Last night’s show was called The Experiment. We do this every once in a while on a Friday night. It’s a show that lets performers try out different styles and partnerships. It’s kind of fun. There were a couple of solo acts, which are always interesting. I participated in two sets. In the first one, KPR and I did a two-man scene under the name K2. He endowed himself as a fat guy needing to lose 60 lbs. or his wife would leave him. I was his friend, and established a game of offering him all kinds of different fatty foods while we discussed his problem and ways to deal with it. The second set was a dramatic improv scene. We played a bunch of friends at a funeral parlour. It was difficult to surpress the comedy aspect of improv, but the scene was interesting and dynamic anyway.
It felt good to be on stage again. I felt comfortable and energetic out there. I felt like I was seeing the connections and character choices that I needed to see. It was a relief to be my confident self again, especially after having had a day of feeling fairly miserable and unhappy. I’m not sure what’s been wrong with me, but I’ve been spiralling downwards into negativity and self-doubt. Everything came under my microscope yesterday, including how I spend my time, my attitude towards work, my personal relationships. I’m seeking a balance that I seem to have lost. Nothing seems as easy or fun or simple as it was only one week ago. I’m hoping it’s just a phase that I can just shake off. It’s like I need to intentionally blind myself to unpleasant things to make my life easier or happier. They say “ignorance is bliss” and it’s totally true. But what would you rather be? Ignorant or blissful? Why should I need to make the choice? Or is it like what smokers do, knowing that stuff they do is potentially fatal but they keep doing it anyway? Do I lack the self-discipline to make sensible choices about my life? From the outside, it would appear that I can’t fuckin’ grow up. Most of my friends from high school have settled into secure, high-paying jobs and are concentrating on starting families. I’m living a much more youthful lifestyle, basically doing whatever it is that I want to do without worrying too much about consequences. I’m turning my reasonably successful business upside-down in pursuit of a career in art. No one else I know would be stupid enough to do this. Yet, any other choice I make would probably lead to me feeling trapped and depressed. Anyway, I’m just talking things out. I’m sure the negativity will be gone soon. I think I get into this funk once in a while and then it passes.
I started out talking about improv, so I guess I should finish with it. My life seems to have turned into a giant improv set. Or maybe it always was and I just didn’t know it. I’m flying by the seat of my pants with only the merest of plans. I’m guided by a few driving principles. The exhilaration of risk and anticipation of adventure fuels my journey. I play for myself, but I support my team, and I accept the offers that others give me. I raise the stakes. I make big choices. Some scenes work, and some go down the drain. At the end of it all, when the lights go out, I hope that it will have at least been entertaining.