I’ve been going through the motions. I wake up, go to work, come home, and try to recreate any semblance of the creative life I once had back in Iowa. It’s odd. Different. I’m adjusting. And that’s the thing about adjusting, I find myself compromising the life I had dreamed about for something else. I want to say that there’s not enough time in the day to do what I want but I also don’t use my time wisely. I hoard time. I get greedy and sometimes overdo what I want. I fill my time with multiple creative outlets that suck the life out of me. I feel lost in my head but feel grounded in my heart. The creative life is odd. It has its challenges but it rewards you in ways you never could’ve imagined. You feel closer to humanity. You feel connected to every fiber of your being but that connection is short lived. You come back to it wanting to recreate that feeling over and over again but it feels not as close as you want it to be. You develop taste. This creative life is dangerous. Like a drug. You become addicted to it. Sometimes it hurts you and sometimes it relieves you. This creative life is what I’ve been living for so long and it’s all I know. Always curious and always seeking answers to life’s unanswerable questions.
It’s now twice that I’ve experienced grief.
First, I lost my grandfather to liver cancer. It was the first time where I saw someone battle and lose. I mourned for days, weeks, months– The grief never leaves you. It stays. It may manifests into other forms over time like nostalgia but it stays with you.
On March 5th, 2017, I lost someone again–my good friend Patrick Boyle.
I met Patrick over a year ago through an improv class and ever since then, we continued to perform together as a team. He loved improv and comedy in such a way that it honestly turned me off. Not going to lie. He was obsessed. But that obsession grew on me. It morphed into a life of passion and eagerness to learn comedy. He was a highly motivated student who worked hard to connect with the community of improvisers. He shared his passions and knowledge to his closest friends and colleagues. And above all, he was consistent. People come and go… they seek improv with expectations that it’s a means to an end but not Patrick. He was in it for the long haul no matter how difficult or how heartbreaking it might be, he was going to keep performing, learning, engaging, and loving improv more than anyone else I knew. When he improvised scenes, he showed me how to approach the stage by putting other person first before yourself. I miss him and will continue to miss my good friend Patrick. He will not be forgotten because his death only showed me to never take granted of those who you share the stage with. When you’re on that stage, enjoy the creation of those scenes you’re building together. Making deep meaningful connections on stage with the person you’re standing with. The more I performed with Patrick, the more I got to know his humanity just a little bit more.
Thank you for everything, Patrick. You will not be forgotten as long as I continue to improvise. Whenever I perform, I’ll make sure to bring a little bit of you on stage with me because of what I learned from you– compassion, empathy, and bringing with me on stage the love of learning one of the most creative comedic art forms– improv.
DICK: I forgot to turn off the light.
PAM: Should I get up?
DICK: No, no, no. I’ll do it. You’re already in bed.
PAM: I can get up.
DICK: I can turn off the light.
DICK: In a minute…
PAM: I’m getting up.
DICK: No, no, no– I can do it.
PAM: Let me know when you do.
DICK: I’ll get up right now.
PAM: Any minute now–
DICK: Right… now.
DICK: I’m just going to run, turn it off, and come back to bed.
PAM: Ready? Set. Go!
DICK: I’ll do it in the morning.