I knew that Deprivation Week was having it’s impacts on me but this was a new one. And with my vast (nearly 5 days) experience of Deprivation Week, a surprising one. I knew about the sleep issues, the cravings and the need for projects. In hindsight I could feel that all week I was a little extra Nina (if you will) a bit more of what makes me, me. I had spent a lot of time with my family. Driving to or from school/dance/Poekoelan, making and eating dinner. So I hadn’t been in a large group this week. Then I went to Nikki’s show at Curious Comedy Theater.
My job for these nights is driver/roadie. So I get there before the rest of the audience is allowed in. As soon as people started coming in I became someone else. Deprivation Week + large group of people = Cruise Director Julie McCoy! You know, from the Love Boat. I was talking up a storm. Meeting and greeting family, acquaintances and strangers alike. Chatting it up like it was my job. It was like a need I couldn’t resist. I had to do it! Correction I did it, it wasn’t a choice.
It was a smaller crowd than normal and a few of the comedians commented that we (the audience) were more quiet than normal. I then became hyper aware of my laughing. For those of you who don’t know, I am a loud laugher. I always have been. In college people always knew when I was in the audience. And this night was no different.
I had to take a moment and think… I looked at my wine glass, I was only half way through, I wasn’t drunk, I didn’t think I was being louder than normal, it must have been everyone was being quiet… I did not like this kind of internal dialogue at a comedy show of all place. I mean come on, I was there to laugh. Weren’t we all there to laugh? I just needed the rest of the audience to step it up! For the longest time it was just me or me and a woman in the back who was more commenting then laughing. I ate my popcorn and my spinach/artichoke dip, drank my wine and my water and tried to will everyone to laugh with me.
No offense to the other talented women who performed that night, you know I think you’re great. But when my sister in law took the stage the audience was finally with me. I was no longer the loan laugher, no longer the crazy person sitting on the park bench laughing and talking to her imaginary pigeons. No, at last I was part of an audience at a comedy show! I don’t know what took those people so long to catch up but when they joined me it was bliss. Nikki was hitting every note and the audience was eating it up!
On the drive home I had time to dissecting and analyze my behavior. Was this another side effect of deprivation? Did I so need the stimulation that I was missing from reading, TV, iTunes and Netflix that I made that audience into my own Reading/TV/iTunes/Netflix? Up until that evening I was only focused on the negative of these things. The way I had let them become an addiction that I desperately clung to. My passive aggressive, non productive, fear of failure, fear of success, avoiding with a capital A activities of choice. Suddenly I was seeing something else they gave me. I’m not saying they are a healthy supplement to actual human interaction. But it was a new and interesting perspective on what had grown into a giant monster in just a weeks time. For a brief few hours Deprivation Week put me a few steps shy of manic. Not manic in a bad way. Manic like I was in high school and college. Manic – “showing wild and apparently deranged excitement and energy.” Not deranged. Just the wild excitement and energy part. Thank you New Oxford American Dictionary!
Every day is a school day (that’s for you Dad!) and I continue to learn as I live in Deprivation Week.