• Ashley Craib

A Chain of Events

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

Two weeks ago I did a two day acting intensive. It was called From Audition To Set (FATS) at Drama Inc. taught by Alex Collins. My aunt passed away the night before the classes started, I almost didn't go. I'm grateful that I did. I made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and challenged myself as an actor. I'm proud of the work I put in. The workshop was 7 hours each day, with 14 pages total to memorize. Along with memorization you have to do your actor-homework. That's script analysis and combing through for minuscule details that help bring the character to life. I had a ton of fun with this. This class also set off a chain reaction for me that I didn't know was happening at the time.

Half of the class did a scene from the pilot of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I wasn't assigned to do this scene. I watched this scene performed over and over by my classmates. I then went home and decided to watch the pilot of this show that I purposely never watched. The show is about a female comedian. Most people know that I did stand up in LA for years before abruptly quitting and moving to Atlanta to focus solely on acting. I honestly would never have watched this show if it weren't for this class. I only watched the pilot to see how the actors cast performed the scene that my classmates did. I had zero interest in watching anything about stand up comedy. Doing stand up made me hate everything about stand up. This is coming from someone that used to watch comedy specials every night as a kid. Except for Saturdays, that was reserved for SNL, obviously. I moved to LA to go to the Groundlings because I wanted to be on SNL. That was my dream.

So I watched the pilot, and I watched another episode, and now I'm on the second season. I realized something; why I started doing stand up in the first place. I started doing comedy because you get an instant response. You aren't lost in the fog of never hearing back from an audition, or an agent not responding to your emails. You know right then and there if and what you did wrong. You also know what you're doing right. Comedy isn't easy by any means. But you get instant gratification. You're either doing well in the moment, or you aren't. There's no illusion. I couldn't tell you why I'm not auditioning anymore. I can't tell you if I did something wrong, or if it's just slow. I can tell you that I have this bit I do where the beginning and end kill, but the entire middle needs to be rewritten. There's something comforting about your career being in your own hands.

So I went to an open mic. Because the only thing I know I'm good at is being an idiot and making people laugh. I thought for sure I'd bomb because I haven't been on stage for a year and a half. I thought I may throw up or completely black out and forget how to string words together once I got up there. Turns out, I was fine and dipped back into my material like I never took the break. I didn't forget anything. I was comfortable back on stage. I got laughs where I was supposed to. Not a bad start to my reintroduction to the comedy scene.

I wrote a blog almost a year ago now about how I'm not a comic, I'm an actor. Well, shit. Maybe I am a comic. It seems to come the most natural for me. It's funny how life sets things into motion for you. Sometimes the lack of open doors is the universe pointing you in a different direction. Have you tried that window? It seems to be cracked, I bet you can fit through it. Who said you can't get some fresh air while waiting on someone to unlock that door?

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