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5 Things to Avoid in Your Improv Classes

Art of Slow Comedy

I’ve been teaching improv classes for a long time, and over the years, I’ve seen students do the same things over and over again that get in their way. Here are the top 5 things that improvisers should avoid doing in class and suggestions about how you can do it differently.

1. Don’t apologize after a scene or when you’re given a note
A lot of times, when people finish a scene in improv class or get a note from the teacher, they say “sorry.” You don’t need to say this. I should know — I was one of those people who said sorry all the time after a scene or an exercise. I was apologizing for not being perfect. I was apologizing for wasting your time. I was apologizing for existing.

“Sorry” means you did something wrong. I am here to tell you, you did nothing wrong. You are improvising – and that means it’s impossible to make a mistake. I understand you think you made a mistake, but you didn’t. So give yourself a break and stop apologizing for learning.

Suggestion: Next time, substitute the word “thank you” or “oh” for “sorry” and see if you feel differently.

2. Don’t be defensive
This is a hard thing to address because if you’re defensive and you’re reading this, you probably don’t think this applies to you. Boy, do I wish I had a way to get through to you. I have taken improv classes with defensive people, I have taught improv classes with defensive people, and these people would rather be right than learn. Every note from the teacher to the student becomes some sort of justification why the student did this or that. If you find yourself justifying why you did something, rather than just taking the note, you are being defensive. And when you’re defensive, you’re not learning, you’re just surviving.

Suggestion: If you have an inkling that you might be defensive, get help for it outside of class, because you are wasting your time and money taking improv classes, or, to be honest, any kind of classes.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity when you get a note you don’t understand
I have a friend who’s taking improv classes and he called me up for some advice. He was getting the same note over and over again from different teachers, and he didn’t really understand what they meant. I asked him if he got clarity on the note. “No, I don’t want to be one of those students who takes up all the time during improv classes.” Here’s the thing: If you don’t understand a note, this is the time to be one of those students because it gives the teacher the opportunity to share their experience with you, or better yet, come up with an exercise that can help you. As a teacher, I love these opportunities. It’s exciting, because now the class and the teacher are improvising together, and the chance that we will learn from each other is pretty good.

Suggestion: If you don’t understand a note, ask questions. Be ok with taking up time in your improv classes. It will only help you get more comfortable taking up stage time.

4. Don’t be polite
Most students are super polite and hold back in improv classes, especially in exercises that are quick and designed for the players to go multiply times such as 30-second scene, three-line scenes, etc. These games are designed for you to learn through repetition, and by jumping in as much as you can, you help the group as whole. Don’t be polite and let other people take all the turns. Trust that if you are getting out there too much, the teacher will reign you in. There is old actor/director tip: It’s easier to tell an actor to bring it down if he’s playing it too big than to have an actor who is playing it too small and have him play it bigger.

Suggestion: Keep pushing yourself out there!

5. Don’t hold back, even if you’re feeling insecure
If you feel off or you’re having one of those days where you don’t have any confidence, make sure you don’t hide out in class. Instead, be the first one up. Ryan Archibald once gave me the best piece to advice. I was doing a long-form show at Second City called Summer Rental, and I showed up backstage before the show and told some of the cast members that I felt off. Ryan said: “Make sure you are in the first scene.” Man, he was right. I did a scene with Joe Canale and we nailed it. I think being scared helped me do some of my best work.

Suggestion: Your mind will want to tell you to hide out. Do the opposite and get out there.

Want to take your scene work to the next level? Sign up for Jimmy’s Two-Person Scene Tune-Up on April 14!

Your Pain is Your Gold

We have all experienced a fair amount of pain in our lives — from our parents getting divorced to being picked on in school or breaking up with someone.

Most improvisers want to avoid thinking about their pain, thinking it’s not appropriate because they’re doing comedy. The problem is not that we have pain, it’s how we use it.

Instead of getting rid of our pain or denying it, we need to bring it on stage with us, and by doing that, we not only get rid of it, we can create something memorable.

One of my favorite acting teachers is Kathy Scambiatterra at The Artistic Home in Chicago, and she would say to us in class “Your pain is your gold.” This is as true for improv as it is for acting, or for any other art form. That pain she was talking about is what makes us unique as artists.

