Basic at The Groundlings – Part 10 (The “Sobbing in Public. It Happens” Chapter)

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Picking up from last time

I was realizing as I was looking over the last post that in the future (from when the story was in real time) and in writing (as opposed to acting out the stories and showing you my sad eyes, and dramatically falling to the ground in pain and such), things don’t seem quite as terrifying as they were.

So, when you read the Groundlings posts, you really have to think about these classes as life and death here, people!

And you have to remember that I had this improv superhero teacher person who’s shooting lasers at you that are piercing through your eyes, brain, and heart. Ow, ow, ow. Lasers! So, jump into this pressure cooker with me, and feel the heat rising!

Now, back to the story.

I had finished fateful Wednesday – by far the worst class of the whole semester – and suffered through another 3 1/2 hours of improv in a drop in immediately following my class. As soon as that class was over, I was able to let all those tears out that’d been bubbling right underneath the surface.

At that moment, what I missed the very most about New York is the ability to cry in public places and have it be completely normal.

Though it might be impossible to ever choose what to miss the most about New York (I think the answer is Broadway), right then it was clear. The thing I missed the most was people being human beings around each other, because we have to. We have very little personal space, and people are used to other people crying around them.

I walked onto the subway with dead eyes and the simplest walk. I sat toward the window and faced away from everyone as much as I could. I cried so quietly. I don’t even think I made audible noises as tears silently streamed down my face. I put my hand by my face to try to cover my breakdown. I was still trying to disappear. Yet people hassled me anyway.

This one guy came up to me and said, “You look really sexy.” Okay, man, when was the last time that ever worked on a crying stranger? Ever? I mean, I guess if she’s crying because she’s been rejected, maybe her self esteem is shot and you’re getting at her when she’s vulnerable. Maybe.

Crying in public, yo.  (This picture is from NYC... where it's acceptable... and the subway looks like a subway.)  (Why do I have a picture of myself crying in public?  I took a few for the day I left NY to blog about how heartbreaking leaving that city is. Then I had a couple of extra pictures of myself crying on the subway lying around... Might as well put one to use in this pretty appropriate spot - though I will admit, it is a little odd to take/have pictures of yourself crying.)

Crying in public, yo.
(This picture is from NYC… where it’s acceptable… and the subway looks like a subway.)
(Why do I have a picture of myself crying in public?
I took a few for the day I left NY to blog about how heartbreaking leaving that city is. Then I had a couple of extra pictures of myself crying on the subway lying around… Might as well put one to use in this pretty appropriate spot – though I will admit, it is a little odd to take/have pictures of yourself crying.)

Maybe it works for him all the time. Maybe he really was just trying to make a stranger feel better and that was the only way he knew how. I wouldn’t give him too much benefit of the doubt. The way he delivered his line, he definitely seemed to be looking out for his interests, not a stranger’s.

A sweet deaf man (who seemed to genuinely care) asked me in sign language what was wrong. I didn’t actually view him as a hassle. Though I wanted more than anything to be alone at that moment – if I have to be around people, I’ll never get frustrated at someone trying to be nice.

There are plenty of reasons to get frustrated in this life. Someone being kind to you is not one of them. Luckily, I’d retained enough sign language from my Boston days to effectively communicate with him.

I finally made it home, and that’s when Amber reminded me that Phil was coming into town that night. Oh, thank goodness. I desperately need you two.

Remember that blog post with the non-specific, floating story of the sleepover I had with Phil and Amber when you probably thought, “why is she even mentioning this?” It was that night.

Boy, oh boy did I need them more than ever. When I said I was thankful for them, I meant it.

When I said that we laughed a lot and had a great time, ’twas true. But a lot of the night was filled with me lamenting about improv. Luckily, some of it was sort of funny. Kind of. Devastating. But in a funny way. Maybe.

And this is where I’ll pick up next time.

(I’m moving on to some other things for to break up all the improv posts a little, and we’ll work our way back to this.)

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?