How long have you been doing improv and were you ever uncomfortable with it?
I signed up for my school’s improv class at the urging of my ex-girlfriend & friend, who was/is an accomplished improvisor. That class started in September 2008. Back then, I was really shy & it was hugely taxing for me to participate in that class, even though I enjoyed it for the most part. I used to show up late to class on purpose so the teacher wouldn’t let me be in scenes.
I had a sudden breakthrough when we started doing longform improv, 6 months into the class. Before that, I’d been okay, but after that, I was actually GOOD. The September after that, I tried out for the school improv team & made it. I’m currently in my 2nd year on team. (We have our first competition night of the year tomorrow, actually!)
It’s one of those things where you will occasionally be uncomfortable with it, even when you’re good at it & have been doing it for quite a while. Everyone on my team goes through phases of hyper-enthusiasm followed by occasional slumps. The trick is to figure out what will trigger you back into feeling good about your improv - in my case, I know that longform improv (where we focus on deeply detailed characters & arcing storylines) helps me get back my improv mojo when I feel like I’ve lost it.
It numbs my brain. This makes me less nervous/scared/anxious about whatever I’m stressing over. (I used to play about an hour of Scrabble before every show just to clear my head & get my mind off the ongoing mental list of “ways this night could go horribly, horribly wrong.” Now I don’t get that nervous, usually, thank god.)
Also - & this is weird, I’ll admit - sometimes the universe communicates with me through Scrabble.
I’m convinced that the universe will communicate with you in a number of different ways if you’re open to it - like when you’re thinking about your friend whose birthday is May 27th & you get an urge to look at the clock & it says 5:27, little things like that - & online Scrabble seems to be one of the main mediums through which I receive messages, guidance, & little jokes from some higher power.
It’s kind of hilarious & wonderful & makes me feel like a tinfoil-hat person, but WHATEVA, we all get to decide what spiritual beliefs & practices to adopt, & this (strangely) is one of mine!
today my clown-vomiting-a-rainbow shirt arrived in the mail. it is
bright orangey-yellow & totally amazing. i love it i love it i love
i wrote some “fashion personality” things like you did. here they are..
1. Kate always wore a flowery perfume she’d concocted herself from
dried white roses (yes, they had to be white). She flounced around the
kitchen in housedresses of tulle & taffeta, with petticoats & nipped
waists, while she made camomile tea & buttered blueberry scones. Her
lipstick & winged eyeliner were always impeccable. She sipped tea from
tiny pink cups as she asked handsome boys whether they’d like to mop
her floor for her.
2. Kate liked nothing more than to put on a Cyndi Lauper CD & dance
around her bedroom wailing into a plastic microphone. She’d spend
hours crimping her hair to give it that perfect just-fried look. She
was always liberal with her signature electric purple eyeshadow. She
loved to lounge around the house in her neon pink leggings & turquoise
sweatshirt making bracelets for her friends out of blacklight-reactive
3. Kate & her skateboard were an inseparable pair. She had no female
friends, except for, secretly, her stuffed giraffe Maisy. She didn’t
care much about clothes, but she more or less copied the look of her
skate buddies - baggy jeans, long tank tops, big hoodies. For formal
occasions, she’d put on a loose tie & do a half-assed job at tucking
in her shirt. She hid her hair under baseball caps mostly, even though
she thought it was kind of pretty when it was down.
4. Kate only liked to dress in ways that got her the craziest possible
reactions in public. Her favorite was when she’d worn a knee-length
bright green crinoline with purple combat boots, a blue sweater, & a
purple leather jacket, & an old lady had actually screamed, “My eyes!
My eyes!” Kate loved to climb trees, & to charm the owners of vintage
shops into giving her discounts on designer cashmere. She had eight
different colors of elbow-length leather gloves, & wore a different
pair every day. Her boyfriend always saved her out the best absurd
multicolored album covers at the record store where he worked, & she
thanked him with sticky grape kisses.
5. Kate wore black tights & a long string of pearls with absolutely
everything. She kept her long glossy hair in a loose chignon, wrapped
in pearl-studded netting. She’d had her favorite black pumps
waterproofed so she could wear them through rain, snow, sleet, & hail.
At night she danced the Charleston at an old-fashioned speakeasy until
her feet were too sore to continue, at which point she’d sip martinis
at the bar. She wrote little notes to those who tickled her fancy,
friends & strangers alike. She had a gentleman lover who bought her
jewels & furs, but she also had a fellow with whom she met in private
at his small, messy apartment on Saturday afternoons. She had a
schoolgirl crush on the newsagent near her building & often brought
him a slice of lemon pie from the bakery down the block. She loved
warm, flaky croissants, playing her flute for boys, & wearing nothing
but pearls to bed.
My birthday isn’t for THREE MONTHS but I’ve spent the past two hours making pages of notes about what I might want to do to celebrate turning nineteen. (I’m a weirdo!)
