What do you feel when you see this photo?
Did your heart beat faster? But like because you’d NEVER want to see a theater from the stage like this? Or did it beat faster because you got a shot of adrenaline and imagined all of these seats filled with people and all eyes focused on you? Or did you just get up and get yourself some hot cheetos and takis?! (cause if you did, give ME some!)
Yeah. That’s where we draw the line. That’s when you know if you are a performer. Life boils down to FIGHT or FLIGHT, man. Do you FIGHT in this arena and get some meaning out of it? Or do you run the f*ck away?
For my friends who are not performers, they are dumbfounded by why we would put ourselves in front of everyone on a stage underneath blinding lights. Maybe it’s some reptilian impulse for us to avoid such focused scrutiny of the masses.
Don’t you get nervous? Isn’t it scary? I don’t understand why anyone would put themselves through that kind of pressure.
Sometimes I wished they’d understand (insert SADFACE). Most people see this photo and feel intense anxiety. When I see this photo I feel joy and excitement.
Let me explain: the photo above is the view from the stage of the Renton Civic Theatre, located twenty minutes south of downtown Seattle. This is the location of our Dis/orient/ed Comedy Seattle show this Saturday night, March 16th, 2013. My Seattle-based co-producer of the show took this photo so that those of us in Los Angeles could see what we were getting ourselves into.
WHAT ARE WE GETTING OURSELVES INTO?! This is the first time we’ve taken our all female, Asian American stand up comedy show to a city outside of the Los Angeles area and it’s kinda freaking me out. Oh. I’m not freaking out because this stage and the audience is so big – three hundred pairs of eyes in the audience WHEN we sell out the house – but because this we are aiming to attract a pretty sizable audience for our new-ish tour in a city new to most of us.
And guess what? In the end, even this freak-out energy transforms into excitement.
Every day I remind myself that it’s a gift for us to have a platform to entertain and share ourselves with others, often with complete strangers.
So hey! Thank you, Seattle. Thank you so much. As of this post, we are ALMOST sold-out! Nearly 300 of you will be our new friends this Saturday evening! When you see us (Aparna Nancherla, Mona Concepcion, Yola Lu, Atsuko Okatsuka and Jenny Yang) on the stage performing our hearts out, you will know exactly what we see in the photo: a room filled with happy faces, ready-to-laugh. It’s a beautiful thing.