I don’t believe in umbrellas

They are, to me, an immature technology. Until they invent an umbrella that I don’t consistently break, lose or forget, I will continue to shun them.

This means that I tend to get very wet when it rains, and things do not improve when we are getting the tail end of yet another hurricane and I have to walk about twenty blocks to a rehearsal in the New York equivalent of a monsoon. Not fun.

Even less fun was the trip home… as I predicted, all of the useful subway lines into Queens had been shut down because of flooding. Okay, I imagine the people in Florida are going through a lot more hell and misery than I am, but it was not fun switching to five different subways, a bus, and then finally having to pay for a cab ride the rest of the trip (in which I was totally gouged). It was nearly 1 AM by the time I got home, and I had to get up for work today. Again, not fun.

My course with Gotham finally wrapped up on Monday with my “evaluation” session, which didn’t yield anything remarkably salient. A few people have expressed their disappointment that I’m not returning for level three, and I am a bit sad that I won’t be able to continue on with them, but I made it clear to the artistic director (in the six page critique of the program I gave him) that I could not justify spending any more money than I already had on their program. It’s hard not to feel like they’re the ones actually dropping me, since I paid them a huge sum of money for a course that didn’t live up to any observable standard, and then when I offered them very specific reasons that I was failed by it they chose to dismiss the matter instead of seeking a way to redress it. So yeah, don’t be upset at me, be upset at the organization that left me in this mess. Apparently they do not have enough people returning to do a level three course at this time: they need six and only have four. There were originally twelve people in the class, so I think it speaks volumes that at the end of the course only a third of those people are both able and willing to advance to the next level.

On the other hand, it has freed up my Monday nights to do the drop-in workshop run by Asaf Ronen of The Scene, which are an utter relief from the tedium and lack of challenge my Gotham classes offered. I am nothing remarkable in the world of improv, but it has been difficult for me to find opportunities here where I don’t wind up being the most advanced or experienced performer in the group (or at least one of them). In Toronto I had the privilege of playing with some people far more advanced than I was, and I benefitted from it enormously. So far in NYC there has been very little pushing me beyond my boundaries, but at least the drop-in workshops typically have participants that mostly share my skill level and sometimes outclass me entirely, which is a much more beneficial environment for me. And we get a heck of a lot more done in them.

My parents arrive in a week and a day… it never rains, but it pours.

Dan.

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