Look, I don’t know you (unless I do – in which case, forget about it), but if you are anything like me, you know that being a human being is hard. It is not just the fact that we have to work to make a living (do not get me started on that can of worms), but then you have to actually go through the trouble of talking to people. Can you say “exhausting?” Of course you can. That is like a fifth-grade word.
I am not a social butterfly. I enjoy the company of others, but not all the time. Sometimes I just need a recharge, often in the form if solitude. I am like Superman in that way. One of many ways, really. Humble too.
Despite my natural misanthropic tendencies, I do often force myself to partake in ceremonial gatherings of similarly human lifeforms. Back in November I made the active choice to skip a 13 hour comedy show in favor of attending a “friendsgiving” situation. That’s progress. And a big step forward in the cultivation of my own humanity.
At first it seemed as though this day would be a step backward; a couple of my enterprising co-workers took it upon themselves to plan a post-work barbecue – it was a Wolf of Wall Street-esque scheme that would end up netting them tens of dollars in the form of fraudulent “repayments.” Truly wicked. Unfortunately, I could not stay. My improv class performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Hollywood, and between traffic and mental preparation there was no time to waste.
And so improvisation was done, and laughs were had. And I’m pretty sure nothing of interest happened at work or at the bar afterward (do not shatter my misconceptions people). But then something strange occurred: I was confronted with an opportunity to socialize with my fellow students. And it was my idea.
Socializing is an important part of the comedy community. Connections, baby. It is the main thing that has held me back, and it is the only reason why I partnered up with a charismatic black man; he is supposed to draw them in with the kind face, and then I swoop in and reap the benefits. That technique has not worked out so well – between the two of us we are on half of one improv team.
But things are looking up, because all of a sudden Steven is the charming one. He says drink, and people say “how much?” He has become the peer that does the pressuring. Don’t half-eat lobster bisque in front of him, because he’ll convince you to chug the whole thing. And it will be gross. But you will love every second of it, because he is a social butterfly now, and you want to be one as well. He can show you the way. But first he has to shake off the whole third person thing. It really is not a good look for him.