Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Making It Up As I Go Along

As many of you know, I'm an improviser. I perform at ComedyWorx in Raleigh and get a great deal of pleasure out of it. It's my creative outlet.

I do it because I love it and think I'm pretty decent at it, but never thought too deeply about it until a year or so ago. I invited the Minister of Music from my church & his wife to come see a show. They laughed and had a good time and told me I was funny, so all was right with the world.

About a week later, he did a sermon about using your gifts and how they are your ministry. I caught up with him afterwards and, half-jokingly asked, "So do you think that my jumping around in my pajamas onstage is a ministry?" He said, "Yes, I do."

This took my by surprise until I thought about it a little more. As a performer, I don't have any idea what the audience is bringing with them when they come to a show. They could be going through any number of tragedies, conflicts at work or home and stresses that I will never know about. What they're looking for is 90 minutes or so of relief from the outside world and a chance to sit back and laugh.

Every time I get on that stage, I have the opportunity to make a total stranger's life a little happier and lift their burdens. That's an awesome responsibility and I try and remember that
on the nights that I don't feel so funny.

So, yeah, goofing around onstage playing 5 Things or Forward/Reverse is a lot of fun. I've made some good friends doing it as well. But I always try and think about who I'm doing it for and why. It's not just for me...and as I should have learned a long time ago, the things I do for other people usually turn out better than the things I do for myself.

That's why I make it up as I go along.


mrs b said...

as long as you bring it, we are happy...

reading the book 'truth in comedy' helped me appreciate and enjoy all performance...

Sarah Pauling said...

Hiya! Just wanted to say that you rock, Chris Ayers!!!