Recently one of my students in my Advanced Improv Class was doing a scene where he was playing a father and another student was playing his daughter. They made the discovery in the scene that the father was going to divorce the mother. One game in the scene that seemed to emerge was that the father was blaming the daughter for the separation. All he had to do was heighten this by laying on the blame to his daughter even thicker and not taking any responsibility for the divorce. Pretty straight forward.

As I side coached the students to follow this direction, he seemed to resist. Afterwards he explained why. He said he had come from a divorced household and his parents had blamed him for their divorce. Because of his bravery to talk about this in class, he had chance to heal something from his life that was limiting him on stage.

All actors and improvisers have blind spots, and it is our job to correct them so we can see more opportunities on stage.

I had a chance to try this out when I was cast in an independent film called Stash, where I played a character that people thought was a pedafile, but who was actually a clown-afile. He had a room in the basement of his mother’s house where he got off to all these clowns and circus memorabilia.

The joke was he was into clowns not kids. Even though I had been cast, I resisted because I was sexually abused when I was 14 by my junior high history teacher, and playing that part triggered me. I didn’t want to play a perpatrator of any kind. I was scared and uncomfortable. What would people think?

But avoiding taking the part was not the answer. Instead, I had to face this issue, because it was obviously something I needed more healing around and because it was blocking me on stage and in life.

I was not even aware how this was limiting me in my acting until I started to speak about in therapy. I brought it up to my crazy shrink who said, “Why wouldn’t you want to play this part?”

“Why would I want to play a part of someone who did such a horrible things to me?” I asked. My therapist convinced me that playing a part I was terrified to play was an opportunity to heal from my sexual abuse. My moving toward my pain, I could correct a blind spot that would give me more range as actor.

I was full of fear but decided to do it. It turned out to be a lot of fun and the director/writer allowed me to improvise and said “Your lines are better than mine” — one of the greatest compliments you can give an improviser.

I was grateful I did it because I was not even aware how much I was avoiding this subject matter until I was confronted with it. It helped me tremendously as an actor and as a teacher, because now I have had this experience and can now share with you. That is priceless.

Guess what? You're acting

This message is going out to all you talented, young improvisers out there: Good improv is good acting.

I know what you are thinking: “I am doing comedy, I don’t need to be a better actor.” Or maybe you’re you didn’t even realize that what you are doing on stage when you’re improvising IS acting. I am here to tell you that it is, and that the better you get at acting, the better you will be at improv.

If you say that you don’t want to learn how to act, it’s like saying you don’t want to learn how to do object work or learn how to do yes… and. How many more father and son scenes can we see where the improvisers aren’t really emotionally invested in the relationship? Naming someone “Dad” in scene does not mean you have created a relationship that the audience cares about. We’re doing theater, here, people. If we’re not acting, we’re just doing a parlor game, and a hacky one at that.

I just had John Hartman on Improv Nerd this past week, and we did a scene where I was a restaurant manager who was trying to get his employee to keep working during the lunch rush instead of going to see his wife have their baby. What made the scene great was John’s emotional reactions to me as the bullying manager. Because we were both invested in our characters, the audience was invested in us. We were acting.

I’ve taken Meisner classes, cold reading classes and scene study classes over the years, and the biggest thing I’ve realize is that it’s not about the words, it’s about the connection. We believe a character by who he IS and not always what he says. I know improv is slightly different and the words are important to keeping a scene going forward, but if you are willing to put the acting first and the words (i.e. trying to be witty or clever) second, you will see a big difference in your work.

Recently, in my Advanced Level class of The Art of Slow Comedy, I had student who was naturally funny and a seasoned improviser who seemed to be getting in his own way by worrying about being funny. I could relate, so I gave him this note early on in the six-week class: “Think of this as an acting class.”

Gradually his work came to life. He focused on listening and emotionally connecting to his partner. His scene work became fluid and he even admitted a couple of times in class that he resisted going for the laugh. That’s always a great sign that he took the note to heart and was willing to try a different approach to the work.

And it paid off. At the last class we did a long form performance for family and friends, and he and the group hit it out of the park. Because he was listening and reacting to his partner on stage, he was ten times as funny and 100 times more compelling to watch. He was acting. After the show, when I was giving notes, he said the thing that help him the most was the note “Think of this like an acting class.”

