Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Comedy Is Hard

About to leave for Advanced Acting final. Feeling mawkish. Last class for me, last class for Professor ever. Too freighted with heavy-handed symbolism, to paraphrase Annie Dillard.

Have to hand in "journal." I think mine is pathetic. It consists of slightly crumpled (from much perusal and purse-stuffing) scenes and monologues, a few hastily scribbled class notes, and some long, ramble-y critiques of what I learned this semester that I wrote this weekend. He said that a student once wheeled her journal into the room on a dolly. Mine's a one-inch binder. Fingers crossed I still get that A+.

Final chamber music performance tonight, at an Episcopal church in Hillcrest. I'm guessing it won't be as grand as the last church, the Catholic one? I like performing from the pulpit. It's comfy up there and I get my own book light.

Stand-up comedy last night, third week. Apparently, I'm supposed to be focusing on something by now. Instead, I want to write bits about everything that's happened to me in life, including this week. Apparently, that is not going to help me edit my life into bits that have 18 jokes in three minutes.

Last night it was hard to "do" my three bits and not really get any laughs. I am a storyteller. I put in words just because I like the sound of them. That is fine, but comics will use one of those instead of eight, like I do. I asked Tony how do we know we haven't picked the WRONG stories to work on. He says there are no wrong stories, that we make them right with editing. Oh. Editing to me means changing words, not cutting them. Usually. Apparently, I have to cut, cut, cut like an ornamental hedge at Disneyland where it will start out a bush but end up a hippopotamus. Meaning, I have to lie a little. Not just exaggerate. Actually lie. At least it feels that way to me. Weird. I've begun announcing things into the "record" part of my phone whenever I think of something funny so that I can get in touch with my actual speech patterns. Everything is too long and there are horrible pauses filled with "Ummmms...." Those must go. Tony says I step on my own punchlines with more words. I said "I can't stand the silence!" He said "We're hoping the silence gets filled up with laughs." Oh. Right.


Stephanie said...

I love that you take note of simple pleasures...like your own booklight. Most excellent.

Laural Out Loud said...

I used to be so good at telling funny stories and jokes! Now I can never remember the punchline, or how the second part is supposed to go, or... It's the fibro fog mixed with mommy brain, I'm sure, but it's so disappointing to not be able to be funny any more! I should find the record thinging on my phone and see if that helps. Are you taking the summer off from performing?