Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Write like no one's reading."

Tonight was the last class of Comedy College.  And, as with the first night, the most important lessons weren't about comedy at all; they were about authenticity, listening, and letting go of the self-judgment that blocks spontaneity.  The more we assess and measure ourselves, the less we are able to listen to our improv partner.  Worrying about how we will be perceived by others causes us to stop, think, and lose the connection with the moment.

Before I went to class tonight, I was catching up on some reading (while eating pizza) and stumbled upon the phrase "Write like no one's reading," which means that, as a writer, I "write what someone like me would like to read" without concern about how others (who are not like me) might respond.

Being true to the moment in improv is very much like being true to a standard in writing. The audience observes--but the audience does not determine--the outcome. Paradoxically, authenticity on the stage and on the page require letting go of concern about the audience.  

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