The last few months have been difficult on the Second City community. The loss of Mary Scruggs weeks ago is now followed by the loss of Joyce Sloane.
I did not have the honor of meeting or working with Ms. Sloane, but I did briefly watch Mary Scruggs work her magic when she met with writers whose show I was in. She was proud of them for completing the program. She was *proud.* I have no idea how many hundreds of students she has worked with, how many thousands she met, but she treated this group as though they were her first, her best, her favorite. I’m fairly sure that she treated every group this way.
That is the making of a great teacher and a great improviser and a great human being.
Ms. Sloane, it would seem from the FB comments I read, had a similar generosity of spirit and deed. She gave. She laughed.
This is the Spirit of the sketch and improv community that I crave(d). It is, it seems, more the bright and wonderful exception these days. Now, I am completely willing to acknowledge that is just my unfortunate experience…that I’ve been given a handful of frustrated and jaded instructors and worked with many insecure, tender, career-driven actors. It is so very important, then, to recognize and celebrate the powerhouses of talent and giving that I have also worked with. They are human, of course, and prone to the same worries that I addressed yesterday, but they push beyond. They focus on the art, the craft, and most importantly, the people.
We are supposed to, every so often, take stock in our life. One method is to ponder how we want to be eulogized and remembered…as morbid as that can sometimes be. It’s very easy for me to fret, here at the age of 38. I flounder a lot, but am inspired by what I read people saying about Joyce Sloane and Mary Scruggs. They were beloved. They laughed a lot. They gave.
That is a lot to hope to be remembered for.
Related (or unrelated) is that I got promoted to Assistant Director for the show I am working on. I am honored, flattered, and proud! This is an even greater opportunity to give and to grow.
Thank you for letting me process and meditate on “paper” here.