Hey there adoring fans (Allison Hammer)!
Bumps in the road. The reason that I haven’t written a post in 3 months is due to a very bumpy road. It involves standing up to douche-bags, quitting a terrible job, losing all of my money, gaining 10 lbs, finding a new job, sucking at said job, borrowing money from my brother, taking a trip to see my best friend’s wedding dress, going to another friend’s baby shower, wondering why it is that I’m nowhere near being a grown-up and whether or not I’m ok with it, gaining another 5 lbs, choreographing a children’s production of Tarzan (loved), death of my Grandma (not loved), given money from another friend (which I’ll totally pay back), co-producing a workshop to help women, being reminded of the good things in life, sucking less at my new job, feeling better about myself, doing some improv shows, and having an afternoon off to come back to what I love. Writing this silly little blog about making my life better. I’m back.
A few days ago my friend Holly was introducing me to someone and said, “Oh Sarah’s hilarious. And a really good writer. You should read her blog. Sarah, tell them about your blog.” And what did I do? “Oh, I haven’t written in a while, don’t read it. I need to update it but I haven’t written in months and I feel like I need to make my comeback post amazing and I can’t think of what to write about.” This person who I didn’t even know (or maybe it was someone I knew…I was a little foggy that night….from the 10 beers I drank…ok fine…it was 11) said, “Why does it have to be big. It’s just a blog. Just write about anything.” They had a point. There’s like 15 of you out there that read this thing (including my parents…and they go to church so they have to love me), and there’s millions of blogs out there. And then I started thinking about the whole Men in Black sequence at the end of the movie when there’s a Universe living inside some cat’s collar, and then they zoom out to planet Earth, and then zoom out more to some galaxies and then zoom out even farther and it ends up being 2 aliens playing marbles with all of the galaxies which showed how insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things which made me think that if I wrote a really boring and shitty post after not writing a post in months then who the Hell cares?….and then I youtubed that clip so I could post it because I don’t really have any pictures besides the one above that was taken at an improv show in the middle of winter to share and you’re supposed to have media in your blog so that the 15 of you will read it instead of clicking the x at the top of your screen and moving onto porn…except for my parents who don’t watch porn because they go to church and love me…
So, instead of writing something new for this post. I’ve just copied and pasted my blurb from the Improvolution newsletter I wrote yesterday. I’ve been writing the newsletter for a few months now, and I got some lovely feedback from this one and I really like it. So here it is….
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funeral…
Hilda Hicks lived a wonderful almost 87 years. She was my grandmother, and she passed away last Sunday. It was a very sad day for my family, but for my brother it was a step in a new direction. You see, my brother has social anxiety that has crippled him since he was a teenager. He does not speak to new people, he often paces the room in social settings out of nervousness, and for a very long time he had trouble even making phone calls to order pizza. He’s seen a therapist, and has tried different medications that have helped a little, but still he is very uncomfortable when around more than one person. Until last week. After my grandma died, I met my brother in Baltimore and we drove down to Virginia together to be with my family and attend the funeral. During the wake the day before, we all met with the Pastor to discuss what was going to be said at her funeral and was asked if a member of the family would like to speak. Of course everyone turned to me, as the actor/dancer/improvisor, and I volunteered to say something as all of them played the “I don’t do public speaking” card. Then the Pastor asked if there were any special prayers or poems that my Grandma had been fond of. We all thought of the same prayer that Hilda had hanging cross-stiched in her home for 60 or so years and my mother half jokingly to lighten the mood said my brother could read it. We thought nothing of the comment until we heard the words “OK” from the side of the room where my brother had been pacing. We froze. My father asked him if he was serious, and my brother replied, “Yeah, I can do it.” This is the part where I should mention that a month before any of this happened, I signed my brother up for an Improv 101 class in Baltimore. He had mentioned in the car ride down how much he enjoyed the class and even went out for a beer with his classmates once (which never happens) and I could tell that my plan of using improv to help his social skills was working. The next day at the funeral, I gave my prepared speech about how lovely my grandma was, how much I was going to miss her, threw in a couple old people jokes for good measure, and then introduced my brother to the congregation for his prayer. My whole family wiped the tears from their eyes as my brother stood at the podium and read aloud to 50 or so people, the prayer that my grandmother had loved for all of those years. I’m not saying improv was 100% responsible for my brother’s courage that day, but I am betting that it was 99.9% I know my grandma was proud looking down on my brother and how far he had come, and I know my brother was even more proud of himself. I hope you all enjoy your day today, and if you still have a Grandma, give her a call. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you 🙂
You’re newsletter supervisor,
So there it is. My first day back in the saddle. Not too painful. Now, off to continue to make life a little more awesome!