follow me

Posts Tagged ‘improv’


Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

class of '15 I have this desire to be funny. Everyone around me is funny; my husband, my friends. I have a good sense of humor. I’m quick to laugh and I’m a great audience. But telling a joke and creating laughter wasn’t my forte. Still, I wanted to try.
I attempted improv once, taking a series of classes in Charlotte, NC. That was a failure. I would practice possible scenarios in my mind, which kinda defeats the point of improvisational comedy. Standup comedy, however, is all about writing and preparation. I wanted to see if I could make a crowd laugh on purpose.
8 weeks of classes at Improv Boston was a blast. Gary, our instructor was a wonderful, funny, and supportive teacher. The folks in my class were the highlight; 3 teenagers, a doctor, 2 Africans, a Black-Jewish woman, a white guy in the middle of bankruptcy and me, a Chinese chick working out her mid-life crisis on the stage. We were an All-American bunch and it was a hoot.
The penultimate class left me in a desperate place. I didn’t think I would be able to find my funny but Sam, my classmate, helped me parse out the crap I had written and left me with just the funny bits.
By the time our recital came, I felt my funny bone had been strengthened!
Being on stage or talking to a bunch of people wasn’t a big deal for me, but hearing a group of people chortle over something I’d written and delivered, well that was a first, and it was a thrill.
Tran Fans (Thanks to all my friends who were super supportive throughout this process… and to hubby, Dominick, Cary, Brad, Kristen, Kim, Tim, Ben, Drew, Padgett, Brendan, Laura and John who all came out to cheer for me!)

**This video has swear words that have been bleeped out but it still may not be ‘work appropriate.’
(You want to watch it even more now, right?!)



Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

It’s official.  My bio is up on WHDH‘s website, so I’m officially part of the team.  I can’t tell you how super excited I am about being back here in Boston.

To be honest I didn’t think I’d be back.  After the first winter in Charlotte, which was sunny and gorgeous, hubby and I kind of thought we’d never leave the South.  We imagined my next career move could take us to Atlanta or we’d just stay in Charlotte forever; we didn’t contemplate a move back to the Northeast.  I even donated almost all of my winter coats and most of my snow gear.  We were done with snow.

Then came the call to come up for three months.  The station needed some freelance reporters to fill in as two reporters were out on maternity.  I hesitated.  I didn’t want to move back, live with friends and work at a station that was once competition (I’d worked at the Fox affiliate from 2003-2006).  We had dear friends here in Charlotte and while on sabbatical, I had finished my first novel, volunteered a ton, and took improv classes.  I was happy.  But I missed working.  So I took the assignment with this in mind, I’ll hate it and know I’m done with news or I’ll have some new, updated stories for my resume reel.  But it didn’t take long for me to remember why I loved reporting in a big market; stories of national and international significance were constantly happening.  I was covering the police raid of the accused Time Square bomber’s Connecticut home.  I was standing outside the Garden as the Celtics attempted another championship.  I interviewed a concert violinist who left her instrument on a transit trolley, only to have it returned.  Even with all that, I still hesitated when the station offered me a full time position.

I thought I wanted to pursue my news anchoring dreams more.  I thought I wanted to focus on my fiction writing.  I thought I might try something outside of TV news.  But in the end, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else but telling peoples’ stories; using their words,  my words, my photographer’s video.

While at WHDH during those three temporary months, I gained new perspective, saw a new opportunity, and regained my love of TV news.  Ultimately, what I found was a new place to call home.

Improv Class

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Ladies and gentleman, I’ve been taking improv classes for 6 weeks (it’s only an 8 week class) and while I think I’ve learned some cool skills, I’m sad to report, I’m still not funny.  But I’m starting to think the deck was stacked against me from the beginning.  Take Chris for instance – a pro who waltzed into a class that had amateurs like me.

Then there are folks like Becca who are naturally hilarious.  Seriously, you should hear some of the things that she says without hesitation!  Including this deadpan answer she gave when I asked for a review of my performance thus far.

The thing is the entire class is filled with funny people with personality, wit, and phenomenal timing.  I spend more time laughing then being the jester.  There are folks like Alfred who are working towards being a comic and Tim who performs 4 nights a week at Howl at the Moon.  They have uproarious – down!

For me, I think I’m chalking up improv class as 8 fun Tuesday nights.  Next stop: stand-up class.  People, I’m serious about this funny bit!

Funny is as Funny Does!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

You should know this about me: I am not funny.  I have a good sense of humor.  I love to laugh.  I’m great as an audience member because I guffaw easily and with great gusto.  But sadly, all that does not make me funny.

I am surrounded by funny people.  Hubby is quick witted and funny.  My four close guy friends: Eric, Mike, Brian, and Chad (I know, they sound like a boy band) are hilarious.  They often all try to top each other in group emails and I’m in awe of their humor.  I want to compete, to be at the same comedic level, so I enrolled myself in an improv class.

So far in class we’ve learned various improv games, character and object work, how to connect with scene partners, and the giving gifts of information.  I honestly thought I’d be really good at improv.  I’m outgoing, not easily embarrassed, self-deprecating, and a goofball.  But here’s another admission: I kinda suck at it.  No, I actually do suck at it.  This is what my improv teacher, Keli Semelsberger at Charlotte Comedy Theater, wrote me when I asked for ‘extra-help,’ “The brain is a muscle and you are using it in a new way, so it will take time to develop that skill.  You’ll get it.”  It drives me nuts because I’m usually a quick study, an overachiever used to getting good grades.  But in this class, I’m squeaking by!  I know the problem, I think too much into it.  I’m not freeing my mind!  I desperately want to be funny, so I analyze, probe, and ponder ways in which I can be.

Class wraps up in a couple of weeks.  If I’m still not funny by then, I’m considering a stand-up class.  I’m going to be funny, damn it!