This blog is toilet paper
by Matt Rudnitsky
We were playing a game in improv class, and I drew the card, “70s British punk.” I was a 24-year old American who isn’t very knowledgeable about music nor very confident in improv.
Do I even know what punk is? I thought, as I realized 12 people and my two intimidating instructors were staring at me. It was my line. Now.
Once you think in improv, it’s too late. I blurted out, correctly, whatever popped into my head. “We haven’t sold out a show in years,” I said in a fake-British-accent that was so godawful it sounded more like “Ve achint sold out show in yeuz!” I went for accurate British, came out with very bad German.
It was actually a great initiating line, giving the scene lots of potential, and as long as you stick with your bad accent, it’s not a big deal. But people laughed, I panicked, and immediately retreated from my choice. The only rule is to not do that.
My partner went with it. I started freaking out. “Maybe we should try switching our accents in our concerts!” And then our scene devolved into me sweating and coming up with horrible band names in different accents, all horrible. “We could call selves Beatlesov.” I said in Russian accent. “And maybe we should play air guitar instead of real guitar!” I started playing air guitar as my partner reluctantly played air drums.
It didn’t make sense and it wasn’t funny.
“That was a train wreck,” my instructor said accurately.
And then we had class for another 1 hour, 45 minutes, and I did fairly well.
In improv, they teach you that scenes are like toilet paper. They’re immediately flushed down the toilet when used, and if you obsess over any particular one, you’re insane.
Most people don’t write often because they think anything imperfect is impublishable.
If you don’t use any toilet paper, you’ll stink (at writing).
This blog will be my toilet paper display art.