Wednesday, September 29, 2010


My views of the world are somewhat non-mainstream. I majored in mysticism at NYU. And I identify as a mythpunk, so gimme some of that post-modern myth making pls.

As such I see elements of sympathetic magic in putting together an improv practice group.

Over the years I've seen lots of projects start up or fall to pieces all over the four corners of fandom and geek culture. I've had successes and failures of my own, and I think I can pin down at least one important factor of making things happen:

If you want to organize a number of people into a reliable, committed working group, you have to BE organized, reliable, and committed.

Take the responsibility to invite people, communicate with them, and remind them to show up for practice. Be consistent with delivering information. Act like the responsible person you want to see in others, even if you're not the one in charge, because it will inspire others to do likewise.

Welcome to sympathetic magic, which can sometimes be paraphrased as "Fake it until you make it." Eventually, it won't have to be faked, and the world will respond in kind.

But you have to emulate and become the qualities you want to see reflected around you, waiting for someone else to take the initiative will not work. "Flake it until you make it," is not an adequate alternative.

On a related note I met a Voodou priestess last weekend. After giving a lovely talk on her religion and the practices of her House, she offered readings. I asked about my place in the improv scene, and she read that I could bring the scene creativity, fire, inspiration, and ... virtue? She was just as confused at that as I was.

I don't consider celibacy or singledom to be a virtue unto itself. But getting things done and holding up your end of agreements is most virtuous in my mind. Plenty of people already do that in improv, and I hope to live up to their examples and add one more.

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