Trying to be funny is a super vulnerable thing to do. Making a joke that doesn’t get laughed at is uncomfortable for sure. The tone in the room can change after a poorly executed joke, or rather, a poorly executed joke reception.
For 3 years in high school and 3 years in college I was on improv teams. I don’t really know why I don’t about it much, cause it’s definitely a huge part of who I am, and the people I know from those groups are closer to me than any other crowd I’ve rolled with. In improv, the rule is: make your partner look good. If everyone is always trying to lift up the person they’re on stage with, everyone can relax and take leaps, knowing someone will catch them.
This rule should totally apply to regular conversation but I’ve found that actually, people get really selfish. I see people interrupting a story to tell their own “hilarious” story, or relishing in the failure of someone else’s punch line. We’ve all been there, telling a meandering story, feeling the pressure of everyone’s attention, flailing. In improv, if you saw that happening, or even felt it through the weird hive mind that you become a part of in an improv group, you would step in. You would do your best to connect with and expand on that joke. Maybe you would interrupt and switch topics but only if it was a straight up sinking ship. In improv, you find a seed of an idea and help it grow, together. I wish I saw more of that. I wish I didn’t have to marvel how accepting and supportive my friends are after a long day out in the real world.
I don’t really have a point here, it’s just another morning where I can’t make noise cause the girls I’m staying with aren’t up yet and I’m trying to constantly flex my feelings-sharing muscle (cause that’s really all songwriting is, sharing your feelings… with notes)
Maybe my point can be that if you ever meet me, I want you to feel secure knowing that I am lifting you up. Merch lines can be hard, I’ve been in them, waiting nervously, hoping to seem cool. Just know that I am there trying to make you look good… in selfies, and in front of your friends. Make jokes, I’ll catch you.