dichotomy (noun) –
division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups:
a dichotomy between thought and action.
I walked out of last night’s CSz Richmond Halloween Double Feature (the Monster Family Feud and Overtime Still Must Die) puzzled.
I really thought I did far from my best work as the announcer for the Feud and tech for Overtime. I missed cues, I butchered names, and a whole lot more. I felt like I left a lot on the table.
Everyone who saw me after either show said that I’d done an awesome job. They couldn’t have been more impressed.
And now you know why I led this piece with the dictionary defintion of dichotomy.
Because the odd thing is… there’s a pretty good chance that everyone’s right.
No, I probably shouldn’t go that way. The reality is that everyone else is right.
It’s my head, and my attitude, that need some work.
And I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Part of it is, if you know me in the least, obvious. In my world, mistakes are a pernicious thing. There’s no acceptance for them, or tolerance. Either I’m Right or I’m Wrong.
And I have this bad habit of just shrugging off the good things I do. That’s expected, at least in my head, and thus irrelevant. I MADE MISTAKES – that’s what my internal critic is shouting.
The fact that I fairly-successfully juggled a format that was half ComedySportz and half Family Feud in the first show, or was right on cue with those things that Overtime needed me to do in the second…? In my head, those didn’t matter.
One of improv’s mantras is “I failed. Thank you.” In my mind, it’s “I failed. OH CRAP.”
I’m not able to let myself off the hook for a mistake. Botching one name last night led directly to blowing two more, because once I got in my head about names, I was absolutely going to be so on edge about it that I’d screw up again. I missed the chance to add a sound effect or a drop because I was busy figuring out how I missed the previous one.
It’s odd – when you can’t let go of mistakes, they compound.
But I can’t stop myself.
And that’s why I’ve never made any attempt to learn improv. There’s no teacher who can teach me to re-wire my mind. I’d be the guy lost in the choice made earlier in the scene, sure it was wrong — guaranteeing that I’d make yet another mistake because I lost focus… and so on.
I’m still not convinced that I did that well last night.
Everyone else thinks I was awesome.
If I ever truly resolve that dichotomy…