Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keep Laughing

Laughter is a funny thing. Science doesn’t really know how or why we do it. If you read scientific articles, like I do, you will find that most scientists who study laughter end up adopting a “belief” about it. Most hypotheses from these papers start with “I believe that we laugh because...” or “Our research has lead us to believe” but we have yet to come up with an exact reason as to why we, as humans, laugh.

I was riding the subway one day, when it was wayy too hot to bike, and a young father came onto the car with his child in a stroller. The child started to become distressed by the loud noises and cramped space of the subway, so the dad grabbed a stuffed doll and surprised the kid with it by putting it near her face. She immediately stopped crying and started laughing. Then he hid it, and she looked around for it, and he popped it out from the other side of the stroller, and she started laughing again. This went on for 15 minutes and the kid had completely forgotten her fears and was just enthralled with the magical disappearing/reappearing doll.

I love New York. This past week has been filled with so many crazy awesome things. Infinite variety, as it were. Stamp Brothers Productions opened Pygmalion, Mic and I got tattoo’s, we were at 7 different rehearsals in the course of 4 days, I lost my wallet and keys, Mic and I fought of swarms of cockroaches, Mic started biking and got a flat tire, I discovered the glory that is frozen yogurt, and Mic found a way to do laundry in a bucket.

You're gonna carry that weight...
Yeah you read right, I got a tattoo. It’s kind of an awesome story actually. So Michael and Zach both have tattoo’s on their right pec. They got them when the family visited Zach’s base in Fort Lenord Wood. I was not apart of that trip, cause I was off being awesome or something, and I didn’t get a tattoo. Well the brothers have been pressuring me to get a tattoo ever since. So this summer I promised them it would happen, and I had been searching for a reputable location since mic arrived. Out of nowhere my friend, Cece, who designed the backdrop for Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Pizza, the play I directed in April, texted me and said she was apprenticing to become a tattoo Artists, and would be willing to give me and a friend a free tattoo. It seemed like fate. I triple checked to make sure it wasn’t going to be sketchy or anything , and she reassured us that it was going to be very professional and under the guidance her 15 year old tattoo master teacher guy LaLo. So we went and got inked. It hurt, but it wasn’t unbearable either. And now something that is meaningful to me is a part of me. All in all, pretty awesome.

What’s got me in the blues, though, is that in a month this awesome summer it will all be over. Pygmalion has wrapped, which is really hard to believe, and then just a few weeks after that, Marley will go up and close. Then Mic will head home. And I will be in a tiny apartment that’s suddenly too large and too quiet.

But that’s life right? People come in and out of our lives all the time. Some stick around for a long time, some just for a show. For me the most important and dearest memories I hold of people is right in the middle of our time together. When we were in the thick of things, trying to figure everything out. The beginning and end are boring and sad. It’s the middle memories that, when I’m old and rocking in a chair in some nursing home in Colorado, that I will look back on and say “good times.” That of course is barring I don’t end up bankrupting myself and winding up homeless and dying in a knife fight with a hobo over a Swiss Roll. Both seem likely at this point. 

Jimmy Carr, a brilliant comedian with not so sound financial decisions,  sums up comedy in a single sentence: “Comedy is simply either something unexpected, or something expected.” And when you really think about that, its true. At the punch line of every joke, it’s either exactly what you expected, or something you didn’t expect at all. Here is a great example from comedian Mitch Headburg:” I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.”
Expected or unexpected. That’s laughter and truly that’s life. Like the little girl on the subway, we just gotta keep laughing. Until Next time.

Laugh or I’ll tell it again. -Eugene Craven

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