Lovely day yesterday with two of my bandmate ladies at the beach along Lake Ontario. I’m absolutely a wilderness lake sort, but there is something thrilling about seeing only water in front of you for miles. Hello Canada! We had a perfectly pleasant Autonomous Adult Beach Afternoon, where we lounged and snacked and stared and read and cooled off in the water and baked in the sun. I am proud of how decently I applied sunscreen.
A strange fog rolled in for a bit not long after we arrived and it became all VISUAL ARTISTS VISITING THE BEACH MUST DOCUMENT THIS OCCURRENCE! I was expecting half of the beachgoers to be missing after the fog lifted, but all was well and it eventually moved through and we were able to continue on, lizard-like in our basking and relaxation.
It was noted on our return that our afternoon was actually truly relaxing. I agree. I didn’t actually bring a book or anything and just tried to clear my mind as much as possible and focus on the waves and sounds of seagulls. And the effect of that as well as the baking sun and bracing water did result in a level of Actual Relaxation.
And what better way to round out a serene day at the beach than to hit the 10:30 showing of Taxi Driver at the Landmark?? A bunch of improv collective folks were there as well and it was good to see on the big screen as opposed to a tv – I can’t remember the last time I actually saw that movie in full – college?
I’m of a certain opinion on Martin Scorsese. I absolutely respect his love of cinema and craft and his nods to neorealism and New Wave and such. However, I don’t actually like a lot of his movies, post-1980s. I’m pretty much good with Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. And stuff like The Big Shave is pretty amazing too. I like old experimental, personal Marty. The New Hollywood stuff, you know? It’s a good thing for George Lucas that he made Star Wars and Indiana Jones because I could easily put him in this spot as well. But both have the mix of the expression of the art films that inspired them as well as the kinetic/dynamic of machismo and machine and that’s what I was really inspired by in college as well.
And now I just hyped myself up to work on my project – have to do some other stuff first, but hoping to make some good progress this week.
Slightly related: I watched the Tig Notaro documentary that came out on Netflix the other day and thought it was quite good. It’s pretty straightforward in terms of structure, but I liked the text/stills that they used to illustrate the recording of the legendary Largo show. We were talking in the car about it on the way to the beach and I thought it was really notable how she underlined how she couldn’t ever do that set again.
I used to consider myself a regular scholar of stand-up comedy, back in high school when I’d come home from school and ensconce myself in front of the tv with homework and Cheese Doodles and soak in the non-stop stand-up that Comedy Central used to air (punctuated by sketch, of course). I’m not sure why I never actually tried stand-up, but I would guess it’s related to my almost pathological inability to learn lines (see: lines taped to back of box at 24-Hour Theater Slam, pathetic attempt to recite Shakespeare at Alpha Psi Omega induction.) Which is why I do improv. And the monologues involved in some improv forms kind of scratch the stand-up itch.
BACK AROUND THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, I was partially involved in some live storytelling stuff. Particularly remember the Fray event that happened the day before September 11th. That was a harrowing drive home. And, events of terrorism aside, an interesting time to recall, especially as life seems to circle back on itself a bit. But I digress. Straight up stand-up didn’t seem like a thing I’d do because the idea of refining the act and jokes didn’t seem particularly natural or easy to me. Perhaps part of my return to various forms of art practice involves more experimental stand-up/performance art… we shall see.
And, related in a more roundabout way to all of the above is how confirmation bias becomes so apparent at times. I have a list happening right now that’s a little weird.