Best Thing About Super Bowl Sunday

[ Reminder: our new Blog Challenge, now that it’s red carpet season, is to blog about “best-of” experiences. ]

I’m not a football fan. This should not surprise you avid readers—or any person who’s ever encountered me for 5 minutes or longer. (Though you may recall that I discovered the magic of live games back in December: read all about it.) Otherwise, it’s not for me, and that’s fine. Go crazy, America! But this, oh this, fantastical little number from our friends at NBC…it makes me do a touchdown dance of my own:

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Genuinely, I’m smiling from ear to ear. In some strange way, watching this video has helped remind me what I really want most out of life (yes, for one, impromptu Broadway-smash dance numbers…plus an ongoing reality-based friendship with Tina Fey) but also THIS. All of that. Comedy. Acting. Writing. Surrounding myself with creative folks who help me be better at all of that.

I’m lucky that I get a lot of that from my job. My “day job”—as we creative-types tend to call our not-quite-dream employment—is actually quite a wonderful way to spend my days. I get to write for a living, and I work with amazing people who are fun and talented and couldn’t be nicer to me or more understanding toward my many creative-person foibles. So when I talk about the future, I’m not begrudging the Now. I’m just saying that I’ve always felt that maybe something else could be my ultimate sweet spot…

I know I’m also lucky to be a part of The Skinny Improv, to get to work with all the fun and talented people I’ve met there in the last 5+ years. That place saves my life again & again, through giving me friends and a safe outlet for my pun-based urges.

But. Still. There’s a small part of me that wishes—sometimes with enough strength to move all the other parts of me—for something more. The same part of me that used to take notes when watching SNL. And kept a journal after every improv show. And spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror making up elaborate scenes for herself as Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ onscreen girlfriend. (Yeah, I know everybody thinks he’s gay now. We’re cool.)

I’m excited, frankly, to keep writing at work and making funny things with my friends, and getting more serious about the other dreams at the same time. Letting that small, wish-filled part come out to play more often.

She’s fun and talented, too.

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2.6 Opening yourself up to joy

Big Day. Auditions! Super Bowl Sunday! GLEE Super Bowl episode!

In anticipation of the big event, I rewatched the very first episode of GLEE yesterday. Remember when it was on right after Kris Allen won American Idol? I remember thinking I am going to love this show. fiercely. with a protective, mother-bear-like type of love. True, that night I was already high on life and full of dreams, hanging with a good friend and my mom to catch the end of AI. But something about that GLEE pilot—even though I’ve watched it multiple times and played the “Don’t Stop Believin” on repeat that whole summer—still gives me the tingles.

The series opens with Sue Silvester’s glorious line: you think this is hard? try being water boarded. that’s hard! Completely sets the tone for her character and the show. While season 2 has left me disappointed at times, I can still muster the feelings of that first love for GLEE.

From the very start there’s the “it’s okay to be different!” & “believe in your dreams!” messages.
The cuteness of Emma and Mr. Schu before things got super weird there.
And oh yeah! Stephen Tobolowsky! Forgot he was in this. Love him.
(No Brittany yet, though. Or Mike Chang or black kid who danced.)
Ah, but there is Finn singing in the shower.
And Ken Tanaka’s ace pickup line: Shhh….how do I get you…into my hatchback?

Perhaps the most exciting part of all is the audition scene. Inspiration!
Ten years ago I put the I-want-to-be-on-Broadway parts of me away. Today I let the I-wouldn’t-mind-being-in-a-local-musical part come out to play around for a while. The dream has refined itself as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still in there.

The very first time we meet Mr. Schu, he spots a plaque in the McKinley High trophy case: “By its very definition Glee is about opening yourself up to joy.”

So true. I present for your consideration:
(Warning: If you’re anything like the folks I watched the Super Bowl with, you’re going to need a moment afterwards. Or perhaps a cigarette.)