The definitive “So Jen, you got a grant huh?” FAQ
Since breaking the latest news, I have been bombarded with not only fabulous congratulatory well-wishes (can you feel that? That was me reaching through the depths of cyberspace to hug you in all your cheer-squaded glory) but also more questions than you’d hear from my three-year-old watching Wolf Creek.
Relax, people. That was a joke.
Thus, I am writing my very first and thus very land-mark-like…
FAQ Are you excited? Er, yes. Even just the prospect of going overseas (which I’ve never done – something which has taunted me for years) is enough to make me wet my pants. I haven’t yet wet my pants, but it is early days.
So what exactly is the grant for? I’m going to be doing some training in comedy and improvisation in the USA, with a specific focus on musical improv and solo improv.
Then when I get back, I’ll be sharing what I learned with my local comedy and improv communities by running a couple of free workshops so we can inject the Brissie scene with some of this stuff.
THEN…I’ll be incorporating all the cool things I learned into my full-length one-woman show, which I’ll be putting on in Brisvegas at the end of the year. Phew!
Now that you’re rich, why don’t you just flee the country? Hmmmm……I could quite comfortably live out the rest of my life in Thailand…
How long are you going for and what exactly will you be doing? I’m off for around three weeks all up: New York for just over a week – doing two summer intensives with Second City in both improvisation and comedy writing; Las Vegas for four days (I’ll be sure to say hi to Elvis for you) – doing a musical improv intensive (again through Second City) taught by leading expert Michael Pollock. When I say this guy wrote the book on musical improv, I mean, he literally wrote the book. Boston for a week – doing private coaching with Daena Giardella.
What is Second City? Basically, the Second City alumni comprises pretty much anybody who’s anybody in American comedy. WOW. (Excuse me, about every 4-5 hours or so I get a little lightning bolt of excitement where it actually hits me that this is really going to happen. That was one of them).
Who is Daena Giardella? Daena is a complete performing guru who does one-woman improvised musical comedy shows – in short, I want to use my time in Boston to suck out her DNA and have it injected into my left brain. (Unfortunately, the grant people didn’t approve, so I guess private coaching will have to do. Sigh.)
Are you taking the family with you? ARE YOU CRAZY!??? I’m sorry, I meant ‘no.’ This is because: a) The funding only covers my trip; b) Tim will be part-way into his last semester of uni; and c) Taking the kids on another trip away would probably kill me. You think I jest? I’d be dead before we even stepped off the plane.
Will you take me with you? So long as you are toilet-trained and promise not to scream at me at 2am, sure.
So how are you managing the family thing? Aha! Remember how I pined for Mary Poppins during the comedy tour down south? Well…Chim Chimeny Chim Chim! Part of my grant budget is for a nanny!!! Who child-minds! And cleans! And makes sure my kids don’t die from a daddy-induced baked-beans and bread-only diet! Hopefully that person will be my sister, who shares a relationship with my kids of mutual adoration so thick it almost makes me dry-retch. Plan B: I’ll just find a nice dog kennel…
But hang on, I thought you were easing off on comedy to focus on family? Family, schmamily…I’m off to NEW YORK, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh alright, alright. So the wackiness of having only JUST detached myself from the whole comedy thing to focus on my family, only to have this break-of-my-lifetime-thus-far placed in my lap, has not escaped my attention.
What can I say? My realization that comedy is not the be-all and end-all has not changed. But I do think there’s still a place for amazing adventures while still doing it in a way that will keep my family feeling loved and in good shape. Can you hear that keyboard music? Oh, I’m sorry. For a moment there I thought we were on Oprah.
What on earth did you put in the grant application? Anthrax. With a note ‘give me the money now or face a slow death’. Oh, that and a thoroughly drafted and re-drafted grant application which I really worked my butt off on. I have spent years, YEARS I tell you, of applying for these things with no success. Until now: WOHOO! All I can say is that maybe writing grant applications is a bit like giving birth – it takes hours, it’s often agonizing and the more you do it the easier it gets.
Seriously, if you do want some actual tips, then just drop me a line and I’ll do my best. Heck, if you ask extra-nicely, I’ll even take out the anthrax.
Are you going to come back? Moiahahahahhaha!!!!! (shamelessly evil laugh)