Optimism, fearless. Panic attacks, but somewhat uncued. Left leg is failing me, but I can do this. So-called friends aren’t here to judge, just strangers and classmates. They’ve already seen me fail, yet I’m still breathing. Whatever happens, I’ll be okay. I just have to make it through the afternoon. Warm-ups begin. Energetic, smiles, teamwork, cooperation. We head out to the stage. All is going well as slide show begins. Two locations given, my group is at the zoo. We strike random poses, and as the narrators speak, the audience is already laughing, which instills the best kind of confidence in an improviser. There is no winner to this game, both sides get a ton of applause. The two narrators didn’t want to compete against each other anyways, so this was perfect. The harold begins with our opening. The audience is asked for an occupation. Stripper. My heart sinks. This was where it fell last time, it got stuck in twerking and my friends were disgusted, and that was with the fall coming halfway through, now we’re starting with the fall, this audience will be disgusted and then…the chaotic thinking stops. And then nothing. These people are strangers. Their opinions have no impact on my life. It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter.
IT DOESN’T MATTER.
IT DOESN’T MATTER.
I am free from my own worries.
One of my classmates runs out to the center of the stage and begins dancing on a stripper pole (for simplicity I’ll just say what their characters are doing. We were on an empty stage with four chairs, so it was all just motioning as though they were doing something). Another classmate joins him, and the rest of us sit down around them and throw money. We begin narrating our character’s thoughts, until we are all repeating the phrase “I’m running out of money.”
The next scene begins and we are all in a meditation class. We are narrating our thoughts out loud again until we come to the phrase “I don’t feel relaxed at all.” The third scene is us painting the floors. One classmate compares the job to his days on the stripper pole, ingeniously connecting the two scenes together. We finally all come to the line “We shouldn’t paint the floors”.
The scene fades and the opening has ended. Act 1 scene 1 begins. A girl and her father are painting the house and arguing over whether they have the right color. Her father is played by a woman. Her mother comes in, who is played by a man, and she is not happy with the color they are using. The audience is already laughing as they argue. While the scene was quite humorous, not much was revealed about the characters.
Act 1 scene 2 begins. A boyfriend and girlfriend are on a date, when the boyfriend starts to go off on a tangent about how amazing the last 4 years have been. Suddenly, the conversation takes a sharp turn when he says “and I hope we can continue to do all of these things, as friends.” She freaks out, as she thought he was bringing her to this restaurant to propose, and he keeps reminding her not to make a scene. More was revealed about the characters in this scene than in the last, but still not enough. The audience still loved it and was laughing.
Act 1 scene 3 begins. A model is in a photoshoot, which is going wonderfully and generating lots of laughs, but nothing is revealed about the characters. Snakes are introduced, and the model is very scared, but the audience never learns why. In hindsight, this may have been a good time to step in as a sister with a backstory of why she was so terrified of the snakes to help give some more depth to her character and hopefully work as a spring board to figure out what is going on between the characters and how the photographer feels about the model based on whether she shows empathy or apathy towards the new details.
The first group game begins. I had a very minimal idea when I started this, but knew the previous scene needed to end. I decided to start an addiction support group, and gave each of my fellow improvisers a name and an addiction. One of the characters showed up late and brought a bag of gummy bears, which was one of the other character’s addictions. She got some gummy bears, and I fought to try to take them from her. Another girl began smoking weed (her addiction), prompting yet another to start doing cocaine (her addiction). Each character was then indulging in their addiction and blending it with others, and the scene was becoming chaotic. In an attempt to get on the same page, I switched from trying to stop them to rediscovering my old addiction; gummy bears. The scene was finally swept a few moments after that. It was a slightly confusing scene due to the amount of things going on, but it still got lots of laughs from the audience.
Act 2 scene 1 begins. The girl is painting the floor and her father is asking her if she’s positive they’re doing it right. She says she is. Her mother comes in, and is enraged that her
I was cleaning out my drafts and reading through the untitled ones, and I stumbled upon this. When I was writing my paper on my final college performance, I was having a lot of difficulty, and so I decided to start typing it as a stream of consciousness until I knew what general concepts I wanted to focus on. For whatever reason, I can never do this in Word. I have a certain mentality around it that that’s for actually writing strong, grammatically correct papers, and therefore to do anything less than that, even as a draft, is one of the most heinous writing crimes.
My blog is a very different story. The whole premise of my blog is a safe space where I can anonymously share my thoughts without having to perfect them to make sense in a way that can be visualized down to the most precise details. I can have ridiculously short sentences, and I can have crazy run-ons. Therefore, when I was trying to type a stream of consciousness to start working out a draft, my WordPress came to mind.
Initially, I don’t think I ever intended to share this, but then I never deleted it. I’ve decided to post it because it shares more details then I can remember, and I don’t think I want to forget them. It also gives you all the most realistic glimpse of what the final performance was like, since I certainly talked about that class a lot, yet never gave many details on the class itself, only my interactions with people. By the way, since it’s about a month later that I’m posting this, I can proudly say that I got an A in that class and now have a 4.0 college GPA while still in high school.
A character in some of life’s stories