Making Shit Up Saved My Life

04/08/2013 · 17 comments

in Love

More than likely, most of you know me because you read what I wrote. Sometimes I’m funny, more often than not I’m just really angry at everything around me and because I’m very small I can only yell online instead of be intimidating in person. I also do a lot of improv comedy, live, in front of audiences of sometimes very drunk people, almost every weekend.

I fell in love with improv after reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. She spoke of improv and how it changed her life, and immediately after reading that, I googled improv classes and signed up right then so I wouldn’t second guess myself. Turns out, that was an amazing idea, because improv has changed my life from day 1. I met my best friend Alicia in my very first class, and she has become my business partner, confidant, and life coach. I got involved with a group of people who live their lives to make others laugh, and that is the best place in the world. Improv taught me to connect with emotions again, to learn to jump first and rely on the help of trusted friends to be the net. Improv taught me just how fun it can be to surrender everything to the fun of the moment, to truly live in the present, to say yes to anything that happens to you.

I struggle with the idea of telling you guys about improv and what I do for fear that I’ll sound ‘preachy’ or as though I’m trying to sell you on improv lessons. And then I realized that was fucking stupid. Improv changed me. If it does the same for you, then awesome. Best decision I ever made. I have dealt with a lot of depression, anxiety, and PTSD (and I think will always struggle with these things), and improv pulls me back into what life should feel like, week after week. It scares the shit out of me, and it’s the only thing I want to do.

And because it scares me, I’m going to show you what my improv is. I’ve linked to the videos before, but never posted them straight up because I’m afraid of what everyone will think. It’s stupid, I know it’s stupid–so here goes.

Radio, Radio: A totally improvised show based around an audience-suggested song. We start the show literally and figuratively in the dark; once we’re on stage is the first time we hear the song we’re to be inspired by. 

She Loves Me Like Jesus Does–Part 1

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She Loves Me Like Jesus Does–Part 2

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I Love Rock And Roll–Part 1

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I Love Rock And Roll–Part 2

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Atlantic Pacific Billy: A totally improvised show based around an audience-suggested movie. We take the characters, plotlines, and movies you love and wreck them the way they should have been wrecked in the first place. 

Back To The Future

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Pretty Woman

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Grease

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What has saved your life? What inspires you? You guys are good about not linking at random in the comments, but this time, I invite you to do so if you want. Sharing what saved your life might save another’s.

Favorite Comment From The Last Post:
From Dana The Biped: I just want to pee alone, too–but I don’t have kids. The cat, however, has to sit on my feet and yowl at me if I shift my weight, and I have to leave the door open to tell the dog/howler monkey to STFU because she can hear the “sploosh” sound and clearly I must be drowning so she has to yowl, too. 
Mayor Gia April 8, 2013 at 6:46 am

That’s awesome that you had a good experience with improv. I imagine if I ever tried it there would be a lot of stammering. And general confusion on my part.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Going Blind Would Be Great

Kathleen April 8, 2013 at 6:50 am

I don’t have any major trauma in my life, as hyperboleandahalf said, I just woke up sad one day. It wasn’t even an interesting case of depression or anything. I just felt worn down and tired and like my wheels were spinning, but I wasn’t going anywhere. So I went back to school. :) Because if you’re worn down from having kids and being a caretaker, what you should REALLY do is add to the pile of work you already have! Fortunately, it was exactly the kick I needed to feel like a real person again. I’m 2 classes from getting my Masters in forensic science (CSI is a terrible show if you want accuracy in your science, it’s NOTHING like that. I mean, we have to be fully clothed to go to crime scenes for crying out loud!), and even if I do nothing with the degree, I am employable again, which makes me feel fantastic.

LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby? April 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

Well, about once a year I get very angry that I’m still alive, and that I have to be alive for probably another sixty years. About a year ago, I went to bed fuming about this, and I had a dream that I died and then came back to life (I did not become a vampire). Then I wrote a book manuscript loosely based on that idea. So that kind of saved my life. Or at least distracted me for a while. And then I forgot about my book and started my weird blog, which is also a good distraction.
LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby? recently posted..My couch has self-esteem issues and is also not very nice.

Alison April 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

Right now blogging is saving my sanity. I’d jumped around to a few different shrinks, and right now although I have a fabulous psychiatrist, she’s really only there to get me on the meds I need, not to hear me talk at length about my weight issues or sex life or whatever else has got me in a bad place this week. But I’ve found opening up about some of those issues, even in edited-for-the-public ways, has been amazingly cathartic. And it’s opened up other people in my life to wanting to talk to me about their own struggles, and lead me to finding common ground even in my own family that I never knew existed. It’s really amazing, I wish I had started doing it years ago.
Alison recently posted..a Foolish thing I did for Fabulous Food

Emelie April 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

These are hilarious!!! Thanks so much for sharing! :)
Emelie recently posted..I’m Pretty Sure It Was Clark Kent in the Squirrel Costume.

