Saturday, March 21, 2015

Secret Pizza, Kelly's Birth, & More DCH Discoveries...

Playa Tom, courtesy of
Improv has become a weird thing for me. I had a show last night that was fantastic. No anxiety, despite a day going 90 MPH. I popped in twenty minutes before showtime, played with my playas, then hopped off to head home. Just picture Tom Haverford saying "playas" on this one. Back in the day (AKA 7 months ago) I had to get in a serious zone before an improv class. Certain mental zones are good but my level one dramatic-ness was unnecessary. As for showcase days I adhered to my "strict Paleo diet," because ya know, energy and clarity. Or I'd enjoy a scenic run jog walk while a Kenny G song hummed inspirationally. (Click the 'Kenny G' link for a surprise!) And I say a song because I'm out of shape. Improv exercises my brain and soul, not my thighs or physical heart.

Ask for the "Honey Bastard."
It's not on the menu but will rock your socks off. 
And for my first "real" show at the Dallas Comedy House? Picture half the insanity (?) of Beyonce, still more than all of Tara Reid or ten LA movie extras, and the focus of a serious-but-almost-too-relaxed Madonna. Hello, it's publicly advertised not only on the website calendar, which means a troupe is somewhat legitimate, but also on DCH windows and in Deep Ellum. And we're called "performers" who will "perform." I'm not comfortable calling myself a "performer." It's professional, DCH has to call me one, I get it. Furthermore, there are tickets bought voluntarily by folks who can make or break a show sometimes, but that always deserve a pizza (like the one pictured from Il Cane Rosso) for curiously coming out.

And Improvisers like audiences. Approval by other humans scratches the twisted itch on a performer's back. No air quotes here because most improvisers I know are confident and actually call themselves "performers." But support is paramount, as we all should know. Especially in the theater. We like people laughing. And improvisers who practice and/or do shows consistently learn to tune out the audience, and for good reason. I do, at least. It's taken a while to receive this gift (#ImprovPun FTW!) but listening to dialogue, remembering characters and details, timing edits, and thinking of ways to heighten a scene is of higher priority than wondering why Tony in the second row isn't smiling. Producing a good show is important. We auditioned to make YOUTH GROUP, my Ewing troupe, therefore it's my job to do stuff that is righteous. (#ImprovPun FTW again!) I've learned to be present while thinking of what's next thanks to months spent in Deep Ellum. I've formed an on and off switch when it comes to improv; tonight was an example of it having no shortages. And being able to do this, let alone enjoy it, is weird to me for some reason. This challenging game of thinking two different thought processes, simultaneously, is an addiction. Only worst case scenario here is I'll end up on another troupe, not rehab in Arizona.

Kelly & I doing Park City this past March.
Maybe knowing I'm not completely horrible at the one thing I've stayed dedicated to, the "outlet" I'm never bored of, is what's interesting. I'm still in classes. I'll always be a student in the theater. Learning never stops, right? So profound, I know. But the hard part of grasping basic concepts, like just going with every damn thing, is over. I know how my fellow players play, their humor, the go-to names I'll be called. Space work is no longer daunting, it's actually one of the most beautiful things in all of improv creation. And not improvising a show in Ewing format would feel strange. Accents, however, remain on my to-do list, among many other things. But accents. Always accents. God almighty.

Us before my first Ewing show ever. 
So basically this magical realization occurred on my way home tonight in between 900 other thoughts. I've been incredibly busy lately so I've just not had time to think about improv, except when improvising. But you know I had to blog about it. To be fair, I've not subjected you guys to any DCH posts lately, so you're welcome. ALSO, it's Kelly Caldwell's birthday today! She's one of my best friends that I love more than life, and she has the most genuine, pure, caring, kind, gentle, [insert any adjective meaning good or holy], etc. heart on this planet. (Of which she'd prefer to be all vegan.) HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!