We spent most of our first (PIT Level 1 improv) class talking about ourselves.
Not thrilled with that. I’m naturally pretty narcissistic. I like improv (in part) because it helps get me OUT and AWAY from my own selfish obsessions, not deeper INTO them.
For one exercise, we stood up and shared stories (in preparation for a future Armando, I guess).
I don’t like telling stories. Because I don’t get out much, I don’t accumulate a lot of stories; because I don’t have a good memory, the few stories I DO accumulate fade away after a couple years.
Plus, my spoken narrative is usually terrible: I put in too many details about this part, and I leave out significant details from that part, and the whole thing is a disjointed mess.
I dunno. Everyone was telling heartfelt stories about their families. I panicked and told the class about how I don’t have a lot of connections with people, and how I was a selfish jerk who didn’t call my great aunt the week before she died.
I went home feeling like shit. (Rightly so?)
In one sense, this is a victory. Normally, when I meet new people, I pump loads of effort into being as likable as possible. Painting myself in a super-unflattering light straightaway is one way to get over that, I guess. “Be real?”
On the other hand, I foresee this becoming a pattern. From now on, I can self deprecate in front of these people without a second thought. “Oh, ha ha, well I’m a selfish asshole, remember?” But I don’t want that to happen. I recognize the beginning of a downward spiral. (Whoa, hey, is mindfulness finally paying off?!) And geez, if I just wanted to put myself down all the time, I’d do standup or something.
Possible solution: Put that bad memory of yours to use and FORGET THIS. Next week is a fresh slate. Maybe some people, instead of being horrified at you, were touched by your frankness and humanity. Everyone fucks up sometimes, right?