Laura April 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

Unfortunately I can’t watch the videos right now because I’m working in a library and am fresh out of headphones (damn quiet zone). I love improv, although I had a tasted of it through my theatre classes I really got into it during theatre camp (yeah, I’m that kid). We learned long-form comedy improv (which is basically the audience giving us the word taxi cab and, through a process of throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks, creating a mini- soap opera or full- on action film staring both Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

Whenever I start second guessing myself about my major or where I’m headed with my life, I can always fall back on improv to remind me to never take myself too seriously and to enjoy the time I have (which, according to North Korea, isn’t a lot).
Laura recently posted..No words

Jen April 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

Alcohol saved my life. When I was trapped in a marriage so dysfunctional it made Chris Brown and Rihanna look like Ward and June Cleaver, alcohol was the only thing that kept me anesthetized enough that I didn’t commit suicide. After my divorce, alcohol tore me apart and threw me down so low that I had no choice but to pull myself back up. And now that I’m clean and sober, alcohol is the reminder that no matter how strong I am and how successful my life may be, all it takes is one drink to tear it all to shreds. That shit keeps me humble.
Jen recently posted..The Four People You Meet On Facebook

Dana the Biped April 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

You are one funny bitch. Seriously, you are awesome and I get a little thrill every time I see my name linked because you’re like, Felicia Day-level cool and you know my name.
Dana the Biped recently posted..A First-Person Narrative

HeatherRose April 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Riding horses. Even when I was too broke to pay my rent, I found a way to keep my horse, and he has repaid me a million times over with my life. Every time I’ve been insanely depressed – particularly in college – I’d go out to the barn, hug his giant furry neck and just talk and cry until I could function again. There’s nothing quite like the unconditional love of an animal… even if said animal decides to be a jerk one day and leaves you stranded in a port-a-potty with the door open and your breeches around your ankles.
HeatherRose recently posted..Strip clubs

Abby April 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Wow about so many things, as evidenced by the fact I delurked again to comment. First, you’re amazing and talented. Second, we kind of share a lot of psychological “issues” in a broad spectrum of ways, and to be honest, I’m not sure what’s saved my life up to this point. Things get very, very dark with alarming frequency, but I have to say writing has saved me. It’s connected to so many people that let me know I’m not alone. Plus, trying to be funny means I get out of my head instead of keeping myself in “that place.”

Plus, I can make shit up and make people laugh from time to time. How awesome is that? I think I need to try improv.
Abby recently posted..A Raw Deal

David April 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Noa, you’re a fantastic human being. Really happy to know you and that the hobby we’re both obsessed with has done so much good for you.

David April 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I love that by commenting, my profile was linked to a frozen food review blog that I created an account for (And never did anything with). I completely forgot about that.

ColinP April 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Those were totally awesome! Sadly there are only 2 things that have saved my life:

1 – Books, I live to read.

2 – Invader Zim (totally available on netflix for the curious and unwary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpof-Pl97Zs
ColinP recently posted..Requiescat in Pace Tony Scott (06/21/1944 – 08/19/2012)

downloadable08 April 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

The internet has saved my life. When my best friend moved away in high school, early e-mail let us stay in touch; 12 years later, we’re still like sisters and I’m the godmother to her two boys. When I was in college, away from home and truly on my own for the first time, it let me find other friends–knowing that being one of a kind didn’t have to mean being alone. Now, I work a high-stress job as a nursing assistant (a career with 40-50% turnover because of burnout), and the internet is my escape: news, books, TV, movies, Skype all there at the click of a button.

These are the videos I always rewatch time and again when it feels like I need them:
http://youtu.be/M6wJl37N9C0 (spoken word poet Katie Makkai, “Pretty”)
http://youtu.be/Q9WZtxRWieM (Amanda Palmer, “In My Mind”)
http://youtu.be/ocDlOD1Hw9k (P!nk, “F*cking Perfect”)
http://youtu.be/ltun92DfnPY (spoken word poet Shane Koyczan, “To This Day”)

Misty April 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

You. You and Jen and Johi and Bex and Val and Dani, etc. etc. Having all of you funny bitches in my life has saved me. I guess it ultimately started with the blog, so blogging saved me, but it was the people I’ve met and relationships I’ve formed that have seen me through some dark times in the past couple years, even if those people might have been unaware of their effect. So, yeah . . . you. Thank you.
Misty recently posted..The Disney Diaries

Valerie April 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Whenever I get stuck in a rut, or depressed, I have to shake my life up. Last time I was sad, I dyed my hair bright red and took a rock climbing class. :o)

Hugs!

Valerie
Valerie recently posted..G is for Gambit, The Sexiest Cartoon Ever

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