Once, at a gig in Acton, I was threatened with physical violence by another act. Rather than just responding with a pre-emptive thumping of him myself, I was exceedingly British and apologised for whatever unknown to me thing that I had done to upset him. However, it transpired that that upset was caused by my having been born, as he hates me for being “posh” – tough gig!
You cannot please all the people all the time, and I know that my aim of doing so is, to a degree, a failure. I am learning to “hold on to my shit”, as those brilliant people at the Annoyance Theatre would say. That means, to me, to be honest in my reactions, to believe in my choices, and then to commit to those choices. Of course, to start that and be honest in my reactions, I have to relearn that aspect of my personality that was euthanased by a traditional British upbringing. I have to learn to listen to my emotions, accept them, let them in, let them affect me, and then let the boiling concoction of me plus the new experiences of these overwhelming sensations, overflow into action. And I have to trust myself to do so.
Continue reading Letting It In and Letting It Out
I really cannot convey how much I am enjoying it out here. There is so much that is thrilling me, and it is nuanced by bits that I don’t understand, some bits that make me think, yeah, well maybe, and then those bits that make me just go, this is the best thing since the bread knife (way better than sliced bread in my opinion).
Continue reading Wow. Just wow. Loving this place. A journey of discovery. Enjoy the journey? Thoroughly!
Wow, what a week. I’ve now been in Chicago for 8 days and for the last 7 of them have had classes. My next day off is in September but, luckily, some days I have fewer classes than others…
The past week I have been on Susan Messing and Rachael Mason‘s Long Form Improvisation immersion course. Susan and Rachael both trained under the legendary (and definitely quite strange) Del Close, and I am getting the impression that in terms of legends in this business, Del was it, and the other person in this town taking that accolade is Mick Napier. Which is very cool, as I have a class with him in September.
Continue reading End of the week
Yesterday I had my first improv class of the whole trip. And what a way to start.
Over the next 12 weeks I am taking a phenomenal amount of classes: 40 hours this coming week, and my first day of no classes is not until September – although I may book something in for then by then… I am doing writing and long form classes at Second City and The iO, the two main schools in Chicago, I am also doing most of the program at ComedySportz, a school that concentrates on short form games, and also the first two levels and possibly their intensive Fall course at the Annoyance Theatre.
The first of all these classes was with Megan Johns, at the Annoyance. Megan herself is a bubbly and bouncy individual, with the energy and focus of a flight of swallows over a summer meadow, and there will be 10 of us in the class when everyone turns up. The room itself is in a slightly rundown part of town, opposite a very grand looking building, and is fairly basic – carpet on the floor, very little sound leakage, a good size, it does the job.
Continue reading First class! Annoyance Theatre, Level 2, with Megan Johns