Personally, I forget this note all the time and need to be reminded. When I am terrified to improvise, I will sometimes call my friend, Bill Boehler, before a show, and say “I don’t feel funny,” or “I am afraid,” and he will say “All you have to do is act up there.” I am not the most gifted actor, but I know exactly what he means.

So to all you talented young improvisers out there, “All you have to is just act up there.”

Judging Your Idea

Do you ever judge your scene partners’ ideas? One of the basic tenets of improv is to accept everything that our scene partner says as a gift and go with it.
I don’t know about you, but I know this concept is way harder than it sounds. I know I am guilty of judging my partners’ ideas, and I’ve seen lots of other improvisers in my classes and on stage who do it, too – unfortunately, a lot of the time.
Here’s how my judgment works. Let’s say someone makes an initiation at the top of a scene like “Hey, we are little kids at water park!” (Or insert the dumbest idea you’ve ever heard here).
My first thoughts would be:
1.    I hate playing little kids.
2.    I hate players that have to vomit out the who, what and where in the first line. I don’t like to play that way; I like to work more organically.
3.    I hate water.
Now, many judgmental improvisers will take the idea of “kids in the water park” and just ignore it and replace it with their better idea or simply deny it from the get go. And the more sophisticated judgmental player will identify the person on their team or in class who makes those so called “stupid” initiations and will find ways to avoid playing with them.
Me, I lie to myself and think, “I’m not judgmental. I would never deny your idea.” So instead of denying your idea on stage, I’ll just shut down and passively do nothing. No agreement, no yes and… nothing.
It’s like I go into a void, a black hole, and in the meantime the scene is on pause and I have taken you to improv purgatory.
And the sad thing is I thought all this judgment made me better. The truth is I have had this problem since I started taking improv classes as a fat, insecure and sarcastic teenager. As I got better at improv, I got worse at judging what was funny and what not, and I became more of an improv know-it-all than an “improv nerd.”
I hope I am bottoming out on this because it is killing my work.
Last weekend, I took Improv Nerd to Denver and my guests were Eric Farone from the Bovine Theater, Kerstin Caldwell from Yes! Lab and Justin Franzen from the Voodoo Theater. The interview was focused on the Denver improv scene, and then the four of us performed a group scene. We took a location for the suggestion, and someone shouted out either bed or bedroom.
Before we started the scene, I asked each of my guests how they were going to break down the suggestion, and I was already judging their process in my head. Then we went into the scene, and they moved four black bar chairs up against the back wall to make a bed. Eric, who is big and tall, starts the scene by squeezing himself under the four chairs. Judgment One: He is either a kid or an animal, both “bad” choices.
Then Justin declares it’s a fort. Judgment Two: We are kids.
Because I was judging the idea, I was paralyzed and was not “trying to make my partner look good.” I was doing the opposite — running from the scene of the accident. I was stuck, frozen. I could not move my body or my mouth, and it was clear I was not helping anyone look good, including myself.
After what seemed like the longest 60 seconds, I decide to improvise and join the scene and support Justin and Eric in their creation. We made discoveries that they were twin brothers and Kerstin and I became bickering Christian parents who were more concerned about appearance and what people would think if our kids were not in church with us. It turned out to be funny and real and silly. We all contributed our different styles to the scene and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. Most importantly, I enjoyed it.
After the scene, I shared that I was judging it, because I realize that admitting that I am being judgmental is the best way for me to change.
So if you’re caught in this trap as well, my advice is to first be aware that you’re doing it and don’t judge yourself for doing it. Understand that when you’re judging someone else’s idea, you’re really just afraid and want to control things you can’t control. Then, I would say jump in immediately — fake it ’til you make it. Go over the top with the agreement. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but it will help.
If you’ve got any other ideas that you have used to get over this issue please let me know. I am still a work in progress on this one, and I promise I won’t judge them. Well, most of them.

How to Deal with Fear Before a Show

How to Deal with Fear Before a Show

Long-Form improv classesFear before a show is unpredictable. Sometimes I have it, and sometimes I don’t. Last month, I had it before doing “Messing with A Friend” with Susan Messing.

I love Susan as much as a person as I love playing with her. Having Susan ask me to play with her in her improv show is not only an honor, it’s a joy.And that’s where the fear comes in. Any time I’m afraid I’ll lose something that brings me joy, my thinking goes a bit wacky. The day of the show, I started having thoughts like this: “I am going to have a bad show. It’s going to be so bad that Susan will never ask me to play with her again.”

