So here’s the deal: I’ve spent the past near-month beginning to digest the whole trip – no easy task, I assure you. The only times I actually HAVE processed even parts of it are when I’ve been talking to other people (hi Ash!) and even then, I have barely scraped the surface. The point is, it was near impossible to document all of this in the mere minutes per day I had available to blog – so I thought I’d do my standard Readers’ Digest version of some of the stuff that DIDN’T get mentioned on the blog:
Not Getting to Do Everything: BOOHOO!!!!!
One of the biggest things I struggled with overseas was the frustration of only getting to the tip of the iceberg in everything, or to be more specific:
– sightseeing; – comedy seeing; – improv seeing; – new material writing; – blogging; – personal journal writing; – postcard writing; – everything in between!
It seems like my biggest lesson on the trip was just realising that at some point you need to accept that you cannot do everything. In fact, that was but one of many life lessons I learned on the trip – as Daena (my solo improv coach) said to me “This is an incredible journey for you to be taking. But remember, it’s not just a physical journey, it’s a personal one too.” Oh, was it ever.
A Personal Journey
You see, since I became a mother some 4 (very) odd years ago, I have had absolutely NO extended period of time alone to digest my own crap. So suddenly having three and a half weeks just to focus on me….well, I guess stuff was bound to come up. And did it ever! I won’t go into details cos some of it’s quite personal, but suffice to say that the first week in particular, (which, as well as the solo improv coaching, seemed to evolve into a type of one-on-one masterclass in acting) was like a colonoscopy for the soul. Hmmm…now that I think about it, that sounds like a title for a chain of books: Colonoscopy for the Grandma’s Soul, Colonoscopy for the Teenager’s Soul, Colonoscopy for the Burned Out Comedian’s Soul…
Life Without The Kids I cried like a baby the first night I got into New York. Seriously – my eyes were so red I was terrified to leave my hotel room lest I be mistaken for a stoned Aussie tourist, thereby being mugged, bashed and left to rot in an alley. That, added to the fact that I couldn’t get in touch with the fam for THREE DAYS (which, if it’s the first time you’ve ever left the little blighters for more than a couple of nights and you’re on the opposite side of the globe, feels like having Mariah Carey shoved down your throat…while she’s singing), rendered me a wreck.
BUT…once I’d spoken to them on the phone, heard that they were happy, and even heard the odd tantrum (whereupon I was actually super-thrilled to be half a world away), it was sweet. I basically got to a point of thinking “well, I can either waste this time feeling all misery guts, OR I can just savour the fact that I’ve got my arms free, heavens knows when that’s ever gonna happen again, and make the most of every minute!”
So I went with that. And it worked rather well.
That said, the moment I saw them again when I got back from Oz, I cried. Yes, I know – I’m a dork.
The Highlight of the Trip
Without a doubt, this was working with Michael Pollock. He’s the Musical Director of LA’s Second City and Improv Olympic, and is one of those rare people who is not only a genius at what he does (i.e. improvised musical comedy) but is an absolute genius at teaching it.
More than anything, working with him just completely fired me up to get better at musical improv and to incorporate it more into my comedy full-stop. That, and performing in Las Vegas totally rocked. And he gave me amazing feedback. Followed by incredible hospitality in LA. Followed by giving me his manuscript for his next book, notes’n’all.
Seriously, my world will never be the same.
*** There you go, don’t you feel better now? I know I do.