This episode is dedicated to my friend, Marla Bloch, because she keeps telling me what great friends she and Scott Sedita are and I am probably going to need her to put in a good word for me in the not too distant future.
I know all my friends are waiting breathlessly for this episode. Well, maybe not breathlessly and maybe not all my FB friends. But most of them. The ones I went to High School with. The ones who also know Scott.
I also, was waiting breathlessly, sitting on the edge of my seat, on the stage under the lights with the cameras pointing at me, in Scott’s studio.
What would Scott, the Wizard of Hollywood, tell me? What direction, what advice could get me back to the home I had in my heart?
I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy as clicking my heels together 3 times.
It might require a 4th.
Because of the lights in my eyes, I couldn’t actually see his face, so his big Scott Sedita Voice came to me as if God were speaking.
“I see you….,” The Voice pronounced. “In The Groundlings.”
All I really knew about The Groundlings were that they were an Improv Troupe.
And all I really knew about Improv was, I hated it. HATED IT.
For a number of reasons.
The first is that Improv is a lot of work. You not only have to be funny, but you have to be fast and not only do you have to be fast, you have to be smart.
Because you have to keep track of every thing that every other actor is saying because they are making it up and then you have to make something up to say back to them and then you have to remember what you’ve said in addition to what everyone else has said –
And just thinking about it makes me exhausted.
Having a script is just so much easier if you are an actor. All you have to do is memorize lines. Lines that someone else has written and that ostensibly someone else has vetted as to be funny or not, or dramatic or not.
And once you have memorized them, committed them to heart, imprinted them on your brain, to the point that even if you were dead drunk and hit by a bus, you could still perform the scene in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
The show, always, must go on.
And when another actor, and they eventually will, jumps one or two scenes or one or two pages in a script, you, because not only have you memorized your own lines, but everyone else’s lines as well, can figure out how to get back to where you belong with the audience none the wiser.
Because as I’ve said, the show, must always go on.
But Improv. Improv. You see? I’m having a hard time thinking up something to say, much less something funny to say.
I can tell you about the time I went to see friends perform in their Improv Troupe.
I can tell you after the performance, I never went to see another Improv performance again.
Because I think Improv, when it’s good, it can be funny. Can be.
But when it’s not…
Well, let’s just say I start praying for that bus to miss the intersection and come through the building onto the stage. Or the audience.
Whatever ends the suffering soonest.
Comedy, making people laugh, is difficult under the best of circumstances.
Improv makes it almost impossible except for the best and brightest of actors.
I wasn’t so sure that Scott gauged my abilities as well as a Wizard should have.
But if ever, oh ever a Whiz there was, The Wizard of Hollywood was one because.
Because, because, because, because, because?
Because he was Scott Sedita and my friend.
Hopefully my friend, and not still annoyed at that sitting-in-his-chair-fiasco during our last meeting.
Which is the thought that creeped into the back of my mind.
And then took over the front of it. And the sides.
But I believe in Scott Sedita. I believe in his friendship. I believe in his talent. I believe in his talent to spot talent.
I believe in his ability to point that talent in the direction where they could catch the first bus to the first stop on the way back to home sweet home.
If it didn’t miss an intersection and crash into a building before it got there.
So I did what he suggested.
I went to The Groundlings.
And I learned something that not only would surprise Scott, but would surprise me as well.
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END OF THE FINALE – SORT OF.