Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hold Nothing Back

The morning I leave I think about the day I left. I came home from looking at houses and rinse cups of quinoa. I put the masala on simmer. I chop the vegan sausage. It looks like pig and smells like apples and savory spice. Bisque comes in the back way, summer sun falling across his face, footsteps muffled by the AC kicking into high gear. The season finale of Mad Men is good and exciting and Bisque tells me Matthew Weiner is out of ideas. Like, apparently, what happens this season is as far as he conceptualized for all his little darlings. And yet, there's another season. What will he do?

I am reminded of something I learned in my improv intensive last summer. In a Harold form, you know you will come back to the same scenario or idea three times. A beginning improviser often takes step one and imagines a step three and fills time in two. Ex: in scene 1A an owner has a dog that is so manipulative, the owner has to cancel dates etc. to walk the dog when it seems to choose. The beginner gets cut from the scene and knows by beat three the dog should be walking the owner. So, when 2A rolls around she fills space with a similar scene about the situation worsening. I did this once and my teacher told me my first scenes were too similar. I explained, "But I didn't want to go too big," and he asked me why. I didn't know. I learned to hold onto nothing for later. If 1A is about a manipulative dog, don't drag on to a slightly funnier joke twenty minutes later, just go for it, start 2A with the premise that the dog has finagled his way into presidency. What could be bigger than that? I have no clue, but the real improviser would find it, and I guarantee it will be more magical that, "Oh gee, Spot, now you're walking me!" Blackout.

I love Phoenix, and I, as usual, will be sad to see it get smaller from my Southwest seat. As I finished packing I told Bisque that sometimes I can't believe I just went for it. I've wanted to live here in this place since I was 17, but since it was what I wanted more than anything I figured I wouldn't get it until I was, I dunno, 60. Like the best things are too good to be had right away. But just just just do it. I am so happy it hurts.

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