Sunday, April 19, 2015

Exper, A Course in Life: Week... 8.5

So here we are, week just-past-8, comedy student life experiment. Where are the posts on weeks 4 through 8, you might ask? None of your busy little business, that's where, and I'll thank you to get off of my back already.

I started this exercise as an experiment in the lifelong and inarguably noble pursuit of all things funny, smart and (*sigh*) cool. I took improv classes at Magnet for 8 weeks, as promised, and performed in a free show, as promised. I went to a whole bunch of really fantastic comedy shows. I worked on a set of tenuous relationships with a kind and brave group of fellow explorers, whose very young ages, as I've mentioned, startled me to my core. The classes were great. The show was stupendous and maybe even alarmingly funny. You'll never know, so I may as well gush! Regardless, it made my heart race and I felt like we won and that's about as good as you can ask for, I think.

In short, I geeked out on a new thing and had a kick-ass time.

Here's what I learned!

1. I am clearly still 100% incapable of completing a writing project. WHAT, AND ALSO WHY. I love to write more than anything and I swear on all things holy that I want nothing more than to become a writer, and yet. And yet! Here we are again, sniffling over the forgotten crumbs of what could have been a complete and very nice bit of work, 4/9ths of an actual prize. Apparently public commitment to said project completion means nothing to me in terms of making sure to carve out the time. Nobody is more disappointed about this than me. Literally. Probably nobody noticed or cared.

2. Being nearly out of your 20s and also having a job that requires you to constantly be putting all your shit right out on the table both help a lot in terms of calming, dare I say eradicating, the nerves. This comes into sharp relief when in a room full of extremely nervous young-20-somethings who are about to take the stage for a free comedy show to a kind-hearted and mildly intoxicated audience, a show that has almost no bearing on anything at all. It's nice to be moving toward being done with all of that, even if it may come with the promise of wrinkles.

3. Improv is ephemeral. LIKE LIFE.

4. Regardless of the discipline, there's nothing better than finding yourself in the presence of a wonderful teacher.

5. The funny and the smart are both buried deep, waiting to be discovered by a suitable archaeologist. I know what you're thinking! But no. Wrong. Wonderful teachers are put into your life to get you 95% of the way there, but the true scientist is always you, every single time. Your life is your OWN experiment. Om bolo shri sat guru bhagavan ki. Also, cool continues to be a non-issue. Build it, using your carefully harvested smarts and funnies, and then really *believe* in it with all your might and the cool will come. JAI.

6. Just when you're starting to feel pretty good about the thing, it's time to start over.

And start over we shall! Level 2 starts May 31. I have already begun sharpening my pencils in preparation.

Thank you, Rick, for being a really great teacher. I loved your rules and games and your big booming voice, ZAYN! I nearly fell over with happiness when you gave me a gold star for my laying-on-a-trampoline work, which I agree was next-level. You are funny and smart and you really care, which is what makes the whole thing so cool. Your students are lucky to have you.

Thank you to my amazing team for being such a wonderfully funny, smart and cool group of people to work and learn and play with. I loved all your personalities and your brains and learning that you were scared and unsure when you looked so goddamned chill. Thank you for being so incredibly brave as to choose to participate in this particular piece of the big experiment. I am really sad that we're not all going to hang out and play this afternoon. I mean it.

Thank you to the Magnet Theater for fostering such an amazing community of talented, inspiring humans. Thanks for giving us a format for social permission to work toward happy bodies and happy brains.

Thank you to my friends and family for your continued support of my experimentation. It means everything because it is everything.

Improv is love.

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