Saturday, April 17, 2004

Level 1, Ross White, Class #5

Game. What is it, where is it and how do I play it? This was a tough class. I had fun, but I was tired by the end of it. We warmed up and started playing pun games. Actually, Ross put on his English teacher hat and started us with word webs first; throwing out words and having us think of related words in different categories (that I should have written down because I knew I wouldn’t remember them). I have a tendency toward linear thinking that really limits me sometimes. It would probably do me a lot of good to practice this exercise by myself, trying to blow out the words as much as possible.

I did surprise myself when we did ‘post-modernism’. I don’t know anything about it, and instead of standing around I just made shit up. Tee hee. Correct me if I’m wrong, Eric, but I bet we won’t find the works of Franklinton in the art museum anywhere. Good for me. I hope I can do that more often, because it was fun.

I have trouble with ass genius because I always worry that it will sound stupid, and I always feel like it has to make perfect sense.

Hmmm. I just deleted most of the above paragraph talking about why I worry about sounding stupid, because something much more important (and less self indulgent) revealed itself.

This is not just a confidence issue for me. It is a trust issue, really. I need to learn to relax and trust that my teammates will make sense of it. All I need to do is provide the information, real or made up, logical or ridiculous. They’ll justify me and I’ll justify them.

Oh, there definitely is a confidence issue here, too. It’s not that I don’t have the confidence to be able to play the scene, but that I don’t have the confidence that I can adequately support my teammates. I am afraid of letting them down. How can I trust my teammates if I don’t trust myself? How can they trust me? Personal history plays a huge role in this, I guess. No, I don’t guess, I know it does, both in trusting others and in trusting myself. Gotta love the improv as therapy.

So, something to focus on: trusting my teammates to completely support my stupid stuff and trusting myself to support theirs.

Aaaaanywayyy. After we did the word webs we played pun games, which I usually love and do well at. I was feeling pretty lame, but I still had fun anyway. I love me some stupid word jokes.

Then we worked on identifying and playing the game. We did this by doing a two person scene in a car. Ross did this exercise for the first time in my first 101 class and it really does help to peel away all the extra stuff so we can concentrate just on the game. I enjoyed the first scene with Pete and was pleased to find that I saw the game immediately.

The second time I was with Mike. This was another little breakthrough for me, because I muscled Ethan out by refusing to accept that I was the third person in our odd game of music-less musical chairs and sitting in Mike’s lap instead of backing down. I usually politely back down and let the other person go instead of me, both in classes and in shows (hell, in life, too). It’s not because I’m all that courteous. I’m just chickenshit. I have to work on that more if I don’t want to keep missing out on the happy.

The scene with Mike was really tough for both of us. We talked about it later. We were just so in our heads trying to figure out how to heighten the game. We saw the game; we just couldn’t find the way to play it like we wanted to. I am sure the scene was just as grueling to watch as it was to play. But it was a learning experience as all scenes are.

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