A Writer Without Words?

I teach public speaking workshops. Love doing it. Love showing people that public speaking doesn't mean you have to be this robot clone who never falters or makes a mistake, but that it's more about being a real person with real ideas and just talking to people like you were having coffee with a friend.

Which is a long route to saying that I'm comfortable speaking in public, I'm pretty quick on my feet, questions don't bother me and, if I may tout my own horn, I'm a pretty funny person. Just ask my husband. (As if he'd dare to say otherwise).

When I decided to sign up for a 4-week improv comedy workshop, I thought it would be fun.  I'd step a teensy bit outside my comfort zone, learn some new skills, maybe find new material to bring to my public speaking classes. Cool.

So it was nothing short of a full-blown ego-jolt to discover that not only am I not funny at improv, I completely and totally no-holds-barred suck at it.

I am okay with the sucking and will continue the classes regardless. But get this. One of the first exercises we had to do was a simply rhyming game. Rhymes. I'm a writer. I work with words for a living. This should not present a challenge.

HA! The game was you had to sing--very fast--the da-do-run-run song. I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still. Da-do-da-run-run, da-do-run-run.

Only you inserted a one syllable name . I met him on a Monday and his name was Ted. Da-do-da-run-run, da-do-run-run. Now you kept rhyming. He had a cold so he went to bed. da-do-da-run-run, da-do-run-run.

Then, if it was your turn in line, you were screwed b/c you had to come up with 3 rhymes right in a row (again, singing at breakneck speed). So the group would say, manamana, and then you'd have to come up with the rhymes. So it looks like this:

Group: Manamana

You: His face turned red

Group: Manamana

You: And his fingers bled

Group: Manamana

You: So we left him for dead

Everyone: da-do-da-run-run, da-do-run-run

Then the next person goes and you keep going until people can't come up with any more rhymes.

I know what you're thinking. It looks easy (and very classy). IT'S NOT. But still, I can't even believe that when my turn came I blanked on any word in the English language that might rhyme with "Bill." Pill, chill, thrill, frill, dill, kill, mill, ....see, I can do it now. But apparently my brain goes into lockdown under pressure. But how heartening to see that the stoned-out druggie performing next to me can come up with eighty rhymes to go with "Ann" and I can't think of one. Makes me want to go home and fling my laptop out the window.

But first I need to get ready for next week's class. I'm looking up all words that rhyme with one syllable names - Ed, Ann, Pam, Ted, Bill, Trish...

Who said comedy was fun?