Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two things.

1. There are enough places to improvise in KC that you can pick the people you play with. That's great...but.

Back in the old days of KC improv, you had two, maybe three troupes to choose from. If you didn’t like the director or another player—but wanted stage time—you sucked it up. Or you quit.

Now you can audition for ComedyCity, Full Frontal, Improv-Abilities or Roving Imp, or you can start your own troupe. It’s amazing how many groups begin in reaction to another group.

In one of his sermons, my pastor said, “Every real community always contains the person you like the least.” His point was, when a group gets big enough, there will be someone in it you just can’t get along with.

Talk about local improv with any improviser long enough, and the snark surfaces: Someone is either a crappy improviser, a lousy director, too bossy, too lame, too full of him-or-herself, bad at business…or, you know, just a horrible human being. There are more people to bitch to and more people to bitch about. I know maybe one or two people who don’t do snarky. I’m certainly not one of them. 

And that doesn't feel particularly good.

2. It’s my blog, and I make the rules.

The City 3 forums have a Smarky comment thread (misspelling of snark was intentional) so people can take thinly veiled swipes at each other—for a while, it was very popular. And then there was starwarsfan—an anonymous poster sparking discussion by baiting people into taking a stand. Recently, another anonymous poster (not starwars fan—I've seen the IP address) gave notes—some compliments, some fairly pointed jabs—on Improv Thunderdome.

So far, there have only been a couple of negative, anonymous comments on this blog. Apparently I’ve lost my edge, gotten snobby about improv and will probably die alone—still telling people about that one funny line I said.

Well, duh.

The last thing is the only one I take issue with. Seriously. What improv snob believes this is about funny lines?

The article "Online anonymity lets users get nasty" gives examples of the way “the Internet—and the anonymity it affords—has given a public stage to people’s basest thoughts, ones that in earlier eras likely never would have traveled past the watercooler, the kitchen table or the next barstool.”

Not here.

If you think I’m full of it, great. Tell me your name, and let’s argue theory. I want to know who you are and what kind of work you’ve done—because your experience is as important a part of the discussion as your words.

But if all you’re going to do is plug in poorly spelled mean things, you don’t get to play. Come back when you’ve grown up.

That, by the way, feels great.

Why, on every single “vote ‘em off” reality show, do the hosts say, “America has voted”? I maybe get it on American Idol. But Make Me A Supermodel or whatever's on FoodTV? Seriously? America? Maybe “the people” or, more accurately, “the viewers.” But to make it sound like a natural referendum is just…annoying.


  1. "crappy improviser, a lousy director, too bossy, too lame, too full of him-or-herself, bad at business…or, you know, just a horrible human being"
    You rang? Let me be the first to apologize for being all those things and believe me when I say I will try harder - not to be those things.

    So, someone is harassing you anonymously. Welcome to the big time, you've finally made it! I would be curious to know what has been said. Email me?

  2. It's exciting, isn't it?

    The comments were just what I included above...only, you know, rife with errors and faulty assumptions. I'll e-mail them for your entertainment.


New rule: I'm not approving anonymous comments. If you want to sit at the grownup table, you have to sign your name.

Now c'mon. Pick a fight.