Thursday night Ron and I went up to see a Groundlings improv show with our friends John and Deb. Before the show, we went to eat at Phillipe’s, which has the best French Dip sandwiches ever. And also baked apples, which are amazing. I don’t get to go there much anymore, because the drive isn’t that long, but it’s a little long for a sandwich.

The show was really, really funny. I totally recommend seeing it if you’re in the Los Angeles area. (It’s not family friendly though, so leave the kidlets at home.) This particular show, Cooking with Gas, was all improv with no sketches (other shows on other nights at The Groundlings also have a sketch component). The whole cast was really talented and there were only a few moments where the scenes they were doing didn’t work for whatever reason. Mostly, it was really clever and funny. I’m always impressed when actors commit to what they are doing, and these guys were totally there. In fact, the one scene that really didn’t work for me, it was because the actors were trying to kind of backpedal out of earlier choices they had made, instead of committing. But mostly, it didn’t matter how ridiculous a bit was going to make them look, they went for it wholeheartedly.

I think the thing that impressed me most is that the actors really listened to what was going on in scene and mostly could respond organically. This is where I have a lot of trouble with improv. Even though I know better, I find myself trying to be funny. Or I reject my first instinct as too boring or too ordinary or too obvious (and really, I’m a pretty darn boring person if you want to know the truth) and try to come up with something more interesting and I get paralyzed. I’ve never taken an improv class, because when I have to do improv I feel just nauseated with worry. The idea of experiencing that week after week doesn’t sound appealing. Of course, I felt the same way about my scene study class and I think that turned out mostly okay. My fear of it probably means that taking an improv class is exactly what I should be doing. And if I felt less icky about the acting world right now, I probably would.

But acting in general is in a weird place for me right now. Or am I in a weird place in it? I don’t know. I feel like I’m in some kind of limbo.

I find myself really wanting to do another show, since it’s been a while. But nothing that the theatres around here are doing is right for me right now. It’s either a show I don’t have any desire to be in at all, a show with no role that I’m interested in playing, or a show with a role I would love to play but that I know the director won’t consider me for because–well you know, all that “type” stuff. I’m running into trouble because I’m not marketable or easily typed. I get totally different answers from people about the kinds of roles I can play, so that it’s gotten to the point that I don’t know what to try for anymore.

It’s confusing to get told in the same day that I’m too young to play a character in her thirties and too old to play a character in her twenties. This was by two different people. And I recognize that those are individual opinions. The point is that I can never know how a director is going to see me. Unlike some other actors, I can’t say “Oh, I’m a _______” and know what kinds of roles to submit myself for.

I know that as an actress, I’m not supposed to worry about these things. I’m just supposed to go to an audition and do my best work. But auditioning takes time and energy and preparation and I don’t like to spin my wheels and just audition for stuff to be auditioning. I don’t want to audition for a show where there is literally no chance that I will be cast. My time is valuable and I don’t want to waste it. And I’m not saying that an audition where I don’t get cast is a waste of my time. But an audition where I’m not even considered is a waste of my time, if that makes sense.

I’m not feel particularly sad or heartbroken about this. This is just where I am right now. I probably won’t feel this way forever. There are some projects coming up places later in 2013 that I feel like I want to do and might have a chance to do, so I’m prepping for those auditions. I’m just debating what I should do to feed my acting desire in the meantime.