Look guys, it’s no secret that I work at a high school. The high school itself, however, is a secret – I’m not putting anyone on blast. It is the kind of job people say “must be rewarding.” And when people say that, you just kind of nod vaguely. I wouldn’t say I get nothing out of the job (besides money. I do get money), but the victories can be few and far-between. So I jump at any chance to feel like I am making a difference.
Ahh, Indio. The armpit of Southern California. An excruciatingly hot destination that most people only know as the location of the annual Coachella music festival – the yearly opportunity for college kids to drink heavily and freak out on LSD. So much fun. But there’s more to Indio than a couple of music events. There’s also an improv festival.
There are few things that I enjoy as much as improv and podcasts. Until recently my schedule has not allowed for much of either. Luckily all that is changing. I just started a new improv class, and two weeks in I am prepared to say it is the best one I’ve ever had. I also have a couple of improv teams that are starting to achieve liftoff. So everything is coming up Steve-zee. It’s also summer, which means there is very little activity going down at the undisclosed high school where I make money. I still have to come in, of course, because support staff doesn’t deserve a vacation. I’ll try not to sound bitter though, as a couple of months of monotonous busy work is allowing me to catch up on podcasts, particularly Matt Besser’s improv4humans.
I love improv. I won’t apologize for that. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I personally believe that you ought to do things that make you happy. And getting on stage and making shit up with people that I like makes me happy. Sue me! I dare you! Good luck with that one, buddy. Have you calmed down? Good, because here’s the point. You can’t do improv without being on an improv team (surprisingly I’ve had no bites on my one-man improvised Shakespeare act), but – as we have previously established – I am not a social person. So what the hell am I supposed to do?
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.
A friend of mine recently told me that he thinks improvised comedy is one of the most important art forms that we have. Two things: 1) this guy isn’t even an improviser (which raises the question of why I was even interacting with him), and 2) he was at least a little drunk. So, while I take what this anonymous “friend” said with a grain of salt, I do agree that improv has a lot of redeeming qualities that should bring it more attention than it currently has.