Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fear Is The Mind Killer

This was originally posted on my tumblr in response to a video Zach Linder posted - an excerpt from Jerry Lewis' film "Errand Boy" - I can only link it on blogspot, but watch it if you can, and then read my response. Or just read my response, it's just about improvSHOCK!

So many reactions to this - but the one thing I want to add is that we should be aspiring to this level of commitment and style today. Especially in improv. The next half-assed scene I see, I am going to scream. In improv, fear manifests itself in a lack of willingness to commit to our scenes. It’s fear that causes ironic detachment, or clinging to some kind of internal scene-world logic instead of fucking reacting to our scene partners and committing to the reality of that scene.

I think we have to give ourselves permission to be AMAZING. Let’s consciously give ourselves permission to be this tight and good and sharp - because if we don’t, we INSTEAD, often unconsciously, give ourselves permission to just fuck around. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to DO that. I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to give ourselves the permission to fucking RULE, to be amazing and talented - and not the permission to fail.

What I am NOT saying is that we can’t let ourselves fail. It’s improv. We are making shit up. Sometimes, it is going to fail. But we can decide how we are going to fail - spectacularly or ironically. Avoiding failure is just another kind of failure.

Spectacular > Ironic

This is sounding more and more like Amy Poehler’s quote about how she treats improv as her sacred space - as her church. I believe that so much right now. I want to stop judging and just treat that stage and that rehearsal space with that level of commitment. It’s also just a really useful metaphor. Even if you don’t view the improv stage as your personal sacred space (although if you’ve been doing this for more than a couple years and you still don’t think of it that way… not quite sure why you are doing it), you would still respect it as such right? I am not a Christian, but I still respect cathedrals as spaces.

Relax, and have fun, but don’t relax your commitment to sacred success. Let’s give ourselves permission to take ourselves and our performances seriously.

I know it is weird that I have gone on this rant after watching a tightly scripted / timed, non-verbal musical bit from a film. But just because this shit is basically the opposite of improv, and benefits from nearly everything improv specifically eschews doesn’t mean we can’t do shit that is EVEN MORE AWESOME.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pretty Much Totally Different

In September, I lost my job.

In October, I finally submitted the show I have been hemming and hawwing about finishing, for a spank audition slot at UCB. (I got a date, but it's been moved, so I will update once I know when it will be.)

This week I teched 3 shows, all of which were pretty intense, but I barely fucked up at all. I started a class on Thursday, which was really fun - one of those rare instances were every scene was memorable and fun. It's a 600, and one with a great cast and a great teacher (Kevin Hines), and while it can't possibly be that fun for every class, I am really looking forward to it.

This weekend, at the Creek Fall marathon, I played in 5 improv shows... and I don't know. Nothing really felt right onstage. Not sure why - not really even in a frame of mind to process the shows. I need to be fucking on top of myself about saying yes. Note to self: commitment isn't just the absence of commenting on what's happening onstage .

Today, I finally bought new scents from Bath and Bodyworks, went through the box of possessions my old work sent me, recycled a bunch of stuff, cleaned a fair amount, rearranged some furniture and had a hot chocolate.

Tomorrow, I train for a part time job, start another new class, and tech Whiplash. Nervous about all three.

Bed time. Brain, quit being such a dick, k thnx baaaaai.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So I took some time off...

I am going back through and trying to catch up on my friend's posts. It's nice to do. I am reminded of how impressive and intelligent and charming most of my friends are, at least in writing.

I am not sure exactly why I have not felt compelled to write anything on this blog for 6 weeks. I have been updating in an incessant and irritating matter on my tumblr site. That link is if you are interested in the videos I find and random musings I provide on a daily, did I mention irritating, basis.

My life since June 1st has been a bit of a roller coaster, although I supposed most times in my life seem remarkable for their up and down emotional / event energy, when in fact, most daily experience is far more average than that. However, I would further qualify that by adding that despite that belief, it has felt both wildly emotional and blessedly calm and sans anxiety.

I had a birthday, some parties, cried a lot, went on vacation, ate a lot, felt gross, felt cute, felt fucking stupid, felt hilariously smart, went swimming, called India and China, procrastinated, felt worthless, had a crush, listened to a lot of music, read a bunch of books, watched a fair amount of TV and also of improv, had the world crush in on itself, danced for no reason, danced FOR a reason, went barefoot, got a light sunburn, and had my wallet stolen.

