Basic at The Groundlings – Part 15 (The “This Is Great! Wait, Is It Great?” Chapter)

September 11, 2012

Picking up from last week

The next morning, the moment I got dropped off at my half marathon, l called my high school theater teacher to tell her the news (that I’d really passed!).

She was so lovely, and happy for me. I told her that I had found out at 3:30 in the morning. She said, “Why didn’t you call me? I took my phone to bed in case you found out!”

Do I love her, or do I love her? Because I love her. It was so genuine. What a wonderful, sweet person who wants to be woken up in the middle of the night to talk about improv, right? How lucky am I to have her in my life?

We talked for a little while longer as I hemmed and hawed – “I mean, I passed, but barely. I should probably take Basic all over again. At least I’m free now. Now that I’ve passed, I won’t crack under that pressure of it being my third and final chance to pass. I’m so happy, but so bummed that I he wasn’t convinced outright.”

She’s an excellent listener who really took in all of my concerns and worked with me on figuring out how I should be feeling about it. She had this positive energy without being too positive – letting me know it was definitely a victory and she was proud of me, but she wasn’t undercutting my additional disappointment or discouraging me from repeating Basic. Do I love her, or do I love her? Because I freaking love her. She’s the best human being.

After my talk with her, I picked up my packet and then continued to call and text the world letting everybody know the good news.

If you read Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle’s post, you know that over the course of 13.1 miles, I slowly let myself go from being elated – “I passed!” to being super bummed. “I barely passed. I didn’t deserve it. This sucks.”

When I got to the airport, I couldn’t think of anything but improv. (Surprise, surprise. When in my life ( well, that small slice of my life) had I been able to think about anything buy improv?) And I started obsessing over it.

As nice as Kevin had been in the final evaluation, it still didn’t feel good. It felt as though all I was doing was fighting with him. I was really frustrating him. Or maybe I was only frustrating myself. Either way, I felt a lot of frustration in the room. And I couldn’t get it off of me.

I also didn’t ask any of the right questions as far as what to work in going forward in Intermediate, or specifically why he thought the second half of the semester was so very much worse than the first.

I think I only heard it this way, because I tend to echo things – but I felt as though that moment played over and over in the evaluation – “The second half just wasn’t as strong as the first.” Over and over. I think it was probably me that looped that, and not him. But it was another thing I couldn’t get off of me.

I thought I’d bounced back. Had I misjudged everything about class? How will I ever know how I’m doing, if I can’t ever get a read on how things are going? I thought the apparently good first half was awful. I thought the apparently awful second half was good. What’s real anymore?

So, I started drafting a whole different email. (I never sent that first argumentative one about why I should pass. I passed before the please pass me manifesto was ready.) In this email, I tried to ask questions and apologize. Of course, this got rambly as well.

Finally, after I realized I was never going to be able to be as concise as I should be – I wrote Kevin a short email before completely bombarding him. I basically said that I know evaluations are over and that he definitely doesn’t owe me anything else, but if there’s any way he could spare 5 minutes to clear a few things up and let me apologize, I’d really appreciate it.

I’m sure he thought, “Ugh. Well, shoot. She’s coming to see a show I’m in this week. I might as well just appease her, since she’s gonna corner me ether way.” (Actually, that’s probably not what he thought because he’s such a sweet, genuine person. He probably agreed out of goodwill.)

This is where I’ll pick up next time.

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