Call The Crap Out

My coach looked at me as he gave me his notes from a scene I had just done. “I know you, Natalie, when you don’t know what to do in a scene I can see it on your face. Call him out on his choice if you don’t know what he’s doing. Don’t be afraid to directly ask: ‘what’s going on?'” I nodded. Yeah, I’ll keep that in my back pocket: you’re right.

I walked home in the pissing December rain after the practice and thought again about the parallels of improv to my life. Funny how the higher up I have gotten in my classes and practices, the more and more I feel I am not being coached in a form of art, so much as a form of life. I mean, seriously, everything I am learning in class I can use when in the real settings of real social situations. What a blessing! I somehow stumbled on “Way To Live Better” classes!

I began to apply my note to a real situation. Cue: Kismet.

I was sitting on a couch in a friend’s apartment watching TV when I got a crap-tastic text from Kismet explaining how busy he was and how he couldn’t see me the next day. *As in Improv, As in Life* I turned to my friend: “This is stupid, huh? I don’t think I should take this on anymore, I don’t really want to wait around another month for this guy to remember I exist.” My friend, reading the text, nodded sagely, and told me to respond with a really sarcastic text, followed by the elusive and maddening ellipses at the end of my “response” (apparently, boys hate that? I think everyone should, actually. Who the hell responds to anything important with an ellipses unless they are passive aggressively dying for attention?).  I thought about how best to approach this situation, then realized that I must look like a character in a scene who doesn’t know what to do next. Oh…. I get it! Call this bull-shit out. Define it like I know what is true, and then, end the scene. *As in Improv, As in Life* “Don’t be afraid to directly ask: ‘what’s going on?'” My coach’s “Mr. Tee” voice drifted back to me in a weird dream bubble that figuratively floated above my head.

“Fuck this guy.” I mumbled. He’s not that into me. He just wants sex. Boom! Called it like I see it! I responded with a curt, polite text (no ellipses) and wished him well with all of the stuff he had to do in his very busy, busy life. I put the phone down and as soon as I did: wished he would flood my inbox with sorry messages about how he really wants to see me, that I mean something more, to demand to know what was wrong, and would I go to South America with him? because he already bought our tickets…

He didn’t. In fact, I never heard back.

Le Sigh. Bye, Kismet.

End Scene.

December 20, 2012 at 6:09 am by Natalie Allen