The best medicine

Last week, I started a sketch comedy class that meets once a week in a black box theatre space near my house. I was a little nervous about joining up, seeing as I have just about zilch experience with acting (I mean outside of just a couple college things) and even less comedy experience. But OMG. It is So. Much. Fun.

First of all, there’s this warm up exercise we do called “Get Your S*#t out”, where we all stand in a circle and take turns going up to another person and saying a line off the top of our head. The approached person then has to come up with a responding line, and then the original person says the last line. So it’s basically a three line exchange of whatever comes out of your mouth. The teacher encouraged us to come at each other with any emotion, and to try not to make it a question (which is surprisingly hard). Some first line examples:

“If you ever do that again, I’m gonna kick your ass.”

“So, we had our first date last night.”

“I…I…think I love you!”

Or the classic:

“Hey.” – (I got this one, and came up with the ever-witty response of “Hey, yourself.”)

But you get the gist. And I found that once we got going, it was pretty freeing to just let yourself word vomit over and over again. It really did feel like “getting the s*#t out”. One of the exchanges I started turned out to be an angry shouting match, and wow, should I do that more often.

Second, we get to make fun of imitate our family! It’s homework, even! The teacher says successful mimicry is one of the greatest acting tools, so we are to hone away. With the lifetime of practice I’ve had, I should soon be head of the class! No, strike that, it’s actually crazy hard. Knowing someone really well, and trying to BE them are totally different things. Also, I don’t think I’ll tell anyone in my family who I end up picking, because inevitably they’ll say “Oh, show me! Oh, no I promise I won’t be offended, I’ll love it! Oh, come on! It will be great!” Only, it won’t be great, and there will probably be hurt feelings and a big DEAL about it, because, really, would YOU want to see yourself imitated? Truly? All your tics and gestures and zany characteristics? Probably not. So I’m keeping mum and leaving them (and you) to wonder.

(I’m TOTALLY doing my dad.)

3 comments

1 Joe T. { 09.24.07 at 5:55 pm }

Sure enough, I saw the last line coming a mile away! Best laugh I’ve had in a while.

2 alianora { 09.26.07 at 2:29 am }

Dude. That sounds like so much awesome fun. I miss drama.

And you totally did drama! Every single time I think of Guys and Dolls, I think of you!

3 Sose { 09.27.07 at 1:52 pm }

I just read Joe T.’s comment and THAT was the best laugh I’ve had in a while….sure enough! i was trying to think of another dad-ism but since flushbrain is my mom, i can’t think of anything……wait, did you say something about someone getting married or breaking up? did you hear paul seay got married?

(oh, and don’t forget your classic role as a kid – the part you were born to play – little island girl in South Pacific! you are a regular thespian, so don’t say you have zilch experience!)

Leave a Comment