The Anal Challenge Ends a Great Week | Improv Workshop #4

I.  The End of January

This week has been one for the books.  This week proved how busy life can be as far as work, personal work and interests, family matters, and various life aspects come into play.  This week really proved that I am on the edge–if I am that already–of a diagnosed workaholic.  I have been writing on a daily basis, which has been a consistent first, and the extent of my writing has not restricted.  To expand my horizons, I have been pursuing other outlets.

I spoke to my roommate, Michael, who asked me to participate with his new Syracuse tourism project:  NOexcuses.  Follow the link to the web page, like the Facebook page, and follow on Twitter at @NOexcusesSYR.  I will be contributing writing to help promote Syracuse and Central New York in the near future.

The Syracuse newspaper, The Post-Standard, is looking for a restaurant reviewer.  Applying for this is a must, in my opinion.  Whether the job is bestowed upon me is not my decision, but not trying to get it would be a bust.  I am sure the position isn’t full time, which is fine by me, so I can keep my present occupation while shooting a piece of writing out to the world (weekly).

The process to get my content on the blogs and elsewhere is underway, and my excitement cannot be described. 

On Wednesday, the most beautiful day of the week (by beautiful, I mean warmest), I took the day off from writing and visited my parents to join them for dinner.  I hung out with Lou, who wouldn’t leave me alone for some reason, and went out for an exhilarating run.  On Thursday, I attended a CNY blogger meet-and-greet at Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge.  Friday night was spent at the CNY Playhouse for an improv mixer and show.  Now, after relaxing after the high from the workshop this morning, the coffee shop writing is processing.  I haven’t updated this blog in a week, so this post is long overdue.  Tonight, I have another improv event.

Cannot get enough of it!

II.  CNY Bloggers Unite!

Thursday was such an incredible night.  I got to meet up with 13 bloggers in the area.  The beauty of this was not only to meet individuals who are passionate about what they do and what they write, but these bloggers are incredibly supportive of the Central New York area.  Yes, there were more than two handfuls of bloggers that came; however, we all have our own niche.  Some blogs coincided, but not one overshadows the other.  We 13 (15 would have came if life did not get in the way), celebrated our ideas and thoughts as we put faces to the writings. 

We have to thank Renee, writer behind the blog, Bendiful, who did a great job setting everything up, pictures and all.  Please check out her blog, and the most recent post does a great job giving a synopsis of the event.  Mitch, who runs five blogs (yes, he is that good) aside his coaching and consulting business, did a great job with his take on Thursday night.  Check out his post here.  He took great pictures, by the way.  Both of these posts do a great job listing the individual blogs, so you need to check both of these out.  One of my duties is to promote these other bloggers, and by giving you the blogs flat out would be easy.  Yes, however, these easy-to-read blogs will do your mind well.

I am going to be mentioning these blogs more often, referencing them in my posts.  I write about living in Syracuse and Central New York.  These writers are part of this life, and now they are a part of my life, and I consider us all indirect coworkers.

Food blogger, Mark, I shared some time and thoughts with after. His blog, The Proof is in the Eating, can be found by following the link.  My favorite business card, which was a hard decision, was Sunny’s For Your Pies Only.  Follow the link to check out her site!

Of course, all of these individuals, have Facebook and/or Twitter handles.  I encourage you to like, friend, and follow.  Who doesn’t want to follow Steve’s creative business blog: Creating Leaders, Followers Want to Follow?

I feel bad not listing everyone, but I don’t want to overwhelm my readers with an overabundance of links.  As I stated, I will be continuing to reference my fellow colleagues.  Keep your eyes peeled, because everyone will be highlighted.

III.  Mixing It Up

The improv mixer went well.  Fellow local improv actors kicked off the evening with a few games we beginners (Emily and I) were able to participate in.  The night began on a reassurance:  one of the participants, Jeremy, went to high school with me.  Although, we did not graduate together, the group of friends we share introduced us.  We run into one another on a regular basis.  Our mutual friends attended the show later on that night, when Jeremy performed with his group:  Gentlemen, to Bed.  This was taken from a skit, featuring Steve Coogan.

The mixer was reassuring for my confidence, performing and playing improv games with more experienced individuals.  I have nothing against my fellow beginner peers, but a challenge will help you learn so much more.  Needless to say, I was trying to put forth my A-Game. 

The show portion was opened with a stand up comedy routine by, the very funny, Anna Phillips, and it was ended with Fugulele, a Fugazi cover band, featuring all ukuleles. 


For any upcoming shows, please visit the Syracuse Improv Collective website. 

IV.  The Anal Challenge

I have been trying my best to stop saying “no,” directly or indirectly during improv class, but I seem to be unintentionally doing so.  That frustrates me.  My straying from the situation at hand is not to negatively push the dialogue away, but to add to it.  If I am playing a stingy child, resistance is an essential part of the kid’s persona.  However, I keep getting called out for saying no

The same criticism falls into the concept of questions.  Sure, I may thow out a question, but it is a specific question as to what is taking place.  I have caught myself a few times, I am not perfect, and quickly switching to a statement is fairly simple; well, it’s not that simple, but the fluid transition is becoming easier. 

I guess being anal when it comes to this is necessary.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?  Criticism, no matter the fashion or tone, needs to be taken into consideration, and I prefer harsher criticism over light.  If there is one critical aspect to be scrutinized, then everything else is probably the least of my worries.  Being hard on myself, as everyone else to their own selves, is an easy thing to do. 

I think I was called out on every skit, which irked me. However, I accept the criticism. I have the right mindset, and I am being quick on my feet.

But this does not pertain to The Anal Challenge.

I am not going to say who said this–it was not me–but the timing of the phrase within the game that we were playing was priceless. 

“I never turn down an anal challenge.”

The one-lined phrase says it all.  It can be taken in the initial context, pertaining to the improv game that we were playing; however, one’s imagination can get the best of them.  My peer, who said this, is a sweet and soft spoken person.  I normally will drop a swear word on more than one occasion, and I will make an innuendo.  I would have never expected such an unintentional thing to come out of their mouth.

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