Change Makes Cents

By Caleigh LeGrand

I sometimes superstitiously pick up change I find on the ground.

On a morning shortly after February 4th, 2013 – the day the Canadian government discontinued the penny’s minting and distribution – I was walking to one of my regular coffee shops to write, when one of my country’s devalued copper coins caught my eye.

I froze, contemplating whether or not I should bother to pick up the penny. What good was it if it was no longer currency? Regardless, I habitually picked up the money, but this time decided to conduct my own personal hope-for-luck experiment. After all, I thought, why wouldn’t the penny’s folklore luck tenfold the day it became useful for nothing else?

Good tidings it brought. That morning, I didn’t spend a cent; three people bought me coffee. That evening, I met a businessman who went on to help me land a role in a feature film with an actor I admire.

Admittedly, I’d consider myself slightly delusional were I to simply attribute these happenings to the likes of a ductile, metallic element. But I do believe a correlation exists between my being open to picking up the penny and my being open to a more general invitation to new opportunities in life. The magical connection is found in the power of a three-letter word: yes.

‘Yes’ is a word I learned in my improv studies at Second City. ‘Yes’ brought me to a film set to shoot a scene with James Caan; ‘yes’ brought me to a comedy stage to perform live improv with Colin Mochrie; ‘yes’ brought me to love every twist and turn life has to offer.

While ‘no (thank you)’ contains the power to cut you off from certain potentials, ‘yes’ derails a major obstacle that continually rears its ugly head in front of everything pretty: it gets you over yourself and allows you to find new potential by removing self-doubt as a playing card.

Sure, you’ll always find struggle, but, “the fun is always on the other side of a yes.” Just ask comedian Tina Fey and take a look at what this tiny word has done for both her career and personal life (

Currency changes. So will your current situation. I promise. I also promise that no matter what change you happen to find on your way to the coffee shop, you are ductile enough to undergo any transformation without breaking (just like a penny!) And if you embrace “yes”, you’ll look back and wonder how you got to be so lucky. Make cents?



Caleigh Le Grand is an actor and writer living in Toronto.

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One Response to “Change Makes Cents

  • Great article and enjoyed reading it. I can’t agree more with the power “Yes” holds. Until we took the improv course taught by JG we were, as I call now “No Buts”. Now we are 95% “Yes Ands”. That 5%, well, hard to break what you knew and we can’t agree on everything…..that would be no challenge. After re-arranging my thoughts auditions became easier. Used to go in with the “No soup for you” attitude, being very militant with a “I won’t get this” way of thinking. Now I go in being me and very relaxed, I do just as well there as I do on the way home and have landed a couple.
    Anyway thanks for the refresher Caleigh and congrats on your part and future roles. The penny may have helped but a positive attitude is the copper in my pocket. Happy Trails Barn-Out…….maybe one day we will shake hands….

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