So to continue from my last entry – I did in fact survive going to the People’s Improv Theater show alone. I’ve noticed more and more recently that I don’t fear talking to strangers as I once did. I don’t know if it’s because I’m married and I don’t worry that people will reject me or if it’s because I’m out of a school setting where I need people to east lunch with. Either way I’m capitalizing on it before it flutters away and I’m back to texting fake people in the corner.
It was pouring rain Wednesday and I decided that me running was a better plan than me bringing an umbrella to the show. So I was mildly damp when I walked in. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the PIT in NYC but it’s essentially a bar in your face and then you realize oh right, it’s a theater too. (Also in other news, I’m quite sure UCB has turned me into a UCB snob). At first I texted my friend that I was here but she was doing busy comedy-show producer things. Then I thought I saw my friend at a table so I ran up to her and then discovered that it wasn’t my friend. Then I spent a minute trying to quiz myself on what my friend looks like in the event that I do see her. It has happened before that I don’t recognize people out of context. (Like my freshman year when I saw my roommate in the cafeteria the day after I moved in and was like “Why is that girl waving to me?”)
I saw two boys sitting on a bench and I walked up to them. “Are you guys here for the comedy show?” I asked. “Actually, we are the comedy show,” they answered. So I introduced myself to the comedians who would be performing later. I feel sometimes when I meet people in their professional setting my inner journalist comes out and I say things like “So tell me everything about your life – what are your next career moves and what advice would you give to people starting out in the business?” But they didn’t act like I was a nosy weirdo and actually turned out to be lovely, funny people. I wouldn’t recommend sitting in the very front row of a comedy show with only 12 people in the audience but it definitely could have been worse (such as the time I went to a comedy show in Queens Christmas Eve and was quite literally one of two people in the audience. It’s awkward. Also never do anything Christmas Eve if you’re Jewish. Just stay home and watch Must Love Dogs or something.)
So tonight is my show. T-minus 4 hours left. I feel nervous. It’s a weird nervous since it’s not like a speech one can go over and over until I feel mildly satisfied I’m ready. Or a quiz where I didn’t study and I’m like whatever who even cares.It feels like I’m prepared but ultimately unprepared because as much as you practice in front of your friends, a live audience is a whole other animal. Luckily, there are lights from blocking out the faces.
I once heard a quote that was something like do one brave thing and then for the rest of your life it will empower you to do more brave things because you can point to that thing and be like, hey I did that – I can do this too. Obviously that’s not the real quote because my version of it is kind of clunky and long but the jist is there. I think getting on stage for the first time can be both a new brave thing I can point to as well as something I can psych myself up for by thinking of other brave things. I wish I had stuff like, pulled a dying fellow soldier off a battlefield but most of my “brave” stuff is like, told a stranger in Michael’s that her zipper was unzipped.
Another quote I love (if you couldn’t tell I’m big on quotes) is “If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before.” And I guess this is more simple because what I want is to perform improv on stage so I guess I have to perform improv on stage. Easy peasy.
Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes!