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Saturday, February 05, 2005


New heights

I was in an improv show last night. It was terrifying. As I progress through WIT's courses, I find myself experiencing waves of self-consciousness. This is annoying, because when I first started, I was fearless. I took their advice - "don't think" - to heart. But now in class, and on stage the other night, I find that other people are funny...I feel like the un-funny one, out there bold and energetic but not adding much to the scene. WIT's philosophy is about being truthful, not funny...trusting that when you're truthful, humor comes. But when you find yourself doing scenes with people who are getting laughs... you start to feel self-conscious. Maybe there's something about what I'm doing that adds to the scenes and I just can't tell? My husband sings, and after almost every performance, he thinks he sucked. Maybe that's the performer's curse? Though there must be moments when things just click and you know you're "on." I haven't had that yet.

Regardless of whether I'm any good or not, improv has become a full-on addiction for me. At the end of every class I just want it to keep going. At the end of the show the other night I wanted another turn. Nothing has made me this greedy in a long time. There is something about the way that I respond to improv that is unlike anything I've ever experienced...writing is more like scratching an itch. Improv is like heightened living.

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