As I went through the day those thoughts became a mantra and that mantra was dangerously close to becominga self-fulfilling prophecy if I didn’t do something about it.

By the afternoon, I was still not in enough pain to tell on myself.  I have a high tolerance for pain and anxiety.So, finally at dinner that night, I told my wife all my doubts and fear about the show that night. My wife Lauren, is wise and supportive and smart, and she just listened, and didn’t try to fix me or worse tell me that I should not feel what I was feeling, which always leads to shame. Immediately I felt some relief, because as painful as it was, I had admitted it, and that helped. But the show wasn’t until 10:30 p.m. I had four more hours to go, and I wasn’t sure how long my good feelings would last.

They didn’t. A half hour before the show, my head filled up with those thoughts again: “I know this show is going to suck. Susan will never have me back. It’s over.” I sat in my car outside the Annoyance Theater on Broadway Avenue, in the seedy north side neighborhood of Uptown in Chicago, and called my friend Ryan. Like my wife, Ryan is wise, and supportive and listened, giving me encouragement, but mostly talking me off the ledge. After a couple of minutes, I realized the ledge was only about three feet off the ground. Most importantly, at no point in our conversation did he say “Don’t be afraid” or “You shouldn’t be afraid.” I don’t call people anymore who say that kind of shit, unless I am trolling for shame.

When it comes to fear about performing, I think we have it all wrong. You can’t deny your fear or just snap your fingers and get rid of it. We’ve got to acknowledge it, so we can use it. Del Close used to say “Follow The Fear.” He got it — we have to admit that we’re afraid first before we can follow it.

When I first started dating Lauren, I was scared to have sex with her. I had all sorts of reasons to be afraid: my lack of experience, my fear of intimacy, fear of getting her pregnant. I know it’s nuts. At the time, my crazy therapist gave me a bit of advice “While you’re having sex, tell her that you are terrified and you want her to keep going.”

This is no different than improvising. Admit you are terrified and keep going.

After getting off the phone with Ryan, I entered the theater, and when we did the show that night it was great, and I realized a big part of the reason it worked was because I had let go of the fear by talking about it with other people.

Martin DeMaat, one of my favorite improv teachers, used to come backstage before a show and hold both hands out and say “Here, give me your fear.”You would then pretend you were handing him over your imaginary fear. It was incredibly hokey and something my friends and I would make fun of him for when we were doing our Martin imitations, but the truth is I do it too by telling people I am afraid.

Over the years I have seen students struggle with fear before a show, especially in my upper level improv classes when they have to perform a long form show for family and friends on the last day of class. Instead of admitting they are afraid, sometimes students end up quitting a class or two before the performance. It’s sad. I wish they knew that it’s normal to be scared and by just showing up, they are succeeding.

And maybe the next time I do Messing with A Friend, and believe me there’ll be a next time, I will be brave enough to share my fear with Susan.

Going to the dark side

Art of Slow Comedy

There’s been something coming up lately in my improv classes, The Art of Slow Comedy, that I call the dark side.

Students will be doing a scene with a so-called dark subject matter — pedophilia, racism, abortion — and the scene will end up being more dramatic than funny. Afterwards, the students will look shaken and have a stunned look on their face, and the first thing that will come out their mouths is, “What’s the point of doing that? It’s not funny.”

In most cases it’s not. Is it emotionally compelling? Yes. Funny? Some of the time. As Norm Holly from Second City recently said to me, it takes a sophisticated player to make dark subject matter funny.

So if you’re just starting out in improv, what’s the point of doing a gut-wrenching scene about finding out your girlfriend had an abortion she never told you about or playing a creepy neighbor who is having sex with a 14-year-old?

The point is going to the dark side helps you learn how to act.

Listen up, here, because this important. First and foremost YOU ARE AN ACTOR, which means you have to learn how to react with emotional honestly. Before you can play something funny, you have to learn how to play it real.

You might think that improv is just comedy, not acting, but that is not true. The best improvisers usually are the best actors, and if you want to go on to do work that eventually pays and gives you more exposure, like commercials, TV and film, you are going to have get comfortable with just acting.

I totally get why improvisers resist doing dark scenes. Often, improvisers are afraid to play dark characters because they think when they get off stage people may think they are actually the character they just portrayed.

