West End Girl?

Last night, even though I was exhausted and frustrated by work, and really wanted a hot bath and a good night’s sleep, I ventured into Dallas’s West End to attend the audtions at the local branch of ComedySportz.

I blame (or credit?) my friend Clay for the suggestion that I go. In truth, I had contacted them, at his friendly urging, to inquire about their public workshops, searching for something interactive to jump-start my muse, shatter my shyness, and allow me to hang out with creative non-mortgage-industry people. Instead of giving me class info, they said, “Consider coming to the auditions.”

And so I did.

Consider it, I mean. I also bugged my closest friends about it, knowing they wouldn’t let me chicken out, that by telling them, I was giving myself external accountability. Again, Clay offered the best advice telling me to go with the expectation of having fun for a couple of hours. “Worst case scenario,” he said, “You get to play for a while and laugh a lot.” (I have the wisest friends).

Anyway, I was near to skipping it from sheer tiredness. Thursday is “month end” at work, and our volume is such that, this month, it’s crazy. We’re all working long hours and everything is time sensitive. But I knew I’d have to explain myself if I didn’t go, and I really wanted to play in that sandbox. So I went.

As auditions go, it was about as non-threatening as possible. We filled out minimal paperwork, and then we played games.

Specifically, we opened with Zip Zap Zop, and then played the Name Game and Pass Clap. We were blessed to have, among the auditioners, a bald guy named Curly, who became the focus of the name game, an exercise that helped us learn each other’s names. As folks wandered in late, people would wave them over and say, “That’s Curly. Start there.” It seemed to work.

We moved on to more interesting exercises, doing brief (two-five lines) justification scenes, in which we essentially just had to establish who and where we were (this was in pairs), and then we did some small-group exercises – HitchHiker, What Are You Doing, and Four-Headed Expert.

After having some of the current cast demonstrate, we warbled our way through “Do Ron Ron” (my favorite) and then wrapped up with 185, which is quite possibly the most exquisite torture available in a family-friendly format.

At the end of the evening, we collapsed into chairs, and were told that email would be the primary form of communication, and that if we couldn’t commit to the required time, to leave now (essentially). I walked down the block to meet Fuzzy for a late dinner at Fridays, and then went home to bed, pausing only to babble all of this to Clay, via IM.

(He was so patient about listening)

This morning at work, I checked my personal email via the web, and found that the invitation to join the troupe (attend workshops, and work door/concession while learning) had been extended about ten minutes after I turned out the light – I’d been expecting not to be asked – and emailed the select circle of friends and family who’d been told about this in the first place.

So…the first players workshop is on Sunday. I can’t wait to go play!