I mentioned in my previous blog post I had applied to audition to join an improv troupe. As the title implies, I did not make the final cut. However, I am not displeased by the result. I didn’t go in with any expectations. This was partly due to the strength of the competition. Early on, the audition was aimed at less experienced performers until they relaxed the restrictions to include individuals who had been in troupes before. I felt this relieved me of much of my nervousness going into it. Instead, I chose to view this as a way to gauge how far I had progressed but also see how much and how I could improve.
I arrived about a half hour early to the audition. Lateness would disqualify us so I didn’t want to risk a metro interruption spoiling my opportunity. When the first audition exited out (I was part of the second batch), all the performers seemed down on their performance. They were mostly very experienced so I took some of it with a grain of salt as their standards would’ve been higher. I was fortunate enough that my group was a mix of very experienced performers but also a few who I’ve done classes with. The former could fall back on their experiences and with the latter that previously established chemistry played well on stage.
All in all, I think it was my best showing as a performer even though I was hardly the best there. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I often come off as stoic and there were times I could barely contain my laughter during a scene. The highlight was between a woman I had been in level 4 and level 5 with (although she had repeated both classes multiple times) and I. Our inspiration was the word “zoo”. Immediately, she latched on to me tightly and commented how she was looking forward to going to the zoo with me in a very affectionate tone. We played this up as we were slowly getting aroused at watching the different animals. The whole scene culminated when I compared her to a sloth’s ability to hang on trees while at opposite ends of the stage in a vain attempt to calm our hormones. Instead, we rushed to the center of the stage and I went to embrace her and she chose to jump into my arms and wrap her legs around me. I think that was the first time I’ve ever blushed.
I felt everyone was very positive about the show coming out and we had a great time chatting briefly. It was a stark contrast to the first group’s exit. Talking to some of my other classmates who went later, they had mixed feelings about their auditions. I was able to ground myself though so while I had some hope I might get in, I still felt it was a long shot. Rather than feel disappointed about not being retained, I sent thanks to the judges for the opportunity. Others may come later. There are still several classes I’d like/need to take to continue to improve.
When I first signed up, it was more an exercise in personal development. My first teacher created a very welcoming environment and it was enjoyable to be part of something where everyone was friendly and clearly wanted to be there. By level two, I learned there was a graduation class for level three. Ever the ambitious type, I set my next goal for that show. Along the way, our third instructor really made me enjoy the experience; enough to pursue it further. The audition though crystallized this interest into a hobby I prioritize in my life. I’ve been signing up for practice shows and the like. Even failure is a blessing in disguise.