A Girl Walks Into an Improv Audition...

I thought I was funny.

Me being funny

In fact, I thought I was funny enough to try out for my college improv group's auditions.

The group was called the Sweaty-Toothed Madmen, an homage to The Dead Poets Society, and the people in this group are what we would call college-famous. Everyone in my campus of 1,600 undergrad knew who they were. And if you were one of them, you were known as "funny."

I didn't always think I was funny. But I liked drama club growing up, and despite being unable to sing or dance I was fascinated with the theatre. So I went to a workshop run by the Sweaty-Tooth group, which went through some improv games and exercises but without an audience. I had so much fun. Maybe a little too much fun. At one point I may have accidentally appeared to have flipped off the group's leader, the most college-famous of them all. They thought that was hilarious.

I had watched a few improv auditions, back when audience members were allowed to watch. I remember eating a pistachio muffin with a spoon, because I have a tiny mouth and this was a huge muffin. I enjoyed the experience enough that when junior year auditions rolled around I thought with extreme over-confidence, "This is my year."

Luckily, I even had an in. Three of the current members were friends of mine, and with only a few open spots available, I would take any advantage I could get.

There is one distinct moment I remember from the auditions. It was an exercise where we each individually had to list as fast we could seven things...you fill in the blank. For me, it was something along the lines of seven things I'd rather not do. "Die," I blurted out. Hilarious. "Fix air conditioners" was another one. ("That's offensive. I fix air conditioners" as Brian Regan would say).

They laughed, so I thought I was doing great. I thought I had a chance. I got back to my house, where my housemate asked me where I had been.

"Improv auditions," I replied with a self-satisfied smile.

"But you're not funny!" she responded.

Dang it, Demi. That was probably the funniest response you could have made to that statement. She should have tried out.

It would be a few days before the callback list was posted. I love how dramatic and long-winded I'm making this story. It's really not that dramatic. But you want to know how this ends, right? I've got you right where I want you (maniacal laugh).

I checked the callback list, which listed a dozen names or so. Not on it. I was devastated, but pretended not to be. And I definitely did not tell Demi.

Later at the beach with some friends, I got a text from one of the members. He wanted to let me know that I was very, very close to getting called back. The amount of comfort I derived from that text just proves how much I wanted someone to validate me as being funny. But now, in retrospect, it was a little pathetic. I mean, I almost got a callback to a college improv group. And I was happy about that! Finally, proof that I was funny!

Me pretending to call Santa on my friends


Months pass. It's the end of the next semester. I have a final project due in less than 12 hours that I need to finish, but I decide to swing by the Sweaty-tooth workshop being held that night, just for 15 minutes. For old times sake.

I get on stage where me and this other kid were pretending to wash a car. He says, "I heard you swam with dolphins yesterday." I respond, "It's nothing personal." You can imagine how the scene went from there. Hilarity, once again! I run off because it's almost midnight and I need to finish that project for my 9:00am, but my friends are begging me to stay. I bask in the attention.

A few days later I go to a computer in the library to check my email (this is old-school folks), and I happen to sit next to one of the very college-famous improv members. I mean like played-Mr. Darcy-in-Pride-and-Prejudice-freshmen-year-play level of famous. And would you believe it, but he turned to me and says, "Hey you were really funny at the Sweaty Tooth workshop the other day." Despite my incredibly large ego I'm quite taken aback. "Really? I was only there for like 20 minutes!" "Yeah!" he responds, "We all wondered where you went!"

Finally, all the validation of my funniness I could ever want. (Lies, tell me I'm funny now!)

 I then explain to Mr. Darcy how I auditioned this year and didn't make it, and next year because I was studying abroad I wouldn't be able to try out again, blah blah blah. He tries to respond in French "C'est la vie," which means, "That's life." But he BUTCHERS his French. So I hear him say, "Say 'love me.'"

I stare at him because, well, he was kinda hot but the AUDACITY. Mr. Darcy sees my bewildered look and offers, "You know, French?" When I realize what he means, I burst out laughing and tell him what I thought he said. Now he's laughing. "Yeah, say love me! Say love me!" "Fine!" I respond, "I love you!"

And that's when I knew I was funny.

What about this? Is this funny?


Popular Posts