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Improv 101- A Journey Into the Unknown Part 3

It’s been an eventful few weeks and I did not have the opportunity to post for just week four so this will be a missive for weeks four and five.

Week 4-

In week four, we did basic character work which for me was a bit difficult if I’m honest. It was surprising to me because I had so much fun in the advanced character class we had taken previously. I will admit, I had a rough day prior to attending the class. I had not been sleeping well and I woke up with an attitude that wasn’t pleasant, then I read that this class was to be video recorded. The whole class. I was already unpleasant and this news really, really did not sit well with me. To know me is to know that I abhor any type of camera work be it video or pictures. To be completely transparent, I was already a b*tch that day. I was angry for no reason, I felt very mean, argumentative and aggressive and I was surprised because that was the first day I’ve felt like that in a long, long, time.

Side note - whenever I am getting ready to go through a healing shift in my life, this is the pattern that tends to show herself. It feels like a coping mechanism from my early years. When things feel out of control, I tend to become angry and belligerent. However, as I work at putting all of the broken pieces back together I am aware of what that feeling means and can catch it before I break out into full blown b*tch mode. Now that I set the tone for the day, let me get back to the class.

Before our trip to the class, I cleared my energy and did some meditation. I felt a little better but not great. I drove to the class, that little ball of anxiety doing what it does to my brain but this time I was not going to run away or not show up. I was committed to this process and I would see it through. When we arrived, we were asked if we would sign a waiver to be filmed. As has been the response to everything I’ve been asked to do in the past few weeks in this arena. I said “F” you to my discomfort and did it anyway. Our task was to come up with characters based on people we know. For whatever reason, this task was a challenge for me. Maybe because it wasn’t a fictional character I was making up (I really enjoyed that) and it was the daunting task of “imitating someone in the real world” but I did it. Not as well as I would have liked but it was done. Then we had to do an impression of someone from a specific area of the world (think NY, Boston etc.) and everyone had to guess where you were from. I was the last to go and EVERY SINGLE IDEA I had was taken by someone else. I stepped out not knowing what the hell I was going to do and a character I had written a few days earlier stepped in and saved me at the last moment. The attempt went much better than anticipated and I made it through! After getting through the moment, I have to say this week’s confidence level is about an 8 out of 10 surprisingly.

Week 5

Well, we are really close to the end! We had to reschedule a class due to unforeseen circumstances so weeks 5 and 6 are happening in the same week and our graduation is two days after the last class. This actually works out well because the information will still be fresh in our minds for the graduation show. So this week was week 5 and this was the week we learned stage lingo, etiquette and procedural structure and we started putting it all together. Tonight, we had to do a monologue, telling a story based on a single word suggestion from the audience. While I am still uncomfortable with having to think so fast, I have to admit, I feel at home up on the stage and I had a great time. While there was a lot of information thrown at us tonight, I am confident when we come into the next class and have the opportunity to put the information into practice, I won’t have any issues. Tonight's confidence level was an 8, close to 9 out of 10.

Stay tuned for Week six and Graduation documentation. I can’t wait to share how this process changed my life in six short weeks.

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