In 11 days, 40,000 people will be watching me speak into a microphone (!!)

Something happened (slash is about to happen) to me and I cannot stop laughing about it. I laugh at least 6 times a day. Especially and literally EVERY TIME i tell someone about it (which I’m doing a LOT). So I want to tell you.

**in a rush? Don’t forget that this coming Tues (Jun 27th + there’ll be a recording) I’m running my FIRST EVER public online storytelling workshop, where I teach you the essential basics of how to tell captivating stories (in ANY situation). Wanna come? Just donate to the Superpower Cancer Shower and you’ll get sent the details!**

Two weeks ago today, I got voicemail from an unknown number, that sent me into a tailspin. When I called my voicemail, the lady’s message said,

“Hi, I don’t know if this is the right number, I’m calling from Immigration Canada about your citizenship ceremony. I will call back later.”

Immediately, I panicked. What if she doesn’t call back???

I applied for my Canadian Citizenship two years ago. I want to be able to vote, and I also need it for work. I really, REALLY thought it would be all done by now. Two days before this missed call, I’d actually received the email finally inviting me to have my Citizenship ceremony — and was elated. BUT THEN, I realised the date of it was when I was supposed to be in New York (to celebrate the launch of Laura Belgray’s EXCELLENT and VERY FUNNY book). I was crushed.

BUT THEN, I saw that the ceremony was on Zoom in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon. I could go! Elated again!

BUT THEN I read that I would have to cut up my Canadian visa card on camera, meaning I wouldn’t be able to get back into Canada. Crushed again. I considered cancelling my trip, losing all my flight money. Just so I could have my ceremony on Zoom, alone in my apartment while everyone else was at work. Not the vision I’d had for it when I applied. Eventually, I decided to email and postpone the ceremony.

Three days later, I get that call and am freaking out about the voicemail. I search the entire internet for a number I can call the lady back on — there isn’t one — then sit, staring at my phone. After an hour, it rings again. I answer,


The lady establishes that I’m me, and explains that she’s calling about my ceremony. I try to remain calm. Then she says,

“Would you be free to do the ceremony on July 1st?”

YES!!! (It’s Canada Day, and a Saturday)

She continues, “…in person?”


“…with nine other people, on the field of the Rogers Stadium in Toronto, just before a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game, in front of 40,000 people?”



arial view of the Rogers stadium during a baseball game. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE!!



Instantaneously, I burst into tears and begin hysterically laughing, then can’t stop doing either for the rest of the conversation. It’s a wonder she can understand anything I’m saying, given that I’m squeaking my words out at dog-whistle pitch.

The story just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. Today I learned that we’re going to be taking the oath ON THE MOUND, with, the, like, HEAD of Citizenship stuff for Canada leading us. Then we’re going to ALL throw the first pitch. From baseballs that have been brought to us by three people who will be RAPPELING (aka abseiling) FROM THE ROOF OF THE STADIUM I AM NOT EVEN JOKING.

Oh and then, to sing the national anthem, we’ll be dispersed to stand among the line of Blue Jays players.


I am literally laughing even as I’m writing this to you. It’s so funny, and so amazing.

So why am I telling you? Three reasons:

1) I wanted to show you that even when you’re telling a story that has outlandish and compelling facts, you STILL need to follow the rules of storytelling. And the two most important ones are: one, action scenes are central (you tuck the voiceover into them), and two, always answer the question how did you feel?

2) If you want to do a deep dive on those lessons — and get to practise on a short story of your own (that I will choose for you! So don’t worry about thinking one up!) — then THIS TUESDAY (+ a recording after), I am running my first ever online storytelling workshop that’s open to the public. Usually I only run them for companies and organizations. But next week, I’m doing one that YOU can come to!

It’s part of the Cancer Shower* that my chum Sara Smeaton and I are throwing for our excellent friend Karen Ward. All you have to do to come along (or get the recording) is donate to the GoFundMe for the Superpower Cancer Shower. Suggested donation is $50 (it’s a good workshop!) but truly, pay what you can, whether that’s less or more. You can do that, here:

BONUS: you’ll also be invited to sign up to the other 4 workshops on things like how to sharpen your intuition and how to declutter.

*like a baby or wedding shower… but Cancer. Karen’s idea, because she’s a genius.

and finally,

3) I had to tell you because I always write my best stories on this blog and what is this if not one of THE BEST STORIES I WILL EVER HAVE.

Thanks for reading! And if you feel even a little bit delighted, thanks for that, too. If you want to see me giggling about this on a video, I’ve been posting the updates on my instagram, @yesyesmarsha and no doubt will continue to.

Any questions about the workshop or anything else? lemme know in the comments below!

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS literally an hour before I got that phone call, I’d just been chatting with my therapist about how as I inch towards 50, I’d been pondering how I’ve got to do a lot of lovely and fun things in my life, and how privileged I am. She said, “you are privileged, yes, but also, you are a person who tends to say ‘yes’ to things”. In response, I told her how I’d just listened to an episode of the podcast This American Life, where the narrator was describing a friend of hers by saying, “She’s the kind of person who you leave a conversation with thinking, ‘how come I never end up on a pirate ship in the middle of the Hudson river?'” I explained to my therapist how I’d really related to the woman’s friend. AND THEN THAT PHONE CALL HAPPENED. And I’m sure somebody, somewhere is thinking, “How come I never get invited to take a public oath in front of 40,000 people?”

PPS if you’re curious as to why they picked me, she said it’s because I seemed enthusiastic in my email. I checked back, and literally the only non-formal line was this one that I signed off with

“Thank you!!!! With great excitement,


Exclamation marks pay, kids!!!!!!

PPPPPPS wanna come hang out with me at this storytelling workshop BEFORE I GET ALL FAMOUS??? It’s next Tuesday, and you can get the recording after for 30 days. All you have to do is donate to Karen Ward’s Superpower Cancer Shower. Then you’ll be sent an email to register within 24 hours (and also the Zoom details etc in the updates). Here’s the link:

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