Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finding joy in a group project

Before I left Chicago, a bunch of my friends from the improv program at Second City decided that we wanted to continue working together. But what would we do? Improv, sketch, something else? We discussed some ideas loosely one day, and then we decided on a particular project: Yard Times, the misadventures of a scraggly group of lawn work laborers.

Except I wasn't there the day that decision was made; and I wasn't too interested in that premise. So how has it gone, working on something that I wouldn't have chosen?

OK, I'm going to say: like any group project, there are differences in taste and interest. For instance, when we broke the story for this season's episodes, there was one episode involving a "slambook," a concept I'm only dimly familiar with thanks to Mean Girls. And I got to write that episode. I wouldn't have thought of using a slambook on my own; but since I was doing the first draft of the episode, I got to make it my own.

(In this case, my own means it turns into its opposite: a book of praise, an encomiumbook instead of a slambook.)

So here's an ongoing lesson I've learned and am still learning from group writing projects: take what's offered and find your own joy in the idea, without losing sight of the group's shared goal.

Which in our case is money.

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