What are we doing here?

“What are we doing here? Both of us can write.”
These words were uttered backstage at a Chainsaw Boys show by my fellow Chainsaw and good friend, Mike Bencivenga as the overture for the show was being played by our music director, Noel Katz. Noel loved a full bodied overture, so we usually had more than a little time to ponder existential questions.

Before being Chainsaw Boys, the name of our improv group in case it was unclear,
Mike and I had done fair number of sketch shows, in which we both wrote, he directed and I performed in. He was right, we both had the skills to put on a solid comedy show without the pressure of having to make it all up on the spot.

My own crisis was more immediate, many times all I could think was, “I’ve got nothing.” It wasn’t stage fright, not exactly, but more of a dread that when called upon, I would not be funny or even have anything to say. My fear was that the improv tank would read “empty.”

Truthfully, it never was. I always found something to contribute. Which is not to say I never had off shows, but none that would justify my dread. This was in large part due to having an outstanding group of people to improvise with. Everyone brought something different to the table.

While not a sports fan, and that is an understatement. However I do know that improv is a team, if not a sport then lets just call it an activity. You do not have to carry it all on your own. If there are five people in the show, you’re only responsible for twenty percent, less if you have musical accompaniment. The point is, even when I was certain that I had nothing to offer, which was wrong, and am happy to have made that mistake.

This entry was posted in Yes and so this happened and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.