Surprising yourself

From Black Swan:

Nina: I want to be perfect.
Thomas: [scoffs] Perfection is not just about control. It's also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience. Transcendence! Very few have it in them.


Applied to comedy, it's a good argument for abandoning the script onstage. Surprise is key to getting laughs. And if you're surprised by what you're saying, chances are they will be too.

I had no idea where I was going during this set. That's why it was so gratifying when I actually wound up somewhere. Felt like completing a wobbly tightrope walk.

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