Basic at The Groundlings – Part 7 (The “Magical Class 8” Chapter)

August 20, 2012

"look, Ma!" - a young orange haired kid with bookbag holding up A+ paper
Look, Ma! They like me. They really like me!

Last time, I left off having gotten my midterm.

I called my high school theater teacher and told her that I actually had a strong midterm evaluation. In improv. Which was pretty inconceivable to me. Yet, somehow, it did happen. I have Kevin’s evaluation notes to prove it!

I thanked her again for all she taught me. I can never in my lifetime thank her enough for everything she’s done for me. She is the greatest woman. If I grow up to be 1/2 as talented, caring, passionate, interesting, and wonderful as she is; that’d be a rad accomplishment.

I told her that Kevin could tell I’d done theater. He said I was good onstage, and that I did a great job getting emotional. Most importantly, he complimented my acting!

I was so concerned with following all the rules of improv and getting everything “right,” that I never even considered for a second that someone would say anything nice about my acting. That was a pleasant surprise – and one of the reasons I felt I had to call my high school theater teacher. I reiterated that that would’ve never happened without her classes. She gave me the base for anything I ever do that is any good at all.

As per usual, she was a supportive sweetheart. She made me promise to call her right after the final. Done and done.

Our midterm was given in class 7 (of 12). The following class (class 8), we had a substitute – Guy, actually (the teacher I kind of, almost had when I sort of, almost took Basic for the first time).

Class 8 was super fun, and went incredibly well. To say the class went “incredibly well” is maybe even an understatement. Everyone was putting gems on the stage. It was easily my best class of the semester.

A classmate of mine leapt to his feet in a standing ovation after one of my scenes! Ah, laughter, applause, love. What an excellent day!

Almost as a sign to help me know I wasn’t dreaming, arguably the most talented girl in our class (who’d easily been doing the best throughout the semester) came up to me at the end. She said, “You were on fire today.”

I think it’s pretty safe to say class was just like this.
(Photo Credit:

I did my silly, exaggerated “oh well, you know” face and gestures – doing that thing where you play puff your hair. She ignored my silliness, looked me in the eyes, and very genuinely and seriously said, “No, really. You were on fire. You’re hilarious. Be this free when Kevin comes back. You’re killing it.”

To know that this sweet, incredibly funny person (who was definitely going to (and easily did) pass) really thought that I was funny – it made me feel even better about the day, class in general, and myself, even. She made me feel better about everything!

I practically skipped all the way home. I gleefully called my dad. “Daddy, daddy! I might be able to improvise after all! I made people laugh today!” I think my dad was as pleasantly surprised as I was. (He’s definitely not used to getting the “improv is going so great!” phone calls. He’s more used to the “I should’ve done this, this, and that!” phone calls.)

Of course, let’s not all pretend as though I’m some comic genius here. It didn’t hurt the magical-ness of the day that I got paired with Sean – this utterly hilarious boy in my class. He is freaking masterful. Let’s give some credit where credit is due here, right?

Sean does everything in his power to make everybody on stage look great. He listens with laser focus.  He’s an exceptional scene partner – always on your side, giving you great things to go off of, always hilarious, quick, smart – all that great stuff.

All right. We did it! We all made it out alive through the class after midterms. And it was a successful day! Plus, it’s Friday! I get to live in this feeling of feeling good about myself for 4 more entire days until I have class again. Rock on!

(In case you were wondering, I did (of course) still have thoughts about what I could’ve done better in each exercise that day. But, I have so few victories in improv, that on that day, I kept pushing those voices out of my head. I didn’t want to beat myself up until I learned the day wasn’t good after all. I just want to accept a win, and happily sigh and skip down the street.)

Only have 4 classes left in the semester! What could possibly go wrong?

Find out next time when we talk about (scary chords) class 9.

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