That is neither a complete nor a chronological account.

Let's see if I keep this up! Now I am off to Kmart!

Monday, June 1, 2009


it's 14 days until my birthday. as a kid, my birthday was often either close - to or the actual last day of school. it was pretty awesome. the middle day of the middle month shall once again be the most looked forward day of the year! i am focusing on june being awesome, if only in my reaction to stuff. i am kicking off this determination by watching arrested development while compiling expense reports. ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

fascinating improv read:

having had christina gausas for a class recently, and currently being in a VERY deeply reflective period, reading about this gentleman really puts a fire in my bones about teaching and coaching. i have been thinking about constructive notes - notes that basically instruct you in a way of getting over a hump or difficulty or habit, without necessarily explaning what that barrier is, and descriptive notes, which tell you what you are doing wrong without necessarily helping you get past it. i really want to start coaching soon. the teacher often learns more than the student and i really need to learn.

the other thing i have been thinking about is playing honest and playing real... i am still missing something in my 'real' reactions. they are often still too commentate-y. but when i try to react 'in character' i end up doing a false, improv-y reaction. i have to work on that. not sure how.

once i finish this current class i am in (gethard 504), i am class-less for awhile. i have been told it's a good thing to have a break... but i don't think it is. i want to keep working on stuff. if i stop, i am absolutely going to backslide into my worst habits. it's inevitable. i don't have a regularly rehearsing group right now, so i will likely only do the occasional show all summer unless i put together another group... ugh sauce. no deal.

in other news, if anyone sees one of the reusable VENTI starbucks cold cups that look like the real cold cups, buy it and i will pay you for it. be sure to check the bottom of the mug though, the grande reusable cups are the same size as the disposable venti cups. the venti reusable cups are taller and say '20 ounces' on the bottom. woot.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

back up, start it again

i feel like going backwards.

like i AM going backwards.

frustrated and tired and dull.

in so many things in my life, i wish my reaction to pain and frustration wasn't negative.

even happy cat isn't doing it for me today:

Monday, May 25, 2009

just measure my damn chest

i've gone to three different stores trying to get measured for a bra. i know every bra i am wearing right now is the WRONG size. however, every single time i go in, i get overwhelmed and freaked out and then i pretend i am shopping for something else entirely. today, i even bought something else. i don't know who i was trying to fool, it's not like anyone else knew i what i was planning to do when i walked in the gap. also, i used to work at the gap, i hated having to measure people for bras, i don't want someone else to have to do that. it's just weird. i don't let anyone else look at my lady bits, what makes YOU different, woman in a black suit at victoria's secret? hmmm?!

re: the gap, both things i bought today were terrible and are going back tomorrow. along with the jeans i bought last week. apparently i think i am made of money. also, i bought the new jeans before realizing that i'd lost 10-15 pounds and i am sure that won't stay off since 1) i like my ass and 2) the 'don't eat lunch because you don't have time at work and then forget to eat dinner since your night was filled with activities that don't provide easy access to filling food' diet is probably not going to catch on.

my birthday is soon. i am trying to decide what to do for it. i'd like to find a bar/restaurant with an outdoor area which is fairly inexpensive and is not way out of my way (since it's my birthday y'all). i am definitely doing something this year. i didn't last year and it was sucky. suggestions welcome.

the laundromat was closed for memorial day. thusly, i washed socks in the sink. big whiskey and the groogrux king er, leaked. sorry, DMB. i, of course, plan on buying for legit soon. actually, it will probably be my last purchase at virgin union square. i am intrigued by some aspects, disappointed by others, and made hopeful by others. so much better than i was fearing. i plan on listening to it a lot more and really trying to get into it. update to come. yeah probably not.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

'LOST' is a club

one i could easily join, and yet persist in avoiding because of laziness. oh hey, childhood. what's up.


twitter and tumblr are full of my random thoughts much more than this ole thang recently. i think in part because i feel the need to be serious or honest here, and i don't feel much like doing either of late.

in fact, that's not true - i just don't feel like engaging in either emotion in order to write. surface level is easier than deep.