Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

As some of you know, I've been in a fairly rotten mood lately.  Ohhh, my poor friends and family.  They are taking the brunt of my Storm of Crankiness.  I promise I'm usually a really cheerful person, but these past few days have been tough. Everything that's been frustrating me lately seems to be coming to a head all at the same time.  It's madness.

Anyway, last night I attended an improv show with my friend.  It was exactly what I needed, and really helped me forget about some of the madness for a while.  I came home so happy.

This is the poster for the improv show I attended last night.
Improv and I have had an on-again / off-again affair since I was in high school.  It's been almost a year since my last improv performances with a team, and even longer than that since I did a short form show.  We have a grand time together, and I miss being a part of that. I'm terribly addicted to improv.

Right now a lot of my energy is going towards finishing this film, trying to keep my home (and office) in order, and various means to pay the bills.  But I do hope to return to improv very soon.  It's the perfect mix of terrifying fun.

When I got home from the show, I started watching the first episode of the latest season of SNL, and guess who's face should be the first that I see?  Vanessa Bayer's smile came up on screen immediately.  I've become a big fan, after seeing her perform in Chicago at a number of places, including Second City.

Uhm, I also recognize that she probably has absolutely no clue who I am, but I'm still a big fan.  We met, very briefly, a number of years ago in Chicago.  She was performing with Dan Sipp, who has since become a very encouraging improv teacher / coach for me here in Raleigh.  I was in Chicago scoping out the city, visiting old friends, and watching entirely too much improv, and stayed a few extra days to watch Dan's team perform together one last time before he moved to North Carolina.  They all went out for drinks afterwords, and she was very kind in making sure I felt included.  I was a total tag-along because my travel partners (Chris Moore and Carol Machuca) had already flown back to North Carolina.  Oh, what a fun trip we had together.

See why I love improv so much?  The people are such fun.  They are some of the people I hold very dearest to my heart, no matter how eclectic and dramatic the bunch may be at times. 

Each time I walk into the club, I feel like I've returned home.  That's a very rare feeling in this world--to feel like you can walk into a building and be home.  It's not the building that matters, it's the people inside it that welcome you with a warm embrace each time--no matter how long you've been away.  I genuinely adore my ComedyWorx improvisers, and the ones I have met through that extended family.  They are a rare, delightful bunch.

Thank you for the medicine last night.  It was exactly what I needed.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

Today is Monday.  And it feels like it.

I woke up in a great mood, so what happened?  

I feel like I should say something positive, but the words aren't coming.  I feel like I am making progress on the narrative script, but then I reread what I've written.  I'm left with disgust at my own words on the page.  I'm my worst critic, and my friends constantly remind me of that.  I want this to be right, excellent, accurate and ... great.

It's raining and dark outside.

I feel like the weather matches my mood.  

It's a scene where a character faces a challenge (or is sad or whatever) so it's raining outside.  That rarely happens in real life, right?  It feels scripted, but it's actually real life...

Summer is starting to fade now that it's the end of September.  That makes me sad for a number of reasons.  I feel alive during summer and am not ready for winter's harsh, dead and cold days.  I'm not ready for it, and I'm having a little temper tantrum about something that's totally out of my control.  But it's not just the weather.  

Things have been a struggle lately, and I find myself growing very weary because of it.  I've been facing one challenge after another with enthusiasm and excitement because I'm doing what I love--filmmaking.  I'm so humbled and grateful to be working on it--genuinely so.  But lately things have been a struggle, and I would be lying if I didn't document that here.  This blog was supposed to be the "diary of a documentary," right?  It's not all glory and good things.  It's a real struggle sometimes.  I have a solid believe that those struggles make you stronger and smarter--no matter how much I am pouting right now.

My outlook is bleak today.  But I get to do what I love, and for that I am very grateful.  That makes it feel a lot less like a Monday.  So...enough complaining.  Back to work on something very near and dear to my heart: Abandoned Allies.