A Room of One’s Own

Today at work, while reading the latest issue of The Onion and eating my salmon tartines from Blue Dahlia, I came across one of my favorite columnists.  The optimistic, kindhearted but endlessly dorky Jean Teasdale (She also calls herself a frustrated psychic. She could be my spirit animal.) wrote about her success at an open mic.  Success in this case is defined as completion.  Her next move? Improv.  As I read her earnest synopsis of her adventures in the latest installment of “A Room of Jean’s Own”, the synchronicity of Jean’s trajectory and mine was not lost on me.

At the start of this year, I moved out of an emotionally draining living situation into a place of my own, situated near my bookseller and thrift store of choice (Jean also loves a bargain).  A friend related advice given to her: every woman should live by herself at least once.  I’ve taken this to heart.  My schedule keeps my pretty busy, but my time spent alone is sacred.  I grew up in a big, noisy family and, in adult life, have been limited by hourly wage and have turned to roommate situations to eek out what level of independence one can attain below the poverty line.  I would never trade my time and experiences with past roomies, but I am much better company!

So what do I do?  I sing a lot more, that’s for sure.  I make lists.  I cook dinner.  I tend to my plants.  I write.  I practice piano. I’ve opted not to get internet at my home since Epoch is just around the corner and there can be no sanctuary with Facebook or internet porn.  I haven’t had a television in years. Life is easy.

The play debuted smoothly at Hyde Park Theater last night.  I did a little acting which was an exciting and unusual move for me.  People laughed at the jokes I’d written!  The younger brother of a friend who helped with the play wants to perform it at his high school in Seattle, so there’s a feather in my cap.  And, to quote Jean,  “I’m proud that I left my comfort zone (aka my living-room couch!) and did something I’d wanted to try for years. But the question remained: What would I do for a follow-up?”

What indeed? The last show of the night was an improv piece loosely structured around Romeo & Juliet.  It featured Handbomb, a group from The New Movement Theater.  I recognized some of the actors from shows I’d seen in their space on the east side.  Their work was characteristically funny.  I’ve been too shy to get involved, but getting out on a limb last night makes me feel like a Level 1 improv class may be just the right fit for me.

So, while Jean seeks an improv group with whom to premeditate skits about picking chocolate kisses off candy cane trees, I will expand my horizons at The New Movement!  Watch this space!