A Very Last Minute Idea And What To Do With It
2019-07-17, 10:52 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Today’s quotes from work:
“Oh my gosh, I hate being an adult!” -Hannah
Also from Hannah after hearing about more of what I get up to: “You hang out with so many diverse groups of cool people.” That’s very flattering.
Okay, moving on. Like I said the other day, I have had FUCKING BUGGERALL to do for a 5 minute story to get workshopped for class today. Like what a fucking waste to not have anything done or prepared or squat that’s new to work on where I can get advice. I finally was all “I’m just going to have to resort to something I already did, like “The Entire Contents of the Sea Floor” or something. SIGH.
I ran into Lisa the teacher in the parking lot and we had a nice chat about how we both went to the Comedy Spot for improv classes and how much we love the teachers and think Brian the head guy/teacher is awesome. I wish I could have done more of that. I was all, “I wish I had a new story to talk about and I was hoping something would happen last night except nothing did and there was technical failure and I have buggerall.”
Then we start class and we have Erin from the Crocker speaking. She said that the whole “process over product” theme comes from their current exhibit, called Big Ideas: Richard Jackson’s Alleged Paintings. I hadn’t heard of this but it sounds fucking amazing and she gave us all free tickets to the show, which I will have to go see in August when I have the free time. She pointed out that it’s goofy yet has craftsmanship, and he likes to do things like set up painting pumps to unexpectedly squirt out paint on you, or destroy a brand new car “because you have to have skin in the game.” Don’t take it all too seriously. He doesn’t care about his product or what’s done in the end. Art is an experience, not an object. We saw a few interviews with him about how “some things are very beautiful accidentally.” It’s about the documentation of the process. Also he said, “Maybe Jesus will appear in the floor or something. I have no idea.”
My neighbor in class then said to me, “You need to see the urinating bears.” Which is the best quote since yesterday’s “subtle vaginas.”
So I asked how this topic related to the show, or at least I wasn’t sure how the heck the storytellers booked for the gig were going to do this. Talk about stuff they made? She didn’t specify what the booked people were going to say, but said this was more about the art of getting up and speaking live. Being in the moment. Telling a vulnerable story is the process of a product.
(Note to myself so I don’t forget this later: they also have a podcast where they archive the shows I’ve heard before, and even have transcripts. The lovely Betsaida got her pic on one.)
After that, Lisa played this story about a comedian meeting her hero, trying to be cool (“I’m going to ignore my hero,” I related) and then embarrassing the shit out of herself by over-emailing him and not realizing she’d done that.
Lisa: “People are afraid to tell something vulnerable, and that is what people want to hear.” She also likes comedians who are storytellers rather than doing joke joke joke, which I totally agree with. I would be into stand up comedy more if it was like that.
We discussed the story. One guy in class said the same issues that I had with it: it kind of drags on once it gets to the email part and it doesn’t really fit the whole “characters, conflict, moral” framework we were told to do. The storyteller is basically the character and the the hero is a paper cutout, and while there’s a climax of her realizing she fucked up on email and came off as a crazy stalker, there wasn’t what he or I considered to be a resolution. Others disagreed, saying that the resolution was realizing if she’d known she’d fucked up on email 5 years ago she would have quit comedy. Lisa said you can create tension through events or through a thought process.
After all of this, NOW I FINALLY HAD A FUCKING IDEA TO DO (KINDA LATE TO KICK IN THERE, BRAIN!), and I spent most of class writing it all down, for 7.5 pages which is way too long for a 5 minute story but it was busting out of me. It was a story about process. It was a story about being vulnerable. It doesn’t really have a resolution still unfortunately, the whole fucking thing is about how there is no resolution and nothing but limbo (shoutout to my therapist....) and I think it’d work for this event.
Anyway, other people workshopped their stories that they actually prepped all week on. I wanted to volunteer if they ran out of people (half the class flaked on showing this week so we were down to about nine and only four did any work) but the four took the entire rest of class. One talked about her father, another talked about the importance of getting along with the in-laws and standing up to her father-in-law, a third talked about running into guardian angels saving her bacon when she was in trouble in Italy, and a fourth talked about working with signing chimpanzees, being abused in a very prestigious but sexist lab, and she was told as the only woman there, “DO NOT show up here when you have your period or the chimpanzees will attack you.” WHAT THE FUCKING SMEGGING FUCK IS THIS FUCKING SHIT?! My mom has a story about how my uncle (her brother-in-law--told you about having to get along with in-laws) told her that if she was around dogs when on her period they would sniff her crotch. Uh, dogs do that anyway because that’s where their noses are naturally positioned. Suffice it to say this gave Mom a complex for years and she tried to give me one on the topic (didn’t work, see logic about noses and uncle also being kinda jerky). That said, the lady did have to clarify that this was a bunch of shit, to this 80% female audience. She also referred to herself as “just a blood container” to these men. She said what really excited them was when she had her hairnet off and they could play with her hair. Lisa said “the men or the chimps?”
In the end, Lisa said you don’t have to have a happy ending, but more of a “what did I learn right now while telling a story?”
So the good news is I have a potential piece that I did get written down in my own sloppy-ass handwriting. The bad news is that (a) I have no fucking time to actually type it up at all for like, days, and (b) it’s so vulnerable AND if I actually did it the story would end up online for all to see, and (c) I’m not at all sure if that’s something I want to blab to the entire internets. Or (d) if it’s suitable given my lack of ending, which boils down to “still gonna be sitting in limbo.” Fuck if I know. All I know is that it’s fucking 10:45 p.m. and I am supposed to be sleepy and tired Right Now and as usual, I am NOT and I have many other things I want to do before I sleep and CAN’T and ARGH!