In improv, a bad edit can ruin a whole scene. A scene that starts out hilarious, when left to run just a little bit too long will inevitably turns into something else, leaving the improvisers on stage flailing to justify things and their troupemates in the wings kicking themselves for not editing at the last big joke. It’s hard, at that point, to find a way to end it that doesn’t look like giving up. This scenario almost always ends in a mercy kill, leaving everyone, audience included, sort of shrugging.
I wasn’t always comfortable on stage, so when I first started improvising, my instinct was to cut things short, maybe a little prematurely, and sometimes to the detriment of the scene. As an empathetic person, I would get INCREDIBLY uncomfortable if I felt the improvisers on stage starting to struggle. But, I was new, and my classmates were new, and I also felt inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Let them find it. Again, sometimes to the detriment of the scene.
If I felt a good edit point, I’d start to sweep, but eventually my brain would catch up and say, “it’s too early!” and stop myself. Feedback in those instances was often “follow your feet.” There’s a time to be patient, and there’s a time to edit.
That was long, but a perfect metaphor of how I felt about moving to New York. My time in Austin was great. I couldn’t have asked for a better seven years. A more perfect college experience. A more amazing set of friends. A greater first “real” job.
But, as all good things must, it was time to bring it to an end. The last of my time in Austin, I was restless. Frustrated more often than not. Antsy. Afraid of getting stuck. Believe me, I know there are far worse things than being locked in a land of queso, barbecue, amazing people and a short, albeit boring, three hour drive home. But, when it came down to it, I needed to get away for a while to remember why I loved it so much in the first place.
I do love you, Austin. I always will. You’ll be the place that I spent some of the best years with the best people in my life forever.
I’ve been in New York almost a month. The drive up here was amazing - I’ve never seen such colors. I had a lot of time to think. But I’d be lying if I said the first week was easy. It wasn’t. The day before I arrived, I got some of the worst news I’ll ever get. But even through incredible sadness and frustration and growing pains, it still felt right. Honking cars, tall buildings and the perfect fall colors. New York isn’t necessarily better, but it’s a different scene. And luckily, the edit came before the last one was ruined. I can only hope for the same in the future when I inevitably follow my feet back.