Starting Over without the Expectation of Anything

I’ve been taking improv at UCB since last summer.  I go slow because I can’t afford to go fast.  I’m old. I have bills. I find it challenging.

I really loved my first class, and enjoyed the second. Met some nice people who were fun for the time. I met some people that may be around in the future.

It’s odd going to class when you reach the age that you longer imagine you’ll have your discovery moment and become the next…Gilda Radner or Kristen Wiig or Maya Rudolph.  I find myself surrounded by 20-somethings who are changing the course of their lives for it. I did that. I’m a secretary.

Clearly, I chose wisely. More wisely than a Nazi faced with a 1,000 year old knight but less wisely than, say, my friend with an MBA.

My boss likes to point out that I’m so much more than my job title, but my title is actually less powerful than the usual admin title. I’m a modern day secretary who uses excel; I’m not even an Administrative Assistant. That takes a psychic toll, the powerlessness.

Anyway, learning at this point in my life becomes much more about the process. It’d be weird to make a herald team or a house team, since it’s neither my aim, nor what I’m carefully planning.  I no longer carefully plan. I just try to have fun and feel alive for a minute. I’m both impressed by drive and repulsed by it. I vaguely remember my own drive in my early 20s and I missed as much life as I lived.

Mostly, I wish I could find that spot to relax and work and just learn. It’s hard when you’re surrounded by people who imagine they could & would & might…and fuck it…you just want to be better with people you can enjoy–building random fleets of beavers–without considering a career move, or whether someone will get me to the next place on the grand linear climb to fame.

That shit’s nonlinear. The next spot is not leading naturally at all to the next thing. 201 only leads to 301 in school. It makes me wonder, though, what I want and for now it’s to be better at improv.

For standup, I want to get fucking amazing at it.

No pressure.

Random notes from a workshop two weeks ago:

Marry yourself to the choice.

Don’t doubt it.  Stick to it.

Play the game, move on, play the game again.  Music, rest, music.

The game is the butterfly of the scene. It’s the first laugh. Grab it and run with it together.

Don’t argue; turn it into a positive for your position.

If you argue, because that’s what happens in reality, move on, come back to the premise underneath it.

Heighten the premise of the joke of the scene…the game of the scene.

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