Posts Tagged ‘improv comedy’

Barbara’s Path to Authorhood – Part 1

Monday, January 16th, 2012
A few juicy writing prompts

A few juicy writing prompts

I moved to New Mexico from Philadelphia in September of 1991. At that time I was a working visual artist  (painter/muralist/set designer) and an amateur actress, with no plan to become a professional writer, author or literary anything. The only “writing” I was doing were loosey-goosey “scripts” on 3×5 index cards for my own sketch comedy shows. I am pretty darn funny when I concentrate and I was frustrated at the lack of good parts for over-25-females in plays, blah, blah, blah. I was occasionally performing these skits on the street – Miss Revlon, The Doll Before Barbie debuted at Montezuma and Guadalupe streets –  in my attempt to fit in to the Santa Fe lifestyle and make some friends in my new town.

Another, more successful, attempt at building a community of friends for myself was to join the Santa Fe Book Arts Group (B.A.G.).

The B.A.G. group was full of Wild Boomer Women. It was great for me because the meetings involved making tremendous messes. We ripped, snipped, wrote, glued, pasted, cut, shredded, glittered, strung, hung, tore apart, mail-arted, hammered, re-assembled, and rubberstamped upon, in archival and non-archival ways, papers, books, journals, you name it, to make luminous wonders of book and paper art.

This is where I met Ursula (Mueller), who is from Austria and who looked very well-behaved but was not and, still, is not. Ursula had a secret and I found it out. After knocking back a half-a-glass of wine at the 1994 holiday B.A.G. party, Ms. U revealed all.

Ursula was living the secret life of an Improvisational Storyteller. There was a clandestine, invitation-only,  improv storytelling group happening in Santa Fe. On Wednesday afternoons. From 3 till 5. As they say nowadays: OMG!

I had taken several improv comedy and acting classes by then and LOVED IT. There is something thrilling about jumping into the abyss and living to tell. Improv storytelling would be a blast, too, I just knew it.

It took a year’s worth of B.A.G. meetings for Ursula and I to get to know each other and for Ursula to decide I was okay enough (as in: a lively creative mind, yet well-behaved) to be invited to join the storyteller group.

The very next Wednesday, I went to the house where the secret storytellers met.

To be continued…..

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