I was always into math and science growing up. Then in my senior year of high school, I took a Creative Writing class for an easy A. That’s when I started on the path of writing my ideas onto paper.
Learning long-form improv has single-handedly been one of the most life changing things I’ve done. It’s okay to be weird. Its okay to be verbose. It’s okay to be an over-actor. The presence, empathy, and attentiveness I’ve learned from improv can never be un-learned.
I love the freedom of expression in a long-form scene, where you walk on stage with a person/group and just figure out a relationship & story on-the-fly.
Where improv comedy is all about trusting the moment and letting it flow, stand-up comedy is the complete opposite. It’s heart-rending and anxiety-filled. Intermittently I’ll go to an open mic to test out a set. My angle is the narrative type of storytelling with a lot of neurotic tangents. None of my stupid one-liner puns will never see the limelight, so I never use those. I’ll ask someone to take a photo the next time I sign up for an open mic.
My writing was and is the first time I’d ever done anything creatively. At Rice University, I wrote a lot of slam poetry and performed that poetry at slams and other competitions. I’ve gotten away from the slam poetry genre, but it still informs a lot of my performance style. It was during college that I started writing sketches and scripts and plays and short stories. I’m currently working on a few longer pieces that I think are worthy of my attention.
I’m enjoy what few visual projects I get into. The little projects are focused in intent, but never methodical in development. Below left is a photo project where I photographed upside-down traffic signs and flipped the orientation. Below right is a Google Map interface laid on top of photos of peeling paint.
So every now and then I go up in front of a large group of strangers and improvise a fake story pretending like it’s true. If you know about The Moth, then you know that’s specifically not the purpose. (I’m sorry.) I enjoy the challenge and I want to work on story structure. Usually, I have “a thing” I’m trying to work on in a story (which has to be within that evening’s theme). I never get scored well (almost always last place), but that’s not why I’m doing it.
I do all of these creative things because I want to produce something. I tire of simple consuming media all the time, so I make my attempts at production. It could be considered “artsy” or “pedantic.” It used to be like that, I think. But ever since that first high school writing class, I’ve tried to make my art true.