The utter stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.
I have a friend, a local actress, that was working with a local theatre's comedy improv company. I say was, because as of today, she was let go. Mind you, she's probably the most trained member of that group, has formal and informal credits up the wazoo, takes her art very seriously, and therein seems ot have been the issue. She was evaluated as being too serious for comedy improv.
What a load of crap.
I have seen her perform, and she was one of the best up there during the skits. (She probably was number two, behind this one guy who was very good.) It seems as though the powers that be that run this circus act seem to think that during rehearsals, she was too serious, and that she didn't loosen up enough. Excuse me, but, at the end of the day, what counts is what happens on stage during performance, period. From what I can tell, she was just fine, very loose, not nervous, and very quick as far as the routines were conencerned. (Short-form improv, a la "Whose Line Is It Anyway?")
Now, there was a small problem with one skit that they were planning to do, based on horror movies. She had an incident happen to her many years ago in which a friend of hers was killed, and while she was willing to participate in the skit, she just asked that nothing be directed at her eyes or neck. Of course, the heads of the troupe were a little shocked by what she told them, but, she never expected them to react the way they did.
So I get a phone call from her today, and she tell me they let her go. No explanantion other than what I described above, refusing to give her any other reason.
In essence, they fired her for being human.
So, they let go someone that could have been an asset to them with just a little more time to adjust to this style of performing, (she had been there about 8 months.) instead of trying to approach her and extend a hand to help. They blew it, and as I also found out, they never really made her feel totally welcome in the group, which didn't help matters any.
I am here to listen to her, but I know this has killed her self-esteem big time. She is a talented childrens educator, she uses improv and theatre to create innovative programs for kids, and I have seen the letters of commendation and outright gushing over what she has created for a variety of children's organizations. Oh, and in case you were wondering, she's acted in off-Broadway, regional, and London West End shows, so she's no slouch.
As far as I'm concerned, this improv group is run by a team of trained monkeys. For now, the best I can do for her is lend an ear, and hopefully offer some suggestions.
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