On Saturday, I accomplished something. It meant a lot to me and that's what makes it sort of a big deal. When I accepted the job offer to come back and work in Los Angeles., I promised myself that I'd pursue my truest desire this time around. During the time I spent living/working in New Orleans, an undeniable artistic and creative side of me emerged. My promise was to continue studying my craft and to take advantage of the great learning opportunities Hollywood provided. I want to write, produce and act. I personally think I'm pretty funny so I wanted to take some form of comedy class. I opted for improv at The Groundlings simply because so many of my favorite comedians came from their program - Lisa Kudrow, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Kathy Griffin, Maya Rudolph for a handful of an extensive and accomplished list! I figured if I were gonna study, I should at least start with trying to get into The Groundlings.
I went to a free "audition" last December and was pleased when I found out I had enough to get into class. Unlike other programs, The Groundlings starts everyone off in basic level classes. Once I crossed that hurdle of being eligible to take classes, fear started to kick in. I began to talk myself out of it:
- Money is not falling off trees so why would I spend that kind of loot on a class to learn to act when clearly I'm too old to be starting classes!
- Rent is too high to be wasting money on comedy lessons!
- What if the actors that are clients where I work were to see me?
- What do you plan to get out of this anyway you're supposed to be writing?
- You don't have enough time for classes.
- All the students will be young and you'll stick out as an old lady!
- I don't have time or money to waste on some class for 12 weeks!
Don't get it twisted. My inner voice can be quite a beyotch! I decided to compromise with myself and go to a special workshop. It was a one night committment and only costs like $10 or $20. The topic was overcoming the good girl stigma and would be a night with just ladies interested in comedy. I figured I would at least have a fun ladies night but was elated the session turned out to be a night focused on pursuing your dreams while in L.A. - a topic much more on my mind at the time! Long story short, that course made me ready for the basic class and I signed up the next day. I at least had to TRY to assert myself in L.A. the way I do back home. This class was my first foray into that world in this new place.
This past Saturday was my final basic improv class at The Groundlings. After 12 weeks of solid instruction, our teacher Liz put our skills to the test. I gave it my all. I used every technique we were taught and I openly performed with all the partners I was assigned. Most of all, I had fun. After class, we students all had private one on one sessions. I was elated to find out I was advancing to intermediate class. I was proud of myself. I felt very accomplished and it was a big deal for me.
Now in the grand scheme of life, it's REALLY not that big of a deal. (My subconscious is saying some slick ish right now that I'm ignoring so I can finish this post and eat some chicken.) But I'm tired of letting the moments of my life pass by with no celebration. My personality is so hard wired to seek out the next big thing, I can tend to overlook all the gazillions of steps that come before that moment. I've dreamed of doing improv and being a funny girl since the days of watching "Soap" and finding out that most of the actors were SNL alums. In addition to all the great feelings this accomplishment brought, it gave me a bit more confidence to go after the next items on my "when I move back to L.A." list.
I'm optimistic and excited for what will come next!