Here's what's hilarious: My numbers actually went up from previous weeks. It's relative, of course—my daily readership barely earns the "s" at the end of "dozens." I'm assuming it's because people have a great deal of time to waste at work and the knowledge there would be daily updates helped a few people avoid thinking about their jobs for another four minutes and seven seconds.
So you...Inexplicably and Perhaps Morbidly Curious One. Thank you.
But an even bigger thanks goes to the kind people who wrote, in comments and privately, out of empathy and concern for my mental well-being. It does mean a lot to me, and I appreciate your nice thoughts and ideas.
Stuff like that is a big driver of the sometimes-unhealthy obsession. Improv people are some of the nicest folks I know. I learned that in my earliest days at then-ComedySportz—to paraphrase Del, the way we do the work on stage does back up into the way we treat each other off stage.
A lot of my favorite improvisers, it seems, share the same qualities:
- They have enough ego to believe they should be on stage (and to survive when things go horribly wrong), but not so much they think they're better than everyone else up there.
- They believe in their ideas enough to throw them out there, but not so much they're unwilling to follow someone else in the next moment.
- They know they're good enough to charge admission, but they're self-aware enough to understand they can always learn more and get better.
- They want new improvisers to be successful. Yes, you have to earn their respect—but they almost always start from a place of openness and optimism.
- They're generous with their knowledge—they know that the more you give away, the more you get back.