The day the new teams are announced, there’s a lot of space taken up on the web for the newly cast: congratulations and what not. But nothing ever really gets said to the people who are cut. I’ve been thinking a lot about that today, so I decided to offer some advice to those…
I’ve been cut from both the UCB (a very, very long time ago) and (much more recently) the PIT. (I’m considering going through the Magnet program, just so I can get on a house team and get cut from it.*)
The lesson I learned from UCB: If you truly love this stuff, don’t quit! That was a long, long, painful lesson that took me about ten years to learn. Those years weren’t unproductive. I did a lot of scripted theater, and met my wife, among other things. But improv is what I really love, and when I look at the success of many of my peers-at-the-time I wince a bit and wonder what if.
The lesson I learned from the PIT? Well, it’s so much more recent and I’m still processing it. One of them is definitely, “Don’t make this stuff so precious that every show is a judgement on your self-worth.” Perhaps I’d throw in, “Love your teammates, even through the frustrating shows, because your shows will never get better otherwise.” I’d definitely add, “It’s okay to feel angry, but perhaps you should cool off a bit before you post things you don’t mean on Facebook.” (You’d think I’d have learned to recognize that “Should I really hit SEND?” feeling by now, but nooooo…)
But that lesson from UCB was well-learned, and you can bet your ass I’m not quitting. I’ll keep banging on that door that just closed on me, and I’ll keep my eyes open for other doors to bang on. I’ll keep working, keep getting better, and if I never get on another house team, so be it, but you can bet I’ll be on that stage, making people laugh as best I can, and doing what it’s in my bones to do, for as long as I am physically and mentally able to do so.
* No, I’m not really considering that.**
** Although I was at UCB so long ago, that if I were cut from the Magnet, I’d also have the distinction of being cut by Armando Diaz twice.
Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn’t that generous?
Always reblog Labyrinth, even this hipster Labyrinth
You remind me of the babe!
Oh, you probably never heard of it…
“You’ve done this ever since you had that head injury.”
“Have you stopped taking your meds?”
“You have alzheimer’s.”
“You must be stupid.”
“This is what I get for getting an apartment of Craigslist.”
“This is what I get for getting a date from OKCupid.”
“Oh! It was just a dream!”
“You’re Crazy” means “I dismiss your offer, and refuse to emotionally react to it.”
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.
We know not to “deny” in a scene. I’ve talked about why it might be an instinct (borne of a desire to create one’s own reality rather than accept the terms of another’s) and what is and is not denial (simply saying the word “no” in a scene has very little to do with denial. Rather, denial is the…
After some tumblr silence, thehousethatdelbuilt spouts some “instant reblog” wisdom again.
(written months and months ago)
I don’t want to do it anymore. I know I’ll change my mind soon, maybe even after a single night’s sleep but I want to capture what this feels like.
Did Stepfathers tonight and my goal going in was to be less ego-driven. Less concerned about how I was doing, how…
Commuters walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, during the Great Blizzard of 1888. From “The Bowery Boys” blog.
The Brooklyn Bridge, not even five years old, weathered the winds quite well, but became a hazard due to ice. In this picture, people are crossing over as there was no other way to get between Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s not clear if any of the trains are operating in this picture.
I love this photo. New Yorkers trudging through the snow, joined together in the bonhomie of shared adversity. This could have been my commute after Hurricane Sandy. We are not so different from the people of 1888 as we might think.