Comedic Creativity – August 21, 2013

Chels bdayDo you ever have a moment when you realize something about yourself?  I’ve been having those moments a lot this summer.  Mostly recently I have come to the realization that I really enjoy comedians.  Specifically, I enjoy hearing about their process of creativity and have been reading various books by comedians.  Miranda Hart.  David Sedaris (not labeled a comedian, but definitely teeters on the line in my mind).  Mindy Kaling.  Steve Martin.  This was not intentional, but just sort of happened.  And this week I noticed the trend.

I’ve been on vacation this week and on Friday I made it out to the library.  I picked up Steve Martin’s book “Born Standing Up,” First, Martin is a spectacular writer.  He is not cliché with his words, yet is able to beautifully describe a moment in a way that captures you.  I knew he was writing, but didn’t know how gifted he was with the pen/typewriter/keyboard (you get what I’m saying).  He only covers the first part of his career, that of a stand-up comedian…

“In a sense, this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know…I ignored my stand-up career for twenty-five years, but now, having finished this memoir, I view this time with surprising warmth.  One can have, it turns out, an affection for the war years.” 

As I became increasingly engrossed in the book, which I read in one day (the gift of being on vacation), I found myself fascinated by the development of his act.  Later, as I drove home, I wondered what it would look like for to be a comedian, or a comedic writer.  In reading Martin’s book, I realized that being a comedian doesn’t just mean being funny.  It takes an exploration of what makes people laugh, connecting with the audience, and understanding how to play with their expectations.  I began to dream of experimenting with comedy.  If I enjoy this so much, why has it never felt like an option (I think I know the answer to that question)?

Last night I performed at an open mic night as part of my friend’s 30th birthday party.  It has been a long time since I have performed anything and the prospect felt enlivening.  I had planned to sing a song about “Pride and Prejudice,” but decided to add some comedy before singing (nothing like Jane Austen themed comedy to get a crowd rolling).  I really enjoyed crafting what I was going to say.  Creating points to cover, while allowing for there to be flexibility in what I said exactly.  I practiced in my car, in the shower, and as I got ready.  I really enjoyed myself last night.  It was messy and not everything I said elicited a laugh, but it was fun to experiment and try something new.

I’ve been wondering what it looks like for me to welcome in more of my creative self into daily life.  I don’t have a lot of answers at this point, but I do feel freed to experiment.  Perhaps it’s time to find avenues to sing more?  Maybe I’ll take an improv class?  Sometimes I just wait for things to happen, but today I feel oddly empowered to step out and try something new.  And I think this all started last spring when I began to blog more regularly.

So, here’s to continuing to unleash creative me even more!  What within you might you need to unleash upon the world?

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