… my sketch idea was more boring than it was in the end.
My church is moving into a new building, and they asked me to make a video to promote one of our Consecration events: We’re going to read the whole Bible aloud in a week, which should take roughly 24 hours each day. This means we need the whole church to take turns reading so nobody gets worn out.
I recruited my Flash Fiction partner, Brendon, to act in the video. My husband Blade helped with some of the technical aspects.* I wrote the basic outline for the sketch and edited the footage.
I had three ideas for the sketch, and they came to me in this order:
- Brendon signs up for all the reading slots, and I spend the video talking him out of it. I explain how the Consecration event actually works.
- Brendon signs up for all the slots and I coach him through it. He messes up a lot — reads the verse numbers and all the footnotes aloud, for instance — and I have to keep him on track.
- Brendon practices reading the whole Bible, and I just let him go.
The third thought ended up being the strongest. Del Close said** that an improviser’s first and second thoughts tend to be knee-jerk reactions. It’s usually a player’s third idea that has life.
The first thought was boring, because why would I spend 3 minutes trying to talk Brendon out of doing something? It’s always better to do something than it is to debate about doing something.
The second thought was based off the idea that we needed a straight man to ground the scene and set the record straight. Maybe we would need to explain more with some audiences, but our audience is biblically literate folks who like Rez on Facebook.
The third thought was the most energetic. It felt like Brendon and I were on the same team instead of him being on the Team of Fun and me being on the Team of Boring Reasonableness. Being on the same team is more joyful.
Also, my own role shrunk from actor/director/editor to director/editor, which felt better. Three hats is too many hats.
*Technical aspects include: Setting a camera up on a tripod, letting me know when we were out of battery, and teaching me how to use iMovie.
**I can’t find a citation for this, but I can find a lot of people writing, “Oh, yeah, a teacher told me that Del told her that …”