February 11th, 2010


Failing to be Fearless

Once upon a time, our hero was in an Improv show. In this show, a call went forth from the audience for "Molière" as a style for a scene. Not knowing Molière from a hole in the ground, our hero was want to not participate directly in the scene, but as no one else dove onto stage in the blackness, he did what any brave Improviser would do and said "Tell me something about Molière." The sentence he got in reply was "Rhyming couplets." So, armed with this knowledge, he dove onto stage and proceeded to do a scene (into which someone else eventually entered) that made the audience laugh even though it was more Seussian than Molière.

The problem occurs post show, when the audience was departing the theater and thanking the cast, and being thanked by the cast. Our hero's post show glow was shattered by someone saying quite bluntly that the "Molière scene" was totally wrong. Completely, totally wrong. The inadvertent tongue lashing made our hero feel pretty dumb... and while he's by no means a rocket scientist (gave that up for performing), he's not dumb. But feeling that way is a sure fire way to get him to clam up and get super-duper pissy.

Since then, however, whenever specific genres or authors are dictated for a scene, the ghost of "Completely, totally wrong" comes back and causes a total brain lockup. The cerebral cortex filter kicks into afterburner overdrive and completely shuts down all communication to the cerebellum, rendering our hero about as Improv savvy as over-buttered toast. Which is why, at tonight's rehearsal, what started out as a swimmingly fun night quickly came to a screeching over-buttered toast halt. Our hero felt dumb, and once that happens, it's all down hill.