In your head

My Chicago improv class is turning out to be much more difficult than my D.C. class. It’s not the curriculum, it’s the makeup of the class that subconsciously freezes me. While my D.C. class was made up of mothers, doctors, baristas and journalists, my Chicago class is made up of office temps financing their improv habits. Some of them even moved to Chicago specifically to do improv. I feel lucky to be around such instructive and hilarious folks on a regular basis. But an inferiority complex kicks in sometimes.

My classmates and instructor often toss around the phrase “in your head.” They say it like a choral singer might say she had a frog in her throat during that last song. Being in your head during a scene feels like when you’re at a party and instead of just enjoying the moment, you start wondering how your outfit looks, whether you’re smiling too much or not enough, whether your conversation is lame, etc. And of course, when you devote half your brain to an internal play-by-play, you actually do end up bombing. How ironic.

I am in my head more than I should be, in class and, let’s face it, in life. It’s amazing what happens when you allow your thoughts to spin their own webs. At the same time, it’s a huge relief when you figure out how to stop the spinning and reality becomes clear again.

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