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
|Random Deep Ellum photo courtesy of Miss Melanoma|