If you have managed to stop your Gregorian chants long enough to check your Gregorian calendar, you'll realise that yesterday was May 1st.
And what's so special about May the first? I hear you ask.
Well, in the event that you failed to notice the title of this blog post (or you happen to be viewing this in IE9 where the title does appear briefly for a second before going blank), I guess I'll tell you in the body of this blog post.
What better way to celebrate my 2nd Anniversary of Improv, and to burn off another Wednesday blog post, than to talk about what I have accomplished during the past year?
There are many things that are better, but until they master the art of getting drunk via the Internet (via the medium of licking your Computer monitor), you'll just have to stick with this one for now.
In the past year:
- I've been to New York City on my own to study improv in August. (The first time I'd ever actually taken a solo holiday.) I had an amazing time at Upright Citizen's Brigade. Met some really great people in my Improv 101 class, and got to see some really great improv and sketch shows at night hanging out at the Theatre on West 26th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue. The sad thing about it was, I'm not in New York all the time. I'd have loved to carry on with the 201, 301, and 401 improv levels (and taken the sketch writing course, too) but I can't afford to stay in NYC for that long. Curse you, American women, and your lack of interest in marrying me.
- I got a "Cut for Time" email from Newsjack, which meant that my writing was noticed enough to be recorded, but not quite there to make the final edit of the show back in September 2011.
- Made more friends via the medium of ComedySportz.
- I got invited to (and went) to my first ever non-work related / non family related Christmas party. I enjoyed it, but I do need to get more comfortable talking to people in a purely social situation.
- I returned to my former job in the Midlands after the all around disaster that was Preston. I should never have left in the first place, and returning to the area has allowed me to attend improv workshops on a regular basis that aren't run by ComedySportz, which gives me another insight into the technique. Since January 2012, I've been a regular attendee at drop in sessions run by Wow Impro (Monday evenings in Bedworth) and with Box Of Frogs (Tuesday nights in Birmingham). These extra sessions have allowed me to have more practice than just at the weekends with the Intermediate workshop run by ComedySportz.
- I did stand up for the second time in front of an audience in February 2012. (The first time in front of a paying audience.) I sucked all the joy out of the room and died on my arse, but I didn't care. Unless I come up with something that I really want to perform, I doubt I'll try stand up again, as I didn't enjoy standing up on stage by myself.
- I went to London for the first time since 2004, and did a Saturday improv workshop with Hoopla Impro. (You maybe able to see a pattern developing here). It was really good fun. Got to meet a new group of people. Fun stuff. And while I was in London I met up with a friend (whom I first met on the Internet) the first time ever. I was as awkward as you'd imagine me to be, but in the evening I took her to see Comedy Store Players as her first Improv show. (I think she was impressed.)
- I performed in my first ever improv gig to a paying audience. (With the members of Wow Impro.) After only doing showcases for ComedySportz in the past, it was nerve racking to be up there. But I did it. Got one or two laughs in the bargain, too.
- I got my first ever BBC writing credit for a radio show on BBC Radio 4 Extra. (Internet Radio!). It took me 24 submissions over 4 series over 2 years but on the final episode of Series 6 (Episode 6) in March 2012 I managed to get a single joke on. (My first submission was Series 3 Episode 1 back in June 2010.)
- I did my first ever long form improv gig at the start of April, thanks to ComedySportz letting their workshoppers do a Sunday evening free gig in their place.
- I got invited to (and went) to the evening do of the Wedding Of The Century. Again I really enjoyed it, but I should try and be more talkative in these sorts of situations. (Though I doubt I'll be invited to another wedding any time soon as I know of no one else on the verge of getting married.)
- Boosted by my radio success, I'm writing some sketches for submission to Cofilmic's Sketch And The City New Writing Showcase that happens each month. Hopefully, I'll get one of my sketches picked and it might lead somewhere with my writing.
But that's not all, a group of the ComedySportz Intermediate Workshoppers have set up a Indie Improv group, Starship Improvise, and we will be performing our first gig in June:
(Poster courtesy of Kage.)
So hopefully my third year of doing improv will lead to a lot more gigs (with Starship Improvise, Wow Impro and hopefully other groups too), and learning a lot by doing improv in front of an audience. (i.e. to be more relaxed around an audience when they are staring at me.)
So here's to the third year of confidence. Who knows, one day I might actually have the confidence of someone my actual age.
So thank you to everyone who's helped me become the person I am this past year. You're awesome, especially you.
Let's see what magic is in store this upcoming year.