Shirley MacLaine Would Be Proud

Tonight, I went to the first rehearsal for “Past Lives,” a show featuring me, Mia, the impeccable Ryan Austin, and the brilliant Aaron Saenz.

The show idea is this: We follow a “person” from their current life to their previous incarnation, and then to their previous incarnation, then their previous incarnation, and so on until the first.

I’m copyrighting this idea, dear readers. No stealsies.

Because I think it’s a format fucking brimming with possibility. And while that’s exciting, tonight proved that it’s also daunting. Too many options can overwhelm, especially in a collaborative art form like improv. Tonight was the first rehearsal, with four creative and smart people, and while we had fun, we didn’t move the vision forward much. We mostly just played.

I blame myself. Because the “past lives” thing is my idea, but I didn’t spend much time before tonight fleshing it out. It stayed as simple an idea as “wouldn’t it be cool to see someone’s past lives?”

OK but so, it’s a creative process. Let’s all remember that creative means “involving the creation of original ideas.” Out of nothing, something. And it ain’t always easy. In fact, if it’s easy, you’re probably doing it wrong. Tim Orr said, “If you’re not sweating at the end of an improv show, you probably weren’t working hard enough.” Working.

But to be fair, we don’t even have a gig yet. I pitched the idea to those three people in an attempt to get into the Improvised Play Festival in April. I WANNA PLAY! But without a guaranteed show, I haven’t devoted much attention to the idea until tonight. But tonight convinced me this format can build a gorgeous, long show (60 minutes would be juicy!).

And I’m going to make it happen.

No stealsies.

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