As some of you already know, I’ve been taking very workshops & classes in improv for about 2-3 years now. I enjoy them when I do. I’ve learned a variety of other things rather than just short or long form techniques in that time. It has been an excellent way to lift my spirit & sense of humor in difficult situations. Also to keep my mind active. Above all, it is also fun. Fun is important. Most of us with chronic & rare disease don’t seem to get quite enough of that at points.
(I’ve also been toying with taking a stand-up class soon to use my transplant listing & wait time constructively.)
Not quite a year ago, I took a storytelling workshop I found enormously valuable. This workshop was given by Giulia Rozzi when she came to perform her one-woman show, Bad Bride, (around Valentine’s Day) which was highly entertaining.
The timing of that workshop ended up being perfect. I turns out that it was given just before I was asked to speak to the American Thoracic Society Foundation. I had spoken for them before a few years back.
This time speaking was different for me although I had the same joy in the end. I tried a new approach. I spoke completely off the top of my head, with no notes. I had nothing written out ahead of time.
It was a big leap for me to be able to do that, but I did it successfully. I think the storytelling skills I learned served as a great catalyst.
With some of my Christmas stash, I decided to order a puppet from the Brooklyn Puppet Conspiracy to keep my fun & learning moving in a new direction.
I hope after transplant (when I’m recovered) to take some of their classes or workshops. (I was actually thinking about it for awhile. Then I had all hell break loose with my health so it was put on the back burner.)
Maybe I’ll get some like-minded friends together to do something at some point with any new skills I acquire. Or maybe I’ll just grab a few friends & their puppet buddies & do some shows for the one of the transplant houses at some point. Who knows?
For the time being, it’s a nice distraction. I know even when I practice on my own, if nothing else, practicing with my puppet friend will be a great way to help me build upper arm & body strength & stamina (which I could always use more of).
As part of the festival, Team Lopez was also going to perform & teach a puppet workshop (which I had signed up for so I could learn to properly practice with my new buddy). However, the weather had other plans, so I’ll have to wait a little longer to learn.
Luckily, most of the events could be rescheduled to take place in February, including the workshop, so I won’t lose out.
I was kind of bummed about the weather interfering with my plans but then again, I wasn’t surprised. This is the way our January months have been the past few years.
(It’s a bit eerie to me to remember we are within just a day or two of when one of our major snow storms happened last year. Talk about history repeating itself. I hope this won’t be an annual occurrence. I don’t feel like celebrating it again. I’m not a fan of snow. I grew up with enough in the midwest.)
I did have the good fortune of being able to see Improvised Shakespeare (our original festival headlining team) in Chicago last April. I went with a Canadian friend who was also excited about improv & had also dabbled with it herself. She was in Chicago that same weekend, attending the same conference I was. It was fun to have some company to make the trek to the theatre. We had a blast & made a great memory that night.
I was excited for my local friends to be able to make their own memories here this weekend, so that was another reason I was disappointed with the forecast. Yet, I was grateful the whole festival wasn’t completely cancelled outright, just postponed.
I’m sure we’ll all make some great memories then. I know my new puppet friend will be glad to have some play time with others when it works out.
Until then, anyone on the East Coast (in the path of this storm) please stay warm & safe this weekend. It appears we’re set to get dumped on for sure. Hopefully, it won’t be as bad as they are predicting.
I saw a fascinating documentary, Puppet, a few days ago on Sundance Now Doc Club, that had me looking forward to things even more, but gave me a greater respect for the art form itself & its history. I’m sure you can get it elsewhere now too since it’s an older movie (from 2010). It’s certainly worth a watch.