby morton » March 23rd, 2012, 4:14 pm

That's really beautiful, Mia, thanks so much for posting and sharing. Really sad to hear it.

I remember the first class too, and Emy's saying to come over if you had cancer. Someone said "But it's all better now, right?" And she kind of gave an amused eye roll.

She was so kind and sweet. I'll always remember sitting with her at the Dog and Duck.

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Postby mia » March 23rd, 2012, 5:19 pm

Thank you for your comments. Can an admin please make this message thread private?
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Postby Brad Hawkins » March 23rd, 2012, 5:43 pm

I'm really sorry to hear this. Emy seemed like such a sweet person. Wish I'd gotten to know her better. My heart goes out to you, Mia, and the rest of her friends and family.
The silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe. A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee. She says "My body is the life; my body is the way." I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet.
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Postby Ruby W. » March 23rd, 2012, 5:48 pm

Emy is wonderful. I am so grateful that she spent her time with us.
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Postby JediImprov » March 23rd, 2012, 6:48 pm

I found this via a post Ruby put on FB and was just offering Mia some support and then it hit me, when peeps were saying they had done a lot of electives with her, which at that time, I was doing. Then it hit me and I remember her well, a wonderful, light and delightful spirit. Cancer just f'g sucks, so many people I know, including me with my mom, have been affected. I had no idea she was sick.

Thanks, Mia, for such a gracious and wonderful post. You honor her memory well and in such a classy way. To know that she jumped in on improv in midst of such a battle brings peace and joy to my heart because that means she got to enjoy play and fun, expression, so many wonderful moments.

And just when you start thinking you might understand courage, someone like Emy comes along.
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