December 29, 2015
Tonight is big. Thanks to Fast Horse’s Muse It Or Lose It creativity stipend, I will be attending my very first improv class. In eight short weeks, I could be saying hello to a life of luxury and laughs starring in Second City, SNL, or even the second coming of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (We miss you, Drew Carey).
I’ve always wanted to be a star. I was cast as a Wizard of Oz munchkin in my first play at age four. Munchkin was soon followed by a bunny, bunny by dog, and dog followed by another dog. Human parts are hard when you have a strong lisp.
I was then featured in two Becker Furniture World commercials. I held a sign up in one, and said “Hi!” in another. Never quite made it to that full-sentence level, but here’s to a craft-services table filled with Costco meat and cheese platters!
And most recently, I worked the camera hard to make it through all three rounds of Family Feud auditions only to be sidelined by my family’s unwillingness to open up their schedules to match up with filming times. Let’s sacrifice a little, Millers!
I have also always wanted to be funny, but that hasn’t come quite as easily. I’m notoriously bad at accents, I’m often the last one to get a joke (especially the dirty ones), and I can’t carry a tune to save my soul – a crucial skill in improv. Did you know Adele actually got her start on Whose Line?
According to my class description, improvisation can teach the skills of creativity, confidence, innovation, listening, communication, teamwork and leadership. All well and fine, but can it teach me how to not get red splotches when talking in front of large groups of people? That’s one of my main goals for this whole thing. For the slim chance Lorne Michaels doesn’t discover me in these next two months, I want to improve my non-splotchy-neck skills. I’d love to present new-business pitches one day at Fast Horse or lead a panel discussing our industry, but scarves aren’t always acceptable in certain seasons.
When (or if) I make it to my last class, I can invite friends, family and Fast Horse to come watch. Office field trip? I’ve conveniently left out the establishment where I’ll be taking these classes in case I decide to revoke the invitation. Update to come!
PS: To prepare for tonight, I binge-watched hours of old episodes of Whose Line over the long weekend. This is by far my all-time favorite sketch and definitely worth a watch!