this thing that happened

#egoboost 3

During the break of a drop-in class:

 

Dude: Are you on a house team?

Me: [heart grows wings and floats off into the stratosphere]

#EgoBoost 2

Robin, you have so much talent.

Guuuh…? Um you too…!

I love doing scenes with you, and I am really gonna miss playing with you.

Nnnnggg! ❤

-Unsolicited conversation with a classmate after our last Level 3 class

Running is gross

When you run, you hock loogies. I don’t know why. There’s just all this mucus and it needs to go somewhere. Polite runners aim for the harmless patches of grass.

Last week, I missed the snow-covered grass and accidentally hit a lamppost. Ew.

This week, seven days later, I ran past the lamppost again… and my loogie is still frozen to it.

EW EW EW. I sincerely apologize, New York, that’s fuckin’ disgusting.

Ladies been improvisin’: A totally unnecessary postgame rehash

Overall: that went pretty well!

We Might Just Kiss: A Female Improv Event

(1) Criticisms first.

I wish I’d gotten out there more, and when I did get out there, I wish I’d said smarter things.

I think those are confidence-borne things that I’ll be struggling with for a long time.

So. I dunno. I’m aware of the problem, 90% of the posts on this blog whine about my lack of confidence, this is a known entity, we’re on it, roger that.

When I talk about lacking confidence, I should specify— I am physically pretty hammy. But when I get up there, my brain deflates like a dead mushroom. I struggle to follow what’s going on. I haven’t developed laser focus yet, and every initiation (after an opening) sets me into a panic of “oh my god, did I zone out during the opening, is she referencing the opening, should I know what to do with this, the audience will know if I missed it, ahhhh I’m just going to sit this one out and let everyone else carry the scene.”

The few times I’ve tried to discuss the “no ideas” issue with my colleagues… it seems like I’m the only one who struggles with it.

Me: I have no ideas. I just go blank when I’m up there.

Them: Wow, really? That must suck.

Ehhhh. I’m still hoping some of this will come with time and practice and experience.

(2) The good.

My warmup scene was very well-received.

Check out all those likes, that's right, I'm fucking awesome

Names and faces blurred to make it marginally harder for creeps to track us down

I’m not terrible at everything, yayyy!!!

It’s my second show ever, and it went better than my first, and maybe my third will go better (maybe not, but I can hope), and it was an experience, and it was kind of fun, and I CAN DO THIS.

Such a character!

Whenever I read advice on overcoming depression/anxiety/low confidence/fear etc., I always see “think of something you do well!”, and I think for a few moments, and I always come up empty, which fuels the depression/anxiety/low confidence/fear etc., because oh god I can’t do ANYTHING.

That in mind… I got a compliment last night, and I want to write it down before I forget it.

—–

Some buddies from my practice group watched the (awesome) class show of some other buddies from my practice group. After the show, in a nearby bar, our conversation turned towards general appreciation for the excellent improvisers we get to play with.

More or less out of the blue, Graham turns to me and says, “No, YOU… you do really awesome characters.”

Startled, I stuttered, “Really? Uh… thanks…!”

“No, I’m serious,” he continued. “Like, when you get on a character, it’s really funny. There was something you did last week… the old lady! That was amazing. I think when you get into a character, it gets you out of your head a little, and frees you up to react in really great ways.”

I blushed. “Wow,” I said. “I… thank you. Really.”

—–

(I should also mention: Graham doesn’t have much tolerance for bullshit and empty compliments. This is trustworthy insight.)

Bad stories

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?