Consultant Feature - Brenna Thys
Posted: Wednesday, October 05 2016
Q&A: Getting to Know Senior Consultant Brenna Thys
Senior Communication Consultant Brenna Thys is a leading expert in communication, presentation, and public speaking skills with a background as a film, television, and theater actor. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College. In addition to her work with game on, she is currently a faculty member at Pace University in New York City.
Brenna is a tremendous talent and her passion and skill have added great value to the game on team. We had the opportunity to ask Brenna a few questions to learn more about her background and experiences.
Tell me how you first got involved in acting/commentating/public speaking/coaching...
I got into acting when I was 5 years old. I fell in love with plays and also dancing. I have a BFA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College, where I was classmates with game on VP Blair Bloomston, a true talent. I also have an MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama. I had an improv company in NYC for many years. Blair knew that I was doing improv and teaching acting and she was the person who got me into public speaking and coaching about 5 years ago.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
I find balance to be a challenge but also the key to my work. I want to give everything each time I get up in front of my college students, my game on participants and my audiences. I find that I have to be incredibly efficient with my energy. As long as I have some combination of healthy food, hydration, exercise, sleep and family time, I am able to figure out how to balance it all.
How would your best friend describe you? (or share three words you believe others would use to describe you)
One word that different people, during different times of my life have described me is courageous. I never really thought about it until I was asked this question by AJ. It was a nice bunch of memories to recall. People have also said that I have a unique sense of humor.
If you weren’t in the current profession you’re in, what would you like to be doing instead?
I would own a wellness retreat with hundreds of acres of land that would bring the best of eastern and western medicine together. People who were ill or trying to prevent illness would come from all over (for free because I'd be so well funded). They would eat healthy food grown on the land and go on hikes and get great PT and art therapy and infrared sauna sessions. I'd teach yoga and meet with scientists and doctors to figure out what the latest and greatest treatments were. There'd be acupuncture and hydration specialists. So basically, I'd be a type of doctor/farmer/yoga teacher.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I can cook anything.
What’s your most memorable client experience since you started working with game on?
I have had a lot of great experiences with the USO and military clients but there is one memory that always comes to mind. I was presenting in Colorado at a USO Caregivers Seminar. The audience was mostly wives of very high ranking officers who had spent most of their careers deployed. I was teaching Objectives (one of the game on exercises). While I was giving the tie-backs, a woman asked me, “What if you are trying to make him feel loved and safe but it just makes him angrier?” In retrospect, I think who am I to tell this woman who is older than me how she should communicate with her husband when he comes back from war? However, in the room, the answer just came, through the tie-backs and in the moment and we talked about checking in and seeing how your objective is landing. Maybe SAFE and LOVED were too much and just start out easy with lighter objectives like funny and appreciated. Then the presentation carried on as usual.
Afterwards, we all gathered by the coffee and everyone thanked that woman for asking the question. They were all so excited to try something active that could really have a positive outcome for them and their families. The excitement between them was palpable. Of course I love that memory because those women felt so empowered. I also go back to that memory selfishly when I'm nervous to remind myself that the answers are in there and that we are experts on communication.
Who is most influential person in your life? Why?
Probably my husband Ben. He is really great at living life. He's good at being happy and being a good person. He's a clown and philosopher and a romantic. I learn a lot about enjoying life and moving it forward from him. YAY BEN THYS!!
If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?
My super power would be to heal in a few seconds like Wolverine so I could do really adventurous stuff without the bodily risk. Also, so I could exercise without being so sore.
What do you do to reset and regenerate?
I get into nature!! Hiking, kayaking, skiing, body surfing, running, swimming, meditating and doing yoga outside, even cooking over an open fire. Just writing about it is giving me an energy boost.