This past week has been a roller coaster. For me, for my peers, and for the world.
It’s shaken me up in a way I’ve not been shaken up before, and I feel a sort of call to action. A call to take arms and create art that FIGHTS against Trump’s America.
But I’m currently directing a silly comedy and thats what I’m doing right now and what I have to do because I’m directing it and I have to do it.
At first this was disheartening. On our rehearsal, the day after the election, I felt silly. I thought, “Why am I making these people try and be funny when they’re so untethered?” “How is this fair of me?,” “Shouldn’t I be making art that SPEAKS to todays CLIMATE??” and to cheer myself up, I googled, “Why does comedy matter?” because I know I love comedy, and I know it makes me feel better but I wasn’t sure why.
And I found an article on Howlround called: Laughing Matters: Why Comedy is Important Even in Tragedy.
“Laughter is one of the most intimate experiences one person can have with another; it is a shared experience that elicits a physical and oftentimes euphoric response. I have always felt that I am closer with a person once I have had a laugh with them. This can be anything from a small accident laughed off with a stranger, to a full-throttle, debilitating outburst shared with a close friend. In either case, there is a sometimes strong and often unexpected experience between all parties involved that can exclude the outside world and build an emotional connection between those partaking in the laugh. Such has always been my experience and observation, and has made me more emotionally invested to those that I have laughed with.
It is for this reason that I am more likely to cry with someone once I have already laughed with them. After developing a bond based on happiness, any interjection of sadness becomes more severe and impactful. This is a phenomenon that I see in my real life that transfers to the stage. When I have spent the majority of act one laughing with or at a character and becoming permeated with the more comical facets of their life, I am all the more susceptible to tears and emotional outpouring when everything falls apart for them in act two. The higher they climb, the harder they fall.”
So yeah. Comedy is important! Comedy is IMPORTANT. Its okay to be light. Because it matters. Laughing is intimate–its vulnerable. It is important.