Ena - Day 49
Ena: Wow, I never say this, but TGIF. For real. For no particular reason, I am extra happy for Friday this week, I am ready to get my weekend started. Next week should be interesting; lots of off-site and out-of-country co-workers coming to our office which means lots of shmoozy-boozy events and long, somewhat pointless meetings…can’t wait. That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it.
There are two things – well, more than that really, but two in particular – that I would like to accomplish this weekend; go thrift-store/cheap-clothes shopping and go to my local Los Angeles Public Library branch to inquire about volunteer opportunities (there has to be something that I can do to help, dammit!). And, because I am unable to participate in the GAB training until the middle of March, I have decided to explore additional options.
A few weeks back, Bina volunteered at a local public school through a program sponsored by our company called Friday Readers. For those of you who are not good with the literal, the program entails reading…to kids…on Fridays. Since that’s pretty much what the GAB program is all about – and since I really am scared that I will hate it and/or be terrible at it – I decided to become a Friday Reader too and take this whole volunteering thing out for a spin. I will keep you posted.
I am very excited to go shopping this weekend, I am feeling motivated. I hope that I am able to find tons of ridiculously inexpensive, terribly stylish, utterly unique things to dazzle and amaze you with next week…or, that I don’t buy too much crap at least. I’d like to end today’s post by giving a super heartfelt shout out to my Uncle Chris who has supported this project from the beginning…Happy Birthday, Crazy Diamond! Shine on!
Bina - Day 49
Bina: Over the summer, I did one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I took an improv class. The idea had been in my head for a while. I have been an Upright Citizens Brigade fan for years – dating back to when Alexis and I used to sit in the sidewalk line for their free Asssscat shows in NYC. In fact, years ago, I actually signed up for a class in New York, and then when I was cast in a play in Alaska (I know, weird), I was unable to take that class. This summer, I decided it was time. I was feeling fairly good about myself and thought I should get out of my comfort zone and try something new – even if it was utterly frightening. I enrolled.
When the time came for the very first class, I felt like I wanted to barf big time. Could I possibly be funny on command? I was a total spaz in that first class. I was trying so hard. In our inaugural exercise, four of us had to get up and then we were supposed to each ramble about something we LOVED – the first thing that came to mind. Well, the first thing that came to mind was my cats. Big mistake. In the spirit of the exercise, I started rambling on and on about how much I loved my cats, only to realize as I was talking that I sounded like a crazy cat lady and I had just exposed this about myself within an hour of meeting my classmates. Crap.
Still, everything went uphill from there. I learned so much over those 8 weeks. And as soon as I was able to calm down and get out of my own way and play the game of improv, I was actually kinda funny. It was liberating. (Although as it turns out, one guy did have an anxiety attack in the middle of a scene, left, and never came back.) Our improv was based on monologues (based on audience suggestion) and while, at first, I thought I would never be able to think of anything, I found that I really liked storytelling. And that people seemed to actually like my storytelling – my storytelling that was based on the ridiculous things that have happened to me over the years. Finally, some of those stories would come in handy.
When it came time for my graduation show, I told no one. I was so terrified of being judged. And of not being funny. Even though I had found some retribution in class, I still didn’t want other outsiders to be there just in case I fell flat on my face.
In short, I did not fall flat on my face. I gave a monologue; I did some great scenes; I kinda rocked. And none of my friends saw it. Because I was so nervous about failing. After the show, I went with my classmates to the bar, Birds, next door to celebrate. Because you know, that’s what improvisers at UCB do. We ate and drank and laughed about the show we had just done. Proud little Improv 101 graduates. And then my classmate turned and said to me “I’m OBSESSED with your monologues. They’re amazing.” And I don’t know if I’ve ever felt prouder of myself.
I’m not sure why I wanted to talk about this today. I guess I just wanted to remember something positive – how I felt when I overcame a fear of mine. And how rewarding it was. And how I wish I had been more confident or trusting in my friends to let them see me try – whether I was going to fall on my face or not. At least I was trying.