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Sketch Challenge, 2nd Set, Final Report: Who's That Girl?

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Wildly Exaggerated: Sketch Challenge, 2nd Set, Final Report: Who's That Girl?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sketch Challenge, 2nd Set, Final Report: Who's That Girl?

I don't know why I always feel compelled to use song titles for these. Anyway.

It is noon on Saturday, 7/2/2011, and the second 60-page set of sketches is more-or-less finished (pending a printout, lunch, and a walk before coming back to it for final notes. You have to breathe sometime). I was obliged to wrap it up a little earlier than usual today, as I am expected at a family cookout this afternoon, followed immediately by a crew shift at the theatre that will keep me out until 1ish. So how do we feel about this set, as compared to the last one?

Overall, I think this set is much stronger. It flows a little more smoothly and features an improved joke-to-exposition ratio. I'm pretty pleased about that. The biggest area for improvement is consistency in work habits. I got a little busy with other things these past two weeks and didn't maintain the focus I had before. I think this set would've been even better if it had gotten the benefit of my attention more often. Lucky for me, I get to do this [at least] three more times, so I can take that lesson into the next few sets! Like I said at the end of the first set: the whole point of this exercise was to learn and (hopefully) improve, and I can honestly say that I've definitely learned a few things and I like to think I'm seeing improvement. Though I'm not sure I'm the best judge of that.

In a weird and unexpected twist, the Incredibly Mundane Sketch Challenge and Psychological Torture Chamber, Now With Less Coffee and More Xenophobia has also resulted in some surprising changes in my appearance (hence the title of this post). I've lost 6 pounds so far, and I'm far more tan than anyone who hasn't been on vacation has a right to be. And it's all traceable to 3 important aspects of the Psychosketchual Challenge for People Who Feel Compelled to Mentally Flog Themselves:
1. Anxiety-induced lack of appetite: Anxiety as in "HOLY CRAP WHAT IF I'M NOT FUNNY AT ALL AND EVERYTHING I'VE EVER WRITTEN SUCKS?!?!?"
2. Busy-ness-induced lack of time to eat: Have you ever tried to have a full-time job, apprentice at an improv theatre, publish at least 3 blog posts per week, submit items to Funny not Slutty, write an hourlong sketch show every fortnight AND bathe regularly? It's time-consuming.
3. Head-clearing walks: Remember when I said I felt like my brain was in a blender and/or beaten with a meat tenderizer? I wasn't kidding. I find it increasingly necessary to go walk continuously for at least an hour and half while thinking about nothing (THAT PART IS IMPERATIVE). And since I'm privileged to live in the bright, sunny South...I look like I've been sunning! And it's burning all the calories I didn't have time to eat. On Wednesday, someone actually asked me "if I'd been working on my guns". No, I have not been working on my guns. I've just been trying to walk off the crazy.

So however this whole thing ends, I'll at least be healthier for it. Well, if you don't count the skin cancer I'm probably giving myself. But speaking of "how this whole thing ends", I'm starting to think that if I was really being honest with myself, this is not the pure writing exercise I told myself it was. I'm not getting up at 6:30 on Saturday mornings "as an exercise". And if I am, that's ridiculous. My high school English teacher was always pointing out that plays are meant to be performed, not read, and Mrs. Lacy knew her stuff, so I'm starting to think the same is probably true of sketches. And when it's all over, I might make a sincere effort to do something with these. I just need to find someone who can handle *all* of the technical side for me. Because I will not be doing that part.

Anyway, that's the distant future. In the meantime, I need to focus on the 3rd Set. But I have a very busy day ahead of me (see first paragraph) and a day trip tomorrow, so I'll be taking some time off before getting back to work on America's birthday. And I'll also be out of town next Thursday-Sunday, which means I have to do A LOT more work in the first half of the two-week writing period. Wish me luck.

And now for the weekly expression of gratitude to someone who said something nice which helped keep me out of the state institution in Milledgeville:
John Emily of the Week! (not like that)
This week's John of the week is... Emily! Emily was a friend of mine when we were both knee-high to a grasshopper in elementary school. We also went to the same high school but didn't hang out that much since I was a band geek, and she...well, I guess she was probably having a life instead. Anyway! This week, she discovered my blog and said she was going to pour herself a drink and spend Thursday night reading it! Because it was "fun"! And thus did I live to tell you about another week. Thanks, Emily!

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At July 2, 2011 at 1:02 PM , Blogger Nick Nafpliotis said...

You should put a part of your sketch on Xtranormal. The monotone can make it hard to get a a read, but it's still fun to see your words read by some someone, even if it is a dog wearing overalls.


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