Sometimes I am terrible at being a person. This is an email I wrote to a friend immediately after I got back to my apartment last night in a freak-out. Some details you should know first:
-D.L. stands for Diamond Lion, a musical improv group I go to every Friday with two of my improv friends, one of whom this email was sent to.
-This night I went alone to the show.
-Mike is our improv team coach and member of D.L.
-Eliza is a founder/member of D.L. and someone I have a mind-crush on because she's so friggin' hilarious and good at being funny/witty.
The email as it was sent:
GAH! So I am not allowed to go to a D.L. show alone, nor can I sit in the front row ever again. This is the long story of why:
After the show I left and started to head back to my apartment, but as I crossed the street I remembered Mike's words that I (meaning you, Chris and I) should hang out with all of them after the show sometime. I stopped and let my phone decide my fate for the night . Afterall, it is a SMART phone, so it should know best. I used the dice app, which three out of three times said I should go be brave and be social. That was bad choice #1.
Everything that follows is bad choice #2.
I turned around and waited outside the theater where I saw a few people I recognized from different shows. There were more performers watching D.L. than usual. The guest was some comedian I remember from somewhere as well, but I forget exactly. There was one of the cast members of the office hanging out there too. Mike wasn't out yet and I didn't want to embarrass myself so I went into that new bar right next door, waited outside the bathroom for a few minutes until I realized it was free and I'm just an idiot. Afterward I waited nearish the bar pretending like I was thinking of what I wanted to order.
I then went back outside and saw Mike (yay) with a couple other people. I greeted him, he introduced me to one of his friends, we talked for a minute before they all started migrating to La Poubelle. Mike's friend went to go check on his car so I followed Mike (the only person who knew me) who was talking to the other lady from D.L. The one that's not Eliza. At La Poubelle I held the door open for a few other people, one of which was a great improv guy I've seen in a bunch of shows and he teaches at Second City, he asked if we'd met before and I made some lame, awkward response, we shook hands before he scurried away from me.
This is where shit gets real!
La Poubelle is standing room only and full of real comedians. Like ones I've seen on TV, they must have been from that comedy show earlier in the evening. Moving my way through the crowd I brush past Stephen Merchant. Stephen Merchant! Co-creator of the original Office, and every other thing Ricky Gervais has done! Wow!
I basically moved slowly and awkwardly by groups of overwhelmingly talented people towards the back of the restaurant. There in a semi circle, next to Eugene who was talking to some guy, there was a people-sized space and--you guessed it--Eliza Skinner was talking to another improv guy, one of the people who I kind of "met" at the cafe the other day with Mike.
I thought that was the perfect set-up. I knew Mike was in line for the restroom and I couldn't stand creepily alone any longer...so I sauntered over to the group that I had the best shot with and incorporated myself into that circle. I couldn't have been creepier if I tried. Eugene was too deep in conversation with the other guy to notice me and Eliza had her back to me...but the people she was talking to gave me strong looks of "um...why are you creeping here you creeper?" It didn't help that I was doing and saying nothing. Their conversation stopped and Eliza turned around and smiled at me...an awkward smile of "what are you?" I smiled and said "I liked the show." She thanked me. We stared. I continued with "I go to a lot of them, I really enjoy it, it's one of my favorites." She smiled and thanked me politely. I kept standing there feeling the awkwardness compound uncontrollably. Staring. Pressure. I blurted "I know Mike, he's my coach...and Eugene is my...uh...my 301 teacher."
Eliza's smile was even more forcibly polite, "yep, there's a lot of teachers in the group." I continued to stand as painfully awkward as anyone can.
I thought I'd name my thought, so I said "I'm feeling really awkward I don't know how to end this conversation."
Eliza said we could say our names, so we shook hands and said our names. Then continued to smile politely. In silence. I could not stop my brain or my mouth. "Yeah, I enjoy the stuff, this is really awkward. I don't know how to make it stop, so....yep...I should go now. Bye." At this point my brain hit the abort button and I just walked straight through the bar, past Stephen Merchant, the guy from the American Office and all the other people from TV and back into the night air where I mentally beat myself up all the way back to my apartment.
So yeah, from now on I'm not operating without wingmen...and I can no longer sit in the front row. Ever.