“You just gotta trust that someone’ll be there to support you.”
That’s an incredible thing my buddy Eric said to a dude who went on stage to improvise for the first time last night at the renewed bi-monthly comedy variety night; Comedy Night at Musideum.
The other improvisers off-stage encouraged the new dude to get up and play a scene and despite his reticence, they eventually just literally threw him up there, no mercy. I was glad to be the person who got to play the scene. I had no idea he’d never done it before, and to be quite honest, he reacted precisely the way I think any man would to my chasing him around with a mimed whip and hot oil like some crazed dominatrix, demanding he recite his multiplication table would’ve acted; fearfully. In fact he cowered under a chair. That’s commitment.
Way to go Zach!
Also, maybe my Mom was right. Maybe I should have been a teacher.
OK folks, something you should know about me is that I HATE doing dishes. HATE it. But the tedious, mundane and often unsettlingly repugnant task was made much more tolerable this evening as I put in my earbuds and cleaned away while listening to and learning from Toronto improv sages Adam Cawley and Rob Norman’s podcast The Backline. In it, the two share their personal experiences and discuss valuable insight into the wild and wonderful craft of improv.
If you give a shit about learning improv, you should listen and take notes.
Click the image below and download the shit outta this podcast. I’m sure the guys won’t care WHAT you’re doing while listening along…
I thought this piece was interesting & maybe helpful to any of my fellow female funny-ladies who might be writing plays anytime soon.
Check it out:
A Common Problem I See In Plays By Women Playwrights. It’s Not What You Think..
I was all excited to get out there and see some comedy shows this evening after spending a bit of time away to “recharge.” (Note, I’m not a robot.) But when I got home after work, (first day in my new job, I might add) I started to feel feverish, tired, unwell in general. I kept saying: “I’ll feel better in an hour or so.” But my condition didn’t really improve.
I then get to the point where my mind asks: “Are you really sick, or are you just trying to weasel your way out of going to shows tonight?” But I DID want to see shows. And I was NOT feeling well. Seeing shows isn’t like going to a job you don’t want to go to. You don’t need duvet-days when there’s so much great comedy to see on any given night here in Toronto.
How to balance this self-judgement? People say I’m too hard on myself, but aren’t you supposed to be in this business? Should I have just gone to the shows anyway? I’ve done that in the past when I feel kindof sick, and I don’t get anything out of the experience, I just sortof daze through the show, even if it’s a really great show, I don’t appreciate it. Then, I just go right home because I feel too crappy to socialize with anyone and I worry about getting them sick in turn.
Is this rationalization?
Is it just anxiety and over-thinking?
Does anyone else get this way?
Send me your feedback. I’d be glad to have a conversation on the body vs. mind + guilt = more guilt.
This is a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, for various reasons, but I thought about how fitting it would be to know how even the greats had their tough moments of eating shit on stage, and that should be motivation to keep on keeping on.
Not to ensure this doesn’t happen to me when I deliver my Maid of Honour speech tomorrow…
The best way to get over a crappy stand-up set, I discovered last night, was to hit up an improv room. Specifically, Natasha Boomer’s “Wheel of Improv.” After a fair amount of ridiculousness, a little practice of my own, watching some newbies go up for the first time, watching some more experienced enjoy the challenge of working with the seasoned pros (in this case, special guests were Ken Hall & Rob Norman as well as a surprise drop-in from Becky Johnson & Kayla Lorette,) and finally chats and cupcakes at the end of the night, I felt a whole lot better about myself.
The stand-up bit needs more work, but at least I don’t feel as bitter about it after having been in the extremely supportive care of the Toronto improv community.
Holy shit, I did it! I completed the outline to my pilot.
Sure, I need to go over and over it again to make sure I reflect my character “wants” in each scene. But whatever.
I completed a stage.
An important stage.
I HAVE WRITTEN AN OUTLINE!
And it’s goooooooood!