​The Improv Life: The End Of A Show

Ladies & Gentlemen was a great show I’m really going to miss.

The End of a Great Night

I think one of the most awkward parts of an improv show is the end. Brimming with energy, especially if you had a killer set, it’s hard to cool down. 

For a bad show, I just bolt. My shame is a vacuum for pity. And since I’m starved for attention—I’m a middle child who went to an elite school after all—I’ll take pity. 

But lately, the shows have been good. Good shows keep you awake. You’re possessed by self-pride and audience approval, a powerful drug. 

If you’re lucky (and open to it), strangers will come up to you and say, “Hey man, you were funny.” With the friend of your new friend bumping in with, “Yeah, bro, you were hilarious.”

Awash in the compliments of random strangers who owe you nothing—family and friends tell you “Great Show!” to mean “I’m good for six months, right?”—your peers come up and pay genuine respect. 

And then you might share a mutual pat-on-the-back with a teammate you just rocked the house with. If anyone knows how you feel at that moment (proud, content, present), it’s them.

You reminisce of what just happened, as if it were a long time ago, a victory for both. Tomorrow begins to intrude on the present. “I got work tomorrow,” someone says. And the talk is over. 

You drive home with the windows rolled down and no music. The adrenaline drip keeps you up. The cool breeze of the night wind slowly cools you down. 

And all you can think about is how amazing that show was. And how you would go back to that moment and live in it a little longer if you could. 

You relive it in your head, over and over. You don’t know you’re doing this, but you’re making it a long term memory. 

The show is over, but the memory will be there forever. The show is over, but the memory is there forever…the show is there forever…



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