I was walking to the theatre this afternoon for the improv show and was hoping that solo scenes would not be a part of it. In improv we sometimes use a competition-like format. It is not a competition in a sports sense but rather a way to facilitate it for the audience to invest themselves in the show and connect to the characters on stage. In any competition there are winners and losers but on stage we all support each other. The real competition is always against self in the constant strife to get better and to do a good show. That said, nobody likes to lose spectacularly which is my track record with solo scenes. OK, so it is was a track record of one but, oh, what a disastrous one!
So as I was getting closer to the theatre, an anticipation of the rush of being on stage has set in and I stopped dreading the possibility of facing my nemesis. Or rather being inside my nemesis? Well, you know what I mean.
As the “competition” progressed and other players left the show (no, it is not like wrestling – we do not determine winners or losers; it is all improvised) it was down to three players including yours truly. If you thinking “Oh my god! The last round is going to involve solo scenes!”, you are correct! Of course, being a much more experienced improviser than I was the last time I had a lot more tools in my improv belt. Of course, having gone through the emotional rollercoaster of the last three months, I felt about as sure of myself as a eunuch in a whorehouse. I have about zero self-assurance. In my time as an improviser, I had numerous opportunities to train with some amazing artists. I chose to put my trust in their craft and in what they have taught me. Without thinking that it was all on me, I was able to relax and pull together a pretty amazing scene that the audience loved. I did not end up winning the show but I came in second and that was my best showing so far. Afterwards, fellow improvisers came up to congratulate me and tell me how much they loved my solo scene. It was a success.
And yet, it was a success that still felt empty, for She was not with me. She will never know what happened tonight. In the end, win or lose, every success feels like a loss for I have lost Her.