WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Business of Laughing At and Laughing With

I recently returned home from an EPIC West Coast trip which included fabulous company, weather, sightseeing, food, and (of course) vacation! The traveling itself was less fabulous due to the relentless East Coast weather - I dealt with three sets of cancelled flights. In fact, last Tuesday morning I left the house at 3:30 a.m., flew from San Francisco to Phoenix only to return to SF by noon due to Logan's snow situation.

(This is me flying in and out of Phoenix twice in three days - see me? I have a window seat!)

But, I digress. Due to some luck and connections we landed tickets to two different performances of a San Fran tradition, Sketchfest. Sketchfest is an event celebrating its 10th anniversary as a showcase of known and unknown comics. From its humble yet hilarious beginnings, Sketchfest currently stands at the top of the hill when it comes to comedy festivals on the west coast. (That's a SF roadways joke - laugh. Good. Moving on.) On Friday night, I attended a night called Tig Has Friends featuring the talents of The Sklar Brothers and Zach Galifinakis, among others. Each act was wildly different but one thing was the same - each was putting a piece of their lives out in the open for the amusement of a room full of strangers. And a thought struck me - how incredibly brave.

As actors, we put ourselves out there as other personalities. Now granted, each comedian has his or her own stand-up persona that varies from an offstage alter ego. However, a number of the stories told were about things that actually happened to them. Some of it is funny because of its irony, and some of it is funny due to awkwardness of embarrassing situations, there is still another category of current and/or celebrity events (but you've all seen stand-up before, so I'll stop listing categories now). :) All of it, however, takes courage and humility. As actors, we enjoy getting laughed at AS SOMEONE ELSE but it takes a whole different type of courage to go onstage as yourself. A scripted courage, and I for one, have a new found respect for "the comedian." If you want to check out some of what I saw you can check out the SklarBro Country Podcast HERE.

(As you may have noticed, that wasn't actually me in the jet before. Check me out actually taking in the sights of SF.)

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