Today I had my second to last class of Sketch Writing Level II. We have had a few weeks off, which is not a good thing for me. When given too much time, I tend to do nothing with it. I wrote a sketch, and some ideas for a classmate's sketch from the last class. During most of the editing critique, we were all telling each other "It's good." There weren't a lot of critiques to make. Our instructor Dave commented on that as well. He said he felt bad just telling us "I like it" since that isn't really necessarily constructive criticism.
My Level I teacher stressed the importance of finding writing partners, because it can just be great to bounce ideas off of someone else. I feel like I do this in real life. Most of my friends are hilarious, and when we talk and joke, there is an energy there that just makes everything funnier. Today felt like that. We started Level II as two halves of Level I classes coming together, like two junior high schools learning to coincide as one in high school. We still give feedback, but we've all become much better at the craft, so the comments are "Here's how to make this funny part even funnier!" and not "Here are the jokes you should cut!"
We did a brainstorming activity today, as we always do. Today, we were supposed to just shout out ideas on what's funny about: Negotiation, babies, and religious ceremonies. At first there was silence. Then an idea or two. Then a joke. Then a ridiculous story. By the end when the list was read back to us, we were all laughing hysterically. Earlier in the class, there was even a real life spit take. My classmate Megan and I weren't even angry that we had coffee spit on us. As I told the spit-taker "You just became a real life 'Saved by the Bell' character!" Nothing wrong with that.
As writers, we all have more work to do. Our sketches are not perfect, but one of the things we have been saying more and more is that new ideas will come from acting it out and rehearsing the sketches. We are talking about staging the sketches, which is what we will actually be doing after the next course. My classmate Ciaran said "We HAVE to be in the sketches when they do it!" I am frightened to actually be in the sketches, or to have something I've written performed; I am more excited than I am frightened. I have one more week of Level II left and then I will be signing up for Level III. I am considering taking some improv classes too, to make me less of a stiff for my big debut.