April 25, 2010
Sometimes nothing gets me more excited then going out on stage and not knowing what the hell I’m about to do. Some people call this stage fright. Some people call it improv. I don’t know what to call it, because I’m not thinking about anything but
Okay, Andy. Be funny. No, don’t try too hard, just, well, try and be smart about it, and then the funny will, oh, shit, it’s my line………..Oh that was so stupid. God that was retarded. No one is laughing, no one is laughing! Aaaghhhhh!
That’s not to say I’m not having fun while I’m out there. I am! But there’s definitely a hefty amount of self-consciousness that is added to the recipe of one part Audience Suggestion, 3 courses of Clever Hilarity. Stir and deliver! If you’re a comedian then you’re definitely going to have a fair share of pregnant pauses with little to no laughter. Or even worse: the polite, Mom and Dad-esque “aww, look, they’re trying” laughter. But despite the downfalls of flat scenes and stupid punch lines, the fun of it is not knowing what is going to happen next. And if you’re lucky, the magic that the audience digs everything you are doing.
The Laff Staff just had two improv shows this weekend and we (mostly) did an amazing job, definitely an improvement from March’s shows. Friday night was golden, with the exception of a scene here and there, and Saturday started weak but ended strong. Within those two days I played as Dick Cheney, a martini-sipping debutante, a jealous climbing trainer, an ice cream-eating child, Wonder Woman, a strict nun, Kate Gosselin, and an obese airplane passenger. I don’t plan these things, but it happens! It’s really up to the audience to scream out things they want to see us do, and it’s our job to make them happy by doing so. This is why I love improv. It’s a total give and take between audience and actors. If one doesn’t deliver, the other tends to crumble.
DAYS UNTIL CHICAGO DEPARTURE: 75
These past two shows have made me more excited for the iO Theater’s summer intensive than ever before. I realize that improv is an utter complete passion of mine, and as long as I’m doing it somehow, I’ll be happy. Improv in Chicago will be a completely different experience than what I’m used to, and I can’t wait to get immersed in it. For the people at iO, improv is their number one priority, and it’s that kind of mentality I would love to be surrounded by. If I could do improv every day, I’d do it. No question.
I’m reading Sarah Silverman’s memoir right now, “The Bedwetter”, and it’s absolutely hilarious. While we’re on the subject of laffing, I figured you should probably be aware of it.