Sana lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and wears a hijab. She wrote to me a month before the Edmonton Naked Comedy Lab and asked if I required workshop participants to get literally naked. I answered no, that spiritual nakedness is the only workshop’s only requirement. She signed up. After the workshop, during which she was quite funny, she wrote me this email:
I had much fun at the workshop. I found it fascinating, and I gained a great deal. I think you're a gifted teacher. Thank you for sharing with us.
I am still grappling with the experience as a whole, trying to make sense of it, trying to understand if it's something I would explore further. I'm trying to understand the underpinning philosophy, I suppose. I mean, why? Why do people find such stupid shit funny? And why would one choose to do such stupid shit? Is laughter, in and of itself, enough of a reason? Is there subtext at all to this humour? I'm especially curious about the darker end of the humour spectrum.
She asked me if there were books she could read, or any writing I’ve done on these subjects. This blog is for her, and for me, and for anyone who is part of the conversation about comedy that is vulnerable and present and honest and deeply human, about why that kind of comedy works so well, and why it can be so empowering and fun for the performer to perform comedy in this way.
I have entirely too much to say on this subject, so really, this blog is for me. Thank you, self, for giving me this wonderful gift of a blog! Thank you Sana for inspiring it! And thank you, dear reader, who is here in this moment on this journey with me! We are exchanging among ourselves the most adorably wrapped of gifts, in tiny woven Japanese boxes like the kind they serve sticky rice in.
This first blog entry comes to us from Room 6 of the Green Springs Inn, a cedar plank motel with attached cozy diner 16 miles outside of Ashland, Oregon, in the Cascade mountains. I have been on tour for 3 months, in Alberta and BC and Oregon and Washington. I have only stayed in a few motel rooms, but this one is the best. Earlier tonight, I had rhubarb pie in the cozy diner while I listened on my headphones to a podcast about a murder investigation. I feel like I am inside Twin Peaks tonight. Tomorrow I am on now my way to San Francisco. My weekend’s shows coincide, apparently, with the World Series, with the Niners in it and everything. We shall see how it all goes. I am feeling mostly pretty zen.
Here are some of the questions I’m going to meditate on, let’s say in the next few months:
- What is Clown, what is Bouffon? Which one are you? What does it mean to work on the Clown-to-Bouffon spectrum?
- Wet dreams: how Naked Comedy seeks to fondle, ingest and penetrate other Comedy realms
- Lessons of Touring
- Just answering Sana’s g.d. questions already; she wrote that email in August!
Thanks!!! More to come!!!!