Thinking 'bout: Finding Fun
"I chose this image as proof of the concept I am about to write."
If you've been keeping up with the blog, you know that recently I've been writing a series of posts about improv knowledge, which I've broken down into three more posts about directing, acting, and writing. If you haven't been keeping up with the blog, you now know that because I just told you.
Were I to follow that schedule, I'd be talking about initiations right now, but inspiration struck and I feel a little palette cleanser might be nice, you know, after an opening and three initial posts. Big wink to those familiar with the Harold format.
So, I want to talk about learning to follow the fun. Like this kid up here. He's probably had little say in being dressed in this questionable fox costume, but here he is. It's undeniable. Visually, he's a fancy fox. He can embrace that and go full fox, or he can look down shamefacedly and question the logistics of a fox putting on a bow tie. His choice is pretty clear from the picture, but I think your choice should be to go full fox.
Being Funny and Following Fun
The fun and funny people in this world are those that smile when they could have frowned. They're the people that could gripe, blame, or snark when a strange twist of fate comes their way, but instead say "hey, did anybody else see the universe do that?" and laugh about it.
And the most fun and funniest people don't stop at the laughter. They add to it.
This is the very open and out there concept of "yes, and" in a nutshell. And I mention it here because, yes, you can talk, coach, teach, study, write, blather, and blog extensively about improv and creative pursuits, but all good creative training should meet this standard: is it preparing you to answer and add brightly and enthusiastically when fun comes a-knocking?
When we really want something, we often try really hard for it. One of the most frustrating things about acting, improv, comedy, and pretty much any pursuit- creative or otherwise- is learning that the best stuff usually happens when we give up some control.
Funny is always around us. Fun is, too. Your job isn't to manufacture it or pull it, reluctantly, out from the wings. Your job is to invite it in enthusiastically when it arrives (yes)- and then make it feel welcome to everyone else present (and).
Life is absurd on its own. Everything is connected and not connected in some crazy, stupid, wonderful way. Embrace that chaos as truth and fun will find you. If you try to put it in a box, though, or to try real hard to be the funniest guy in the room, then fun will leave you hanging. Why? Because it's funny to watch you try to juggle in the middle of your uncle's living room at Christmas just for attention while everyone else giggles.
Basically, this is how I think true, genuine, and inspired fun and funny happen:
1. Those forces exist.
2.You train yourself to both watch for it and to invite others to see it, too.
You're not a comedian or the life of the party, so much as you are just a good host to the humor that lives around us constantly.
In other words:
Embracing the fact that someone put you into a fox suit and going full force into being a flippin' fox: that's super fun, and probably really funny for everyone involved.
Putting on a fox costume so everyone at the party will think you're awesome and funny and will look at you: not really fun for anyone but you. Funny to some in your inner circle; funny to everyone outside...in a sad way.
So, I've been thinking about finding fun:
Always go full fox.
If you're into the blog, check out my podcast with Kerri Shannon, Gettin' Biggie with It. We interview a new member of the Baltimore Improv Group every Thursday! Get it where you get your podcasts!