Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Good Show

Yesterday, I performed live in front of a young and, at first, difficult audience. And I had a good show. Not a great show, but a good one.

Personally, I'll take a hundred good shows over one great show, because that, in my book, equals greatness.

I did a couple of improv skits with two girls from my class. The show was called Tuesday Night Cafe and it happens twice a month outside the entrance to the East West Players Theatre. Next door is a cafe that serves food and beer, so I guess that's where the cafe part comes in.

We were the first ones on. I mean, do you know how tough that is? Fortunately, I was so in the present moment, I didn't have time to think about anything. And I realized that that was the definition of a good show for me: just being in the present moment. It's easy to get out of that, too. You make one stupid comment and the comment starts to replay in your mind, and then you're fucked. Might as well call it a night.

One of the girls I performed with has a tendency to argue and raise her voice on stage, no matter what we're improvving. The other can just stop right in the middle because she's uncomfortable or too self-conscious. I often talk about sex, which tends to be my crutch. So, we ended up doing three skits, and in each one, we talked about sex. The girl who gets self-conscious got a bit self-conscious during one skit, but I managed to keep the audience in on the fact that I was aware of it also.

The other girl argued and raised her voice during one skit, but I managed to make my interaction work with it. And I really think that because the audience was young and, at first, difficult, the fact that she raised her voice and argued really got their attention. So, in short, that worked too.

But you can't do good, entertaining improv unless you stay in the moment. I had a good show. I hope to have 99 more just like it.

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