The first time anyone asked me to write something that was going to be performed, I was super excited. Keep in mind, I was like 16 or 17 and it was for a youth group family Thanksgiving dinner. I was pretty sure it was the best thing ever. Everyone involved assured me it was hilarious. I wrote them, we practiced them, finalized the details and then it was time. Here are the basic ideas for the two that we chose.
1. A classic Pilgrim/Indian (Native American?!?) first Thanksgiving dinner scene. I remember there was a lot of arguing and at one point someone (my dear friend Jimmy who may or may not have understood why) stood up and screamed I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS! It ended with a huge dance party.
2. A youth pastor (my friend Lance who had a looooong blonde ponytail wig with beads and green pieces of hair woven throughout) invites a kid from his youth group to bring her family to eat Thanksgiving with him and his family. They discover upon their arrival that the youth pastor is homeless and is living out of his car where he plans to serve them dinner. The entire thing took place inside of Lance’s actual small two door Ford Escort that we had driven inside of the building through a warehouse door.
They both completely BOMBED. Is that any sort of surprise? I was laughing hysterically out in the crowd surrounded by total silence. But for some reason, it didn’t bother me. The sketches were in all reality, terrible. But I was excited to have written something that people were actually putting into action and didn’t let it get me down. Someone came up to me after and said they thought I had talent. Thanks to that person. You were super cool.
The next year, they asked me to write them again. I went with something lame like kids bothering a dad while he’s trying to watch football and everyone laughed. Whatever.
I hope I can keep that mindset from the night when they bombed. People aren’t always going to love what you write but it’s important to remember, it’s better to be writing something and finding out your strengths, and what sucks. Write more and keep it moving.