This is a guest post from Anonymous
My colourful family includes divorcees, cheating, unplanned teen pregnancies, and gays. All this while growing up in bible town, in the Midwest USA. The community was constantly disappointed in the Waldenbergers. We went to various churches in town to fit in; Baptist, Christian, Episcopal and the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was no use, we did not believe. I accepted this fate, while still showing up at Church for Easter pretending to be interested so when asked how I spent Easter, I’d have an acceptable answer.
I turned to comedy to for help. I stayed up late on Saturday nights to watch SNL with my older siblings. Laughing made everything better.
One day at school I was walking to class and daydreaming about one of the sketches from SNL. It was around the time that Nut N Honey cereal came out. And the real commercial was a wife and husband having breakfast, and one says to the other “Hey Honey, what are you eating?” and the answer is “Nut N Honey.” The SNL version was “Nut N Homo Cereal,” featuring two army soldiers eating breakfast.
Suddenly Shelby appeared in the corridor, her father was a pastor at the local Baptist church. She was also a popular athlete. She asked me, “What’s more important – One: Marry a guy who is the same church or, two: marry a guy you love. I said, Marry a guy you love. She said “Wrong!”
I remember the situation because it was the first insult that went right through me and caused zero pain. I was deep in thought about the genius that invented ‘Nut N Homo’ cereal for SNL. I wanted to be like them, I don’t know if they go to church, but SNL made fun of everything equally. I wanted to do the same. I didn’t want to live in bible town USA. I wanted to go to Chicago and meet comedians and get a good job and live.
So, I did move to Chicago and went to university there. I attended improvisation and stand up shows. I didn’t participate during college I just watched. It made me laugh, When I laughed, I forgot about rent and studying and food – I just felt happy.
A few years later while living in Frankfurt Germany in 2009, I rediscovered improvisation again and joined FITS. We performed at Interkulturelle Buehne Frankfurt and then The Orange Peel every 3rd Thursday. FITS brought English speaking improvisation to Frankfurt. I didn’t know much about improvisation was when I agreed to join, it made me laugh and it felt good, so I continued. We got into some long-form stuff that I didn’t understand, and it took a while to appreciate. Long-form is hit or miss, but as long as I laugh I am in!
Laughter cures what ails us. If you think you don’t laugh enough, I recommend a dose of improvisation. Who cares if your boss is a total arsehole when you can laugh at it all, the hard stuff doesn’t matter.