A thing I’m trying to work on these days:
For me, the problem doesn’t seem to be judging based on what we would like other people to be, but rather judging people based on past encounters or experience we’ve had with them or witnessing them.
Ideally, I wouldn’t judge anyone at all, really. But as a social creature, and an anxious one, I tend to build up walls to protect myself in different scenarios and judgement becomes a defence mechanism used to avoid getting hurt.
Recently, I feel like this defence has been bumming me out more than protecting me, so I’m trying to work on it.
I don’t condone this is in my improv, so why should I live by it?
In an effort to practice mindfulness, I’m trying to distance myself from thoughts about past interactions, observations and assumptions about people and working double-time on just being present with everyone I encounter, so that each new moment is a better opportunity for meaningful connection.
So far, I haven’t been great at it. In my mind, I already ruined brunch with two wonderful colleagues by complaining about situations over which I have no control. I should have just been present, enjoyed their company, and made new moments and memories (rather than obsessing over old, shitty ego wounds.)
But I will continue trying. And failing. And hopefully get better and better at just being with the multiple wonderful humans I have the pleasure of encountering in this incredible comedy community of which I am lucky to be a part.
Tomorrow begins the last and final chapter/semester of Clown College.
"I don't think any of us expected him to say that."
How do I feel about that? Well, I’m a bit of a mixed bag of emotions right now. This term sortof marks the height of our accomplishments over the past two years. We spend the last month (I think) showcasing our best 4-minute set in front of Mark Breslin & many other important people at Yuk Yuk’s, our best sketches and some of the top-plays will be selected to be put on at another performance – (location to be announced,) and finally, we compete for a coveted spot in the esteemed Industry Show on the Second City Mainstage.
I guess nervous, is what I am. Nervous and excited. Those are two things that really fuel me in this business/world/heavily-dominated-by-psychotic-people-industry so far. Because if I was sortof bored and blasé about the performances, I think it’d be a sign that I wasn’t really into it. I like the fact that for a few minutes before I perform a set, my brain pretty much shuts down and goes into “self-preservation” mode. It means I’m doing something that evolution is telling me scares the shit out of other people. And not even a little part of me thinks that’s stupid.
I like locking myself in my apartment and working my words over and over again until I get them just right. I’ve had help with that ever since first year univ… no wait, high school. Writing something is one thing, but re-writing again and again and again is a whole different skill. It requires patience, LOTS of patience.
What I’m not looking forward to is the getting-into-my-own-head-iness that I’ve been doing a lot; presuming things about people and their perceptions without anything but my own experiences and insecurities to back them (the presumptions) up. Hopefully I’ll try to work on that as I continue in my attempts to cultivate mindfulness and appreciate the significance of being “in the moment” in the clown college atmosphere, because there genuinely is no other atmosphere quite like it.
So, wish me luck with as I embark this last semester with an open mind, that will almost certainly be shut ten minutes into class, because in actuality, I’m a terribly impatient human being.
Also, watching the Simpsons in languages I don’t understand is funny. So here: