The Rambling Muse
I’ve spent my fair share of time on stages throughout the eastern United States, performing as a musician and briefly as a sketch/improv comedy performer but it’s been many a fortnight since those days. They seem so long and forgotten that I’ve lost my comfort in performing in front of people. It is much easier when hidden behind a drum set or guitar without the pressure of singing or speaking to an audience. I closed the chapter on my musical performance career some eight years ago in pursuit of other avenues and adventures.
In recent weeks, I’ve become more open about the demons that have plagued me for some twenty-plus years, in hopes of destroying their power in my life and clearing way for newer, better and more positive emotions. Think of it as an eviction for the demons, of sorts, and believe me, they aren’t going quietly.
Since the move to Greensboro, I’ve met an incredible amount of amazingly talented, funny, fun and smart people whom have welcomed me into their varying folds. It’s refreshing. I am starting to feel I’ve found people whom don’t look at me with judgement or hatred towards me. It’s both terrifying and amazing at the same time yet it is slowly beginning to create in me a confidence to try new things.
I’ve always been fascinated at the brilliance of comedians and how so many of the great ones have managed to make us all laugh at one point or another in some form. I am drawn more towards improvisation and sketch comedy. I’ve been a Saturday Night Live fan for nearly twenty-five years, much to the probable dismay of my conservative parents (I wasn’t allowed to watch it when I was growing up) and am always amazed at what has and is produced on the weekly basis. The pitch meeting happens on Monday. The cast and writers meet to pitch their ideas to that week’s host. From there, some fifty-plus sketches are written, read through, and sorted by a massive team and ultimately selected for the week’s show. It’s a grueling six day week for ninety minutes of television.
I began taking improv comedy classes several weeks back. I haven’t told too many folks about it because I get this, “You’re too intense for that” response. And to that, you are right. I can be very intense if I don’t keep it in check. The truth is, I don’t know why I’m taking this class. I have no clearly defined objective; a stretch from the norm for me. Initially, it was to become a better comedy writer. I have several comedy scripts I am writing and want to get the most out of them but my forte is drama and thriller. The further I move along this undiscovered path, the more I quit looking for a reason to do it and simply, do it. There is a sweet release in laughter and improv, even in the short few weeks I’ve been a part of it, has been a release amongst the madness. This article by James Berges sums it all up better than I can.
If you’re looking for a point in this post, there isn’t one this time. This is truly a ramble Muse.
Most of us know that comedy can come with it’s own share of darkness (Chris Farley, Robin Williams, Phil Hartman, etc., read There’s Pain In Laughter), there’s a hope for me that the simple act of laughing or making others laugh through being absolutely ridiculous, will help me on this journey. I know there is a greatness for me somewhere. I have no idea what the journey will entail or where it will take me but it’s going to be amazing. It will be even better when the healing is complete.