It’s both funny and cruel, in comedy, that all it takes is one negative review to throw off your confidence. A room full of people can tell you that you performed admirably, that you were funny or that you killed, and all it takes is one person to tell you that you didn’t reach their expectations to throw you into a spiraling pit of self-loathing and doubt.
Do we all focus on the negative? Is it just me? And if it is just me, I am on an ongoing search to find out how to brush off negative comments, feelings and reactions and how to better accept criticism.
On that note, a few things have happened since I last posted here:
Our assigned sketch troupe performed our sketches last week. In my opinion, things went better than last semester’s performances in that everyone memorized their lines and nothing was throw onto a drum set backstage. With respect to editing, our teacher brought up a point, which I think applies to the entire creative process; dealing with ego. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any way around it. The best you can do is hope to work with people who can control theirs and don’t let it interfere with the steps of the process.
Working in groups in this sketch class has definitely helped me to see what kinds of people I can and cannot work well with. I was also surprised to see what kinds of personalities can truly hinder or benefit the team spirit, despite their behaviour in every other social setting. As an observer of human interaction, I found it truly fascinating. I also got to know a bit more about how my own ego is affected by the criticisms of others. All I can say is, how else did you think an anxious neurotic to react?
Miss Dar would be pleased to know that I found some use for my tap shoes after all these years. Though I no longer take dance classes, it turns out my shoes were helpful in the presentation of a clown piece I performed, in which my tap shoes were somehow magic and transformed me from being sad and lonely to happy and attention-seeking. Clowning is a pretty interesting activity because it allows you to push many social boundaries you didn’t know existed when you were a child. Now, as an adult, it is difficult to go back to that state of mind, but once achieved, it can be a very freeing experience.
Man, I sound like a hippie.
THE ROLE REVERSAL
In acting class, I performed a scene from Annie Hall in which I played Woody Allen. Big surprise for the kids in my class. (Yeah, no, not at all. I’m all for gender-bending!) It turned out to seem more of a terrible impression than my own take on the lines, so hopefully, with a bit of work, I’ll be able to put my own spin on this genius’ character.
THE HOST WITH THE MOST
I had the honour and pleasure of hosting a comedy show at Sirens last night. It’s basically a basement with a small stage with a mic set-up, speakers and lights in an otherwise very basementy setting in which many fellow students meet weekly to try out some of their new material. My job was to open the show with a few jokes, try to get the audience pumped and to give each of the performers an adequate introduction. For those of you who were not able to attend, I thought it clever to introduce each of the guests in a relatively unique way, by stating which position in the Kama Sutra I would wish to perform on/with them, under ideal circumstances. (I wouldn’t really Mom, don’t worry. But it was funny nonetheless.) Though we all got a bit restless at the end, (as we typically do,) all in all it was a great experience and I’m looking to further opportunities such as this one to host a show filled with quality comedy!
I recently turned 27. My family came to Toronto for the occasion and I caught a ridiculously talented Blues performance, a ridiculously exciting (and in the end disappointing) Blue Jays game and a ridiculously funny film. (PAUL, see it. Love it.) I can’t help but feel depressed around my birthday though, especially surrounded by a bunch of kids who are significantly younger and who have decided to pursue this comedy dream sooner rather than later, like this old fart. I know that’s not important in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time, birthdays always make me feel nostalgic. The realization that time is passing so quickly hits particularly hard and the only thing I can think to do about it is to go on trying to make other people and myself laugh about this crazy, crazy world before it’s too late and we’re all overtaken by the alien overlords.
Good night everybody.