I like to keep these posts as one-off opinion catchers, but so much has happened lately that this entry will be more of a journal-blog.
Improv can be a rollercoaster, you have a great show, then a bad class, then a bad rehearsal, then an amazing class, then a bad show, then a great show… I believe that it’s all about timing. I’ve been having a string of great shows and classes lately. There are a few not awesome things that have happened, but for the most part, I’ve been feeling really good about how I’m coming into improv.
I just recently had my audition for iO West and I did not get on a team. Yes, I know they say it can take multiple times to get on a team but I know 3 friends that it was their first time and they got on, so it’s not unheard of to get on a team with your first audition (and all those people desearve to be on a team, I think they’re great). I am disappointed that I didn’t get on a team, but I did audition with 100 degree fever and was trying not to fall down. What I hate about that is that it is an excuse. I have played sick before and done great, so being sick shouldn’t stop me. Now I know that sounds like I’m being hard on myself, and I am. I focused on 2 things in that audition: 1. stay grounded 2. be supportive. For me, I know I will get good scenes by doing that, but not amazing scenes. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve….I should’ve gone for committment. When I committ fully, game, relationship, justification all come very easy to me and I didn’t do that. I went for the soft landing. Had I reviewed my notes from both my iO west and UCB teachers, I would’ve reminded myself that is where my golden improv lies. But I didn’t. I was dizzy and sweaty and wanted to sleep, which lead to dizzy (but grounded!), sleepy scenes.
I told a friend of mine about this recent audition and she said “It wasn’t your time.” She’s totally right. All the times I never made a UCB team, I’m actually grateful for. I know that sounds crazy cheesy, but it’s true. If I had made a UCB team early on, I would’ve never gone to the Magnet Theater and studied with Armando, I maybe would not have pursued acting, I probably wouldn’t have ever left NY. I probably would’ve just stayed in NY and been on a team and that’s it. I maybe would’ve done the writing teams. Not making an iO West team is what it is, it’s not good or bad. The timing didn’t work out and I accept that.
4 days after iO West auditions/callbacks, I get a facebook message with a cryptic note. Moments later, the Del Close nominations are announced and I’m one of the nominees for “Student of the Year.” I’ve been doing improv for since 2004 and this is the first time I’ve been awarded for going to class. Amazing! I was just thinking before I got this nomination “What am I doing? If I don’t get improv now, will I ever get it?” The nomination to me means that my teachers recognize the work that I’m doing and that I’m getting good enough work to get props for it. I AM improving. I AM getting it. Acting, improv, stand-up are all crafts with primarily a 10 year over night success story At Best! Some people shoot for the stars overnight and can get them, but for most of us, it takes a while.
It really is about the journey, it really is about enjoying the stuff you do and the people that surround you. If you don’t like what you’re doing, stop. I you like doing what you’re doing but you’re frustrated, look at what is frustrating you and turn it around. There are so many facets to life and we get stuck on looking at the shitty part of it when there are so many other things going on. I just keep thinking…
My time will come. And it’ll be awesome.
In the meantime, I’m going to appreciate the current awesomeness that surrounds me.
How’s it get any better than this?