But learning how to go to the dark side is important because we need to learn how play a variety of characters and a variety of emotions. The goal of an improviser is to play all spectrums of life, the dark and the light, and to use all the colors of your palate. Most improvisers have the whole “playing positive” thing down pretty well, but they need to be pushed toward the thing they avoid the most — the dark side of life.

If you want to be good at long form, you have carry “variety” in your tool belt and be able to do the dark scenes as well as the positive scenes.

So if you find yourself doing a dark, dramatic gut-wrenching scene about date raping your girlfriend — and it will happen, it’s bound to happen, I hope it happens — by all means stay with it. Commit even more to the emotions, heighten the drama and then when it’s over, see what it’s like to come out on the other side.

Whatever you do, don’t rip yourself off from this experience by bailing on yourself and your scene partner by trying to turn it into something funny. It’s OK to be uncomfortable. Actually it’s good, and it doesn’t have to make sense while you are doing it.

Trust me, you will learn a lot from this — how far you are willing to go, how far you need to go, what it’s like to take up that much space on stage and not be funny, what you can do next time to make it funny, and on and on.

Sometimes it’s just helpful for an improviser to go there, swinging the pendulum to other side, just to see how it feels. And when you are finished, by all means ask your teacher: “What was the point of that? It isn’t funny.” And see what happens.

Going to the dark side

There’s been something coming up lately in my improv classes, The Art of Slow Comedy, that I call the dark side.

Students will be doing a scene with a so-called dark subject matter — pedophilia, racism, abortion — and the scene will end up being more dramatic than funny. Afterwards, the students will look shaken and have a stunned look on their face, and the first thing that will come out their mouths is, “What’s the point of doing that? It’s not funny.”

In most cases it’s not. Is it emotionally compelling? Yes. Funny? Some of the time. As Norm Holly from Second City recently said to me, it takes a sophisticated player to make dark subject matter funny.

So if you’re just starting out in improv, what’s the point to doing a gut-wrenching scene about finding out your girlfriend had an abortion she never told you about or playing a creepy neighbor who is having sex with a 14-year-old?

The point is going to the dark side helps you learn how to act.

Listen up, here, because this important. First and foremost YOU ARE AN ACTOR, which means you have to learn how to react with emotional honestly. Before you can play something funny, you have to learn how to play it real.

You might think that improv is just comedy, not acting, but that is not true. The best improvisers usually are the best actors, and if you want to go on to do work that eventually pays and gives you more exposure, like commercials, TV and film, you are going to have get comfortable with just acting.

I totally get why improvisers resist doing dark scenes. Often, improvisers are also afraid to play dark characters because they think when they get off stage people may think they are actually the character they just portrayed.

But learning how to go to the dark side is important because we need to learn how play a variety of characters and a variety of emotions. The goal of an improviser is to play all spectrums of life, the dark and the light, and to use all the colors of your palate. Most improvisers have the whole playing positive thing down pretty well, but they need to be pushed toward the thing they avoid the most — the dark side of life.

If you want to be good at long form, you have carry “variety” in your tool belt and be able to do the dark scenes as well as the positive scenes.

So if you find yourself doing a dark, dramatic gut-wrenching scene about date raping your girlfriend — and it will happen, it’s bound to happen, I hope it happens — by all means stay with it. Commit even more to the emotions, heighten the drama and then when it’s over, see what it’s like to come out on the other side.

Whatever you do, don’t rip yourself off from this experience by bailing on yourself and scene partner by trying to turn it into something funny. It’s OK to be uncomfortable. Actually it’s good, and it doesn’t have to make sense while you are doing it.

Trust me, you will learn a lot from this — how far you are willing to go, how far you need to go, what it’s like to take up that much space on stage and not be funny, what you can do next time to make it funny, and on and on.

Sometimes it’s just helpful for an improviser to go there, swinging the pendulum to other side, just to see how it feels. And when you are finished, by all means ask your teacher: “What was the point of that? It isn’t funny.” And see what happens.

Acting as if I'm a success

Acting As If I’m A Success

Jimmy CarraneI am leaving this Sunday to go to LA with my wife. I’m going to be doing three live Improv Nerd shows with three amazing guests: Andy Richter, Matt Besser and Beer Shark Mice. I am also teaching a workshop next Saturday, which shockingly sold out in about 24 hours.

