Sunday, June 15, 2014

Susan Messing & Getting My Freak On...

I opened up Facebook before this post and literally just read on the new, creepy, right-screen feed that this girl from high school "completed a level in Candy Crush Saga," so I feel way more productive in terms of blogging right now as opposed to other adult things that I most definitely could (and should) be doing. (Speaking of, if anybody has ANY connections with the Adam Hats Lofts, please let me know as I'm determined to score an abode in Deep Ellum one way or another). 

Anywho, I took a lovely two-hour workshop this morning with Susan Messing, a non-apologetic, badass, genius comedian/improviser, and intensely captivating instructor at the world-famous Dallas Comedy House. When I first read about she and Frank Caeti coming to the DCH in the blog a few weeks ago I absolutely had to sign up for her mini-class appropriately titled, 'Protecting the Freak.' Thank God I did because A) I learned stuff, as per usual; I'm always learning stuff at the DCH, and not just improv stuff but also life lesson stuff, and B) Susan M is a kickass comedian so there was no question when it came to clicking that TicketLeap link. Whenever there's a chance to take a workshop and learn, I do it, because why the hell not?! Even if it is Father's Day, which, Doug completely understands my newfound obsession/dedication so he didn't throw a sh*tty-daughter-of-the-year plaque at me when I left at the crack of dawn this morning.
Susan Messing's beautiful face courtesy of NCCAF

Aside from Susan M being just over-the-top awesome and to the point (which I like those kind of people), I'm glad I was in attendance as everyone else taking the workshop was a DCH graduate, experienced performer, troupe member, etc.. And whenever I get the opportunity to learn with people better than me I'm truly fortunate. That is the best way to learn in my book. It's not an intimidation factor, I'm not scared of the wise men, I simply prefer them. I've trained myself to listen to and absorb what everyone else has to say, their perspectives, the good and bad experiences, what works, what doesn't, etc., and that's my favorite way of grasping stuff. And grasping stuff is always good, no?

But ultimately, Susan M drew a distinct line between letting your freak out on stage/having fun, and separating the subject matter/character wants from real-life normalcy/appropriate-ness. She promotes being as crazy as you can be when improvising but in a manner that still showed respect to the art of improvisation. I liked that. And her fierce respect for improv came across in such a subtle/inspiring manner = the skillz of a badass teacher, in my opinion. It was really cool. She also seriously respects the audience at any show which came up in discussion during the last half. And that really resonated with me because I've never heard a comedian or performer make such a firm point in terms of the audience, and how performers should respect them for getting off their asses to come out and see a show, as opposed to most people assuming an audience should just respect the performers for having the balls tits to do their thing up on a stage, ya know. So I admired that, especially coming from someone with a sailor's mouth like mine. Which is quite an accomplishment. But that was all the more reason for me to listen up. Anybody that's non-apologetic when throwing an F bomb in talking to/with me is somebody that I greatly respect and trust. Sounds crazy, I know, but that means their comfortable and honest. And that was Susan Messing.
Random Deep Ellum photo courtesy of Miss Melanoma

So in formal conclusion, Susan M's native Jersey demeanor and ability to make every word that comes out of her mouth be as funny as hell was just a really great way to start the day. I can't wait to one day tell my offspring about the badass women before me that taught me so much; I had my last level three improv class directly after her workshop but despite doing improv for a solid five hours today, I could totally have kept going. I also was a beeping robot out of control in one of our Ewing class runs today so snaps to SM for giving me the pre-class confidence of being a weirdo computer today instead of my usual b*tchy housewife or stoner boyfriend. My scene partner Adrian totally supported me and it was just too much fun. And now I'm posted up at the St. Pete's doing this therapeutic nonsense and putting away some of their insane nachos, with my DCH shirt on, so apologies to everyone for being that girl. It's gotten to the point where Sam knows what I want when I walk in so this is one happy girl right now. I'm also in sweatpants so the fact that they're accepting of me in pajamas basically says a lot. Praise the Lord for Deep Ellum!