I thought I'd take in some lunchtime reading while eating my buffalo chicken meatballs from Central Market. Have you had these meatballs yet? They're delicious. Almost as good as the steak-and-bacon meatballs. Central Market is really bringing its meatball A-game. Whole Foods, you're on notice. Back to the top of the scene: There's a really good article on The Rumpus by Elissa Bassist. It's called "FUNNY WOMEN #73: How to Write Like a Funny Woman," and it's an article about writing lessons learned from improv.
One part of the article really stood out to me:
...it may very well be true that another person is succeeding and you are not experiencing success, but one has nothing to do with the other. There’s not a limited amount of success going around. In what world does it make sense that if I am funny, you are not funny? NO WORLD. We need to believe in, encourage, support, and massage each other’s egos. I believe in you. I believe in what you’re doing. Please keep doing it, and maybe do a little of it near me.
I love that line: "There's not a limited amount of success going around." It's easy to fall into a low self-esteem rut where you feel sorry for yourself because you're not as funny as someone else. However, it's not about being funny; it's about being supportive.
Maybe your role in a scene is to play the non-absurd character. Maybe that's the role you always play, and that's okay. If your scene partners are truly supportive, they'll help build your non-absurd character, they'll make sure what you do is pure genius, just like you will make sure their character choices are genius. And then you'll all be successful.
The improv we teach here at DCH is not about competition; it's about community. If you keep that always on your mind, we'll all be successful.
(Photo via Flickr: Susan Renee / Creative Commons)