Hey there adoring fans (Mark Parsons)!
Last Wednesday afternoon I laid down to take a little catnap to recharge for the night ahead of me. However, instead of visions of sugarplums and a shirtless Ryan Reynolds, I drifted into a full blown panic attack. My heart was beating out of my chest, I broke into a cold sweat, and my mind started to run a mile a minute. In case you’ve never seen what a panic attack looks like, I’ve reenacted exactly what one’s body goes through in this video…it’s pretty graphic so you may want to sit down before watching.
The source of this panic attack: an improv show.
The reason for panic: I would be performing with our brand new improv troupe, Tainted Minds for the very first time in the show that night. Side Note: We chose the name Tainted Minds mainly because we hadn’t thought of anything better, and we could then transform it into such phrases as Tainted Minds think alike, or Tainted Minds of over matter, or Tainted Minds: Special Victims Unit.
The justification for panic: 1. We were slated to perform smack dab in the middle of two amazingly funny troupes that had been doing improv together for years. 2. Dozens of new improv students were sitting in the audience, improv students that were eager to see what great improv looked like, and to see how amazing our company was.
The Result of panic: My brain went into irrational snowball mode. I was going to be horrible in the show…which was going to ruin everything that I had been working on with my improv company that I loved so much… which left me with nothing to to do with the rest of my life…and reminded me that I had no monetary plans for retirement…which lead me down that long dark road of being an 80 year old hobo-waitress.
The Solution: I needed to go for a long walk. I’ve been reading Steve Jobs’ biography, and when he wasn’t being a dick-waffle, he used to take long walks to ponder, and I definitely could use a ponder. I grabbed Ruby and headed to Central Park. The sun was setting, and in between the heart numbing thoughts that being terrible in the show tonight would lead me to being poor, alone, and homeless, I glanced up into the setting sky. It was absolutely beautiful…and absolutely heaven.
Which brought me to The Mufasa moment….
Side Note: While I was editing this photo, my roommate Abby walked in and asked me why I was looking at a butthole.
To be fair, it did look like I was looking at buttholes…
But I wasn’t looking at buttholes (and I would really appreciate it if my computer stopped auto correcting buttholes into buttonholes…how often do people use the word buttonhole anyway? Surely butthole is a more common phrase…I digress) Because right then and there in the middle of my panic attack, I looked up to the sky and felt the presence of my Grandma.
Back story: my Grandma Hilda was an awesome southern lady, who made great soft shell crabs and was only occasionally racsist. She passed away last summer at the ripe old age of 85 after raising 3 awesome sons and 4 awesome grandkids).
What I remember most about my relationship with my grandma was that it was fun. And I don’t mean that in the lightest sense, I mean it was really FUN! She was like the perfect partner in comedy. She’d set you up for amazing jokes all of the time without ever knowing it. Plus, you could poke fun at her and she would fall off her easy chair laughing, then when you weren’t looking, she’d tell a zinger about you (usually about being a baby nudist)!
The Revelation: Since, I was on the straight train to panic town, I decided to give reach out to her with one magical word…”help”. The experience I got next was wild. There was no “Things will get better…” or “I’ll protect you from all that is bad…” or “Take down your power hungry uncle and you can have your Kingdom back…”
I heard simply this….
“Why are you so worried? I’m not worried about you. You’re the person I don’t have to worry about. You’re fine. You’re always gonna be fine. Now lighten up, pass me my afternoon cocktail, and let’s have some fun!”
The Resolution: The panic immediately faded and my body filled with happiness. I hopped on the train with my newfound boost of energy, and headed down to rehearse with my troupe before the show. When I got to the theater, I ran into my troupe member Emily, who said this (and I’m not s*itting you…I hadn’t even had a chance to mention my Mufasa experience to her yet…)
“Hey Sarah! Is it cool if we change the name of our group? Tainted minds reminds us too much of taints…we were thinking of just calling ourselves Grandma. What do you think?”
I don’t know why Emily chose Grandma as a new troupe name, but I air high-fived Hilda and agreed that it was indeed the perfect. And our troupe GRANDMA thrived that night…because Hilda was right, there is no need to be worried. I’m fine. I’ll always be fine. Now pass me my cocktail and let’s have some fun.