Annoyance Intensive, Day 2

I'm surprising myself lately. This week one of my best friends has traveled from Portland to study at the Annoyance Theatre's week-long improv intensive. It has been a wild ride and we've only finished day two.

Yesterday, I watched an improv show that moved me to tears. Steve Waltein, the show's monologist, recounted the story of his father's recent death in the most moving, honest, and heartbreaking ways. This was juxtaposed with the utter hilarity of the scene work. I cried through most of the show.

First of all, doing improv from 9-5 is no less exhausting than working a job-type job. My brain is goo. Today I played for nine hours, pinballing between The Annoyance and iO for my regular class. The day is a haze. By the time I got to my night class, I was barely conscious. What was bizarre was that it made my scene work better. After running what felt like a hundred exercises and scenes, I was finally free to play. There wasn't enough energy in my body to be nervous or in my head.

The sheer volume of improv I'm doing this week makes each individual exercise less stressful. Each scene matters to me less and less. I've been gripping the club to tightly. I'm finally starting to loosen up my swing and trust my body to take care of me. I'm starting to see how this lesson applies to much more than just improv. I think I might have been duped into a week-long therapy session and not known it.

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