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September 29, 2010

From a BIF 2
by WomenInComedy - 0

By Guest Blogger Pam Victor

      T.J. Jagodowski said something along these lines in the must-see documentary Trust Us, This is All Made Up, “I need improv a lot more than improv needs me.”

       Improv has me by the short hairs and it ain’t letting go any time soon.

These are the thoughts going through my mind as I’m driving down a dark, country road at midnight on Thursday night, on my way home after performing with “That’s What She Said” at the Boston Improv Festival. What else would compel me to drive four hours for a 25-minute experience? It’s an addiction, plain and simple, and there is little I wouldn’t do – aside from blow a guy for money – to get my improv fix. The sad fact is a $20 blow job is all that separates me from a crack ‘ho.

And it’s not like I can just roll out of bed and into the car. An entire day of little-by-little preparations goes into facilitating my ability to perform at night. I am a married homeschooling mother of two living in western Massachusetts. Performing at the Boston Improv Festival requires making dinner for the kids, renting them a marathon-length movie (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, baby!), collecting eggs from the chicken coop, feeding the dog and cats, getting my mom to watch the kids, leaving a page of instructions on the academic work they need to do, and crawling out from under a small hill of guilt that I’m abandoning my kids just to go make funny with people I like. (Are moms even allowed to do that???) Not to mention the gentle mew-mews I need to make in my husband’s ear to soften his realization that tomorrow I will be leaving him for the entire weekend so I can take workshops and watch enough improv to fill me. Come to think of it (no pun intended), it takes a fair number of blow jobs keep him contented enough to blur the image of me quietly closing the door behind me on Saturday morning. So I guess if you want to get technical, the only difference between me and a crack ‘ho is that I do it for free. But of course I should be used to that by now. I’m an improviser.

But who the hell cares? As I’m on stage, I’m living in the zone of single-minded Zen presence where I can Be Here Now. On stage, there are no kids, no husbands, no chickens, no dirty dishes waiting for me at home. I’m at one with the Universe and connected to Moment. And I’m alive, so alive. It’s all worth it. T.J. was so right. Fuckin’ improv, man.

Pam Victor is the founding member of The Ha-Ha’s (formerly The Ha-Ha Sisterhood). She produces Happier Valley Comedy Shows and PV Comedy Jams. Pam writes mostly humorous, mostly true essays, quickies and reviews on her blog, “My Nephew is a Poodle.”

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