Some selections from the loooong list of possible ideas:
-streamed musical performance
-get dressed up & do a photoshoot w/ friends
-childhood retrospective decor w/ home videos, old photos, etc.
-a 19+ show/concert/something
-small, intimate dinner party
-spiritual manifestation ceremony (affirmations, visualization, lists of what I want in different areas, etc.)
-ginger/cinnamon cake, champagne, tea, cupcakes
-warm fuzzies, positivity
-fancy-dress picnic in a park w/ cameras, musical instruments
Within 17 seconds of focusing on something, a matching vibration becomes activated. And now, as that focus becomes stronger and the vibration becomes clearer, the Law of Attraction will bring to you more thoughts that match. At this point, the vibration will not have much attraction power, but if you maintain your focus longer, the power of the vibration will become further-reaching. And if you manage to stay purely focused upon any thought for as little as 68 seconds, the vibration is powerful enough that its manifestation begins.
When you repeatedly return to a pure thought, maintaining it for at least 68 seconds, in a short period of time (hours in some cases or a few days in others), that thought becomes a dominant thought. And once you achieve a dominant thought, you will experience matching manifestations until you change it.
I just watched your Gratitude video. I was waiting for you to give thanks for your incredible brother and your amazing parents. Is it supposed to be all about you?
Maybe I'm missing something. What are your thoughts about my comments and question?
The point of it is not to state Everything I’m Grateful For In My Entire Life, but to state Everything I’m Grateful For At That Exact Moment. You’ll notice that in my first gratitude vlog, I said I was grateful for my brother because I’d JUST been interacting with him, & for my parents because, at that moment, I was thinking about how accepting they were of my bisexuality.
At the end of most days, I make a gratitude list, a list of things that made me happy THAT DAY - & obviously it’s not exhaustive, because there are too many things to list. That’s basically the same idea as the vlogs.
Also - the point of gratitude practices is to increase feelings of joy, freedom, etc., & being obligated or feeling guilted into mentioning things that I feel I “have to” mention would render the whole thing totally pointless, in my view.
Obviously my family is one of the biggest things I’m grateful for in my life.
I haven’t written a song since December 23rd (Countdown). If I don’t write any in the next few days, then January 2011 will be the first songwriting-free month of my life since August 2009.
Interestingly, my head feels alarmingly clear. Usually, when it’s been a while since I’ve written a song, I accumulate bits of melody & lyric until my brain is a soupy cacophony of songlike matter. All noise & no structure. Then, usually, I’m in the shower or walking to school or messing around on my keyboard & suddenly, something clicks into place & a song falls out within 15 minutes.
Now, though, I have the mental clarity of a diligent meditator. Creativity has temporarily trickled out of my songwriting sector & into other creative pursuits (vlogs, paintings, being overly poetic in school assignments). It’ll come back, though. But for now, this is nice.
-kicked my own ass out of bed so that I’d actually go to law class for the first time in ages, instead of sleeping in & feeling guilty about it later
-dressed really fuckin’ cute
-bought a really fancy expensive sandwich & peppermint tea on my spare, which I then enjoyed greatly while reading a fascinating book
-performed in an improv show & ROCKED it
-painted freely & playfully & childishly on a big canvas for an hour
-sipped a latte & listened to jazz while sitting in a leather armchair inside a wooden nook
-bought a ticket to Gala’s self-love workshop (partly because I think it’ll be interesting/useful & partly because Gala has radically changed my life & I like to support her when I’m able)
I loved your gratitude out loud vlog! I will happily join your moment of gratitude! And I will happily continue to use an excessive amount of exclamation points!
But really, yes to slam poetry (please post some). And yes, to your shameless launch party. If I weren't on the other side of the world I would totally be there. I'm sure you will look divine and the ladies will swoon at your feet (perhaps bring your smelling salts, they'll be fainting in droves)
By the way, what is a transman? (did I spell that right?)
Also, if you're interested I just started (as in, you know, yesterday) a lifestream. Here it is, in its infancy: http://holyromanlifestream.tumblr.com/
Candy hearts and glitter ink,
Thanks, cutie! Your new blog looks great.
A transman (which you did spell right, yay) is a person who was born female but feels male on the inside, & so transitions to being male (i.e. transsexual or transgender).
If you feel like checking out a video of me performing one of my poems, you can watch this clip of my Very First Reading Ever (actually I’m pretty sure it’s my only reading to date, at least of my own poetry): Dream Girlfriend!
& SUPER-YAY that you are contributing to this internet epidemic of gratitude, positivity, appreciation, & love!
“A girl who loves herself has high personal integrity & is honest with the people around her. She adores her friends & lets them know how precious they are to her. She seeks out work which has meaning to her, & won’t settle for anything less than utmost respect in a relationship. She knows how to get herself off & she is vocal with her lovers! She isn’t afraid to stand up & have an opinion, even if it is an unpopular one. Furthermore, it doesn’t bother her if people dislike her, because she knows it’s about them — not about her.”—Gala Darling