Most people would be excited, right? Great guests, a few days in the sun, a chance to take my show to the next level. But I am not like most people. I am terrified.

LA is a city that intimidates me. It’s a place where “I feel less than,” not good enough, even more so than I normally do in Chicago. I moved there for five weeks in my early 30s and auditioned for some shows, and I came back flat broke and un-famous with my tail between my legs.

People I started out with, on the other hand, moved to LA and made it big. Pat Finn is on a show on Nickelodeon, Neil Flynn is on “The Middle,” Dave Koechner is filming Anchor Man 2.

So now I’m going back there, feeling exposed and stupid. I mean, how can a person who teaches improv compare himself to people who have successful careers in TV and film?

The problem is I can’t. If I do, it only makes me feel worse, but I can’t stop. It’s like a compulsion to cut yourself or eat so much cheese and caramel corn until you want to throw up.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have terrible habit of “comparing my insides with everybody’s outsides.” That’s why I love to play low status characters in improv scenes because that’s what I’ve done my whole life.

My wife, Lauren, is constantly saying I’m a great teacher and a great interviewer, telling me people respect me and that I help people, but those affirmations are wasted on me.

So, my therapist gave me this crazy-ass experiment to try. Instead of saying I am not good enough, I am a piece of shit… my usual schtick, when I go to LA I am going to “act as if” I am successful. And to make matters worse he told me to write a blog with affirmations in it.

I really don’t know if it will work, or how long it will last, or if when I finish writing this, I will black this out like my drunken Christmas Eve of 1982. But I am willing to try something different.

I am also going to ask you to help me prepare for this trip. If you have affirmations or compliments, please pass them on by writing in the comments section. I will be checking my blog addictively while I am on the trip.

OK, I am stalling. I dread writing these. I feel uncomfortable. As you know from my last blog, I am more comfortable with the dark side of myself… Fuck it, here I go.

1. I have a beautiful, loving and supporting wife who is going on the trip with me. (Yes, I am lucky).

2. I am a great improv teacher. (I believe this one).

3. I am fucking great interviewer. (I believe this one, too).

4. I am great writer and I get great response from these blog pieces. (I feel like I am stretching it, but I’m not lying yet.)

5. I have a great sense of humor. I am great improviser. (This one is hard to say. I kind of believe it, and I am putting it down.)

6. I have three wonderful guest lined up. (Fine, let’s move on.)

7. In the past year and a half, we have interviewed some real A list people for the Improv Nerd podcast, and it has grown in popularity and have built up tons of fans from across the world. (True, and I feel I am try to sell you something.)

8. My friends the Finns are throwing a party for me and my wife in LA. (I am feeling tired and want to quit.)

9. I make my living as Improv teacher. (I feel sadness.)

10. I have great friends. (More sadness)

 

Please, if you would like to add to list please feel to do so. I need your help.

Expressing Your Feelings

Improv is a personal art form, which means how you are feeling on a particular day can affect your performance. That is why I encourage my students to “speak their process,” so they can get in touch with how they are feeling.

Why is this important? Because emotions are energy, and if we are in touch with them we can play with them.

I keep re-learning this lesson, both as teacher and as a performer. At the end of the last day of my most recent Art of Slow Comedy Performance Level Class, a student pulled me aside, knowing our show was the following week and said that he was afraid and had terrible stage fright. I suggested he not be alone with it, and said the next week before the show he should tell the cast what he had just told me. That is what he did, and he ended up doing great in the show. He spoke his feelings and in the process, he freed himself up.

Now it was my turn to learn. The following night to perform in my own show, Improv Nerd, and right before the show I got into a stupid fight with my girlfriend because I was afraid to do the show that night, which I did not know at the time. I told my girlfriend I felt hurt and angry, and no matter how many times she said she was sorry, I could not let the feelings go. I did not want to do the show.

I normally start Improv Nerd each night with a monologue that’s loosely improvised. So that night, I decided to tell the audience about the stupid fight and I said I was angry and wanted to sabotage the show. I chose not to sit on it, but instead I used my emotions and played with them in the show. The show turned out to be great, even though I still felt angry. By expressing my feelings, I could have fun. And it always helps when you have a super guest and improviser like Tara DeFransico performing with you.