The Improv Life: Why Bits are Important to Friendship

The Improv Life: Why Bits are Important to Friendship

I had this job once where no one did bits. I’m not kidding. I would throw a great line just waiting to be riffed on, and the potential bit would die on the vine.

Or some body would unknowingly deliver a great premise just asking to be tossed around a circle and have every possible joke made about it. But it would just become nothing.

Hanging out with comedians and writers had spoiled me. Everything was a bit, a run of jokes to see who could come up with the funniest line. I mean not everything was a bit, but the possibility to see the humor in every situation and riff on it was always on the table.

Nor did they understand the concept of bits. I tried teaching them, but they never understood. It’s not that you need your co-workers to be good at bits; it’s that bits make life fun. They inject humor into any situation that otherwise would’ve been boring and absent of meaning.

Not that every situation must be a bit. And living in a constant state of bitiness can be exhausting. You’re always on (or feel like you have to) and you feel like you can’t be your honest self for a moment.

But not doing bits at all. Damn. That’s a hard one. What they don’t tell you is that a bit is a shortcut to friendship. If you can do bits with someone, you can also be honest and real with them when you need to be.

Friendship isn’t always about making each other laugh. It’s also supporting each other during the different movements in the opera that is life. Sometimes you need someone to laugh with; other times you need someone to hug you while your world falls apart. And if you can do bits with someone, you know you can shed tears with them too. That’s why bits are important – it’s a way to find real friends.

Shout out to all the friends I made throughout the years because they were good at bits.

#bits #improv #comedy #friendship #community #relationships 

Standard

The Improv Life: Processing the Weird Feelings of the Journey

The Improv Life: Processing the Weird Feelings of the Journey

I get weird feelings all the time about the comedy journey.

I beat myself up too much for bad shows, failed concepts, ideas that looked good on paper not working out in real life, awkward interactions, friendships I neglected, and failed relationships.

I got a lot of regret, which causes awkward feelings: complex emotions that I’m not always the best at dealing with.

All the regrets revolve around people and how things could’ve gone better. Sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes it’s theirs, and sometimes it takes two to tango.

Some wounds are healed by time; others just hurt more with the passage of the years.

These memories don’t take away from the good times and experiences I’ve had – moments I will hold onto forever – but rather, they serve as a shadow to counter the light of my positive improv experiences.

Like my light, my shadow follows me wherever I go, and I will always be aware of it.

As I write this, I’m thinking of all the faces I’ve disappointed. I don’t know if they’ll forgive me. I hope. At the very least, I can forgive myself, and not let the weight of regret prevent me from moving on to the next thing. In the next thing is another part of my journey that will reveal unknown parts of myself to me.

#improv #journey #people #relationships #awkwardfeelings #emotions #light #shadow

Standard

The Improv Life: My First Walk on Santa Monica Blvd in a Real Long Time

The Improv Life: My First Walk on Santa Monica Blvd in a Real Long Time

Took a walk on Santa Monica Blvd for the first time since the pandemic hit on Saturday.

It hit me different. Felt like no time had passed although it’s been over a year and a half since I stepped foot near the Pack Theater, one of my comedy homes.

I walked to the Broadwater Theater for my Fringe Show with Company of Angels, and I thought of all the people I would usually see on this walk, other Pack peeps going to the bar after a show, walking to their cars after a long night at the theater, going to go get tacos, whatever.

I really thought I was going to see someone I knew.

I forgot that theaters create time sensitive neighborhoods where you can see people you know and like during a very specific window of time, like Sundays from 6pm to midnight.

How often in life can you expect to bump into people you like and look forward to seeing? Theaters create those opportunities, and those opportunities to connect become relationships, and those relationships are what create a community.

I missed my Pack Theater Community in that moment, especially when I realized I wasn’t going to randomly bump into someone and share an unexpected special moment. I don’t know, it would’ve been cool to see Bryan Musil and give him a hug.

The positive takeaway is this: as I’ve been reconnecting with theater friends I haven’t seen in a while, it feels like no time has passed because we all went on pause together, so we can just pick off from where we left off – I hope we can all pick up from where we left off when we meet again.

#improv #theimprovlife #comedy #sketch #clown #packtheater #actor #writer #people #relationships #community #memory #saudade

Standard