Improv Can Save Your Life
Last week during my first comedy improv and acting class, I felt so centered, and alive, and present in the moment, that it occurred to me I was experiencing what people are describing when they rave about yoga.
It was a perfect night. The rooftop courtyard looked out over the Executive Office Building and the Mall. Beyond them lay the Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin, and the Potomac. There were two telescopes on the roof. One was trained on the tourists on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. The other, pointed at the end of the runway at National Airport, gave a remarkable view of landing passenger...
An Offering for Russia
Russia! I know you only through your quirky and enigmatic literature, full of ranting underground lunatics, characters who bustle and fly, and noses that roam St. Petersburg. It always seemed that there was something essential it was trying to tell me that I couldn’t understand. more here
"King of the Hill" Meets "Juno"
What to make of “Citrus County,” the first book in the Rumpus Book of the Month Club? It reads like a “King of the Hill” episode, by which I mean, it is a spot-on and hilariously clever coming of age story. Quirky, but with heart! Which is what makes the protagonist’s kidnapping of the little sister of his junior high school crush so weird. It’s never clear why...
20 More Under 40
It was as if everyone was primed to find something objectionable in the New Yorker’s 20 under 40 issue, but then, when the time came, no one could quite work up the energy. Writers at HTML Giant mocked the idea, but not in a pointed way. Steve Almond admitted to being depressed and slightly jealous, but then squelched his self-pity with a rallying cry. This is as it should be. The New...
The Beautiful Game
I am watching the World Cup on Univision, which is really the only way to watch the games. Even if, like me, your limited Spanish doesn’t allow you to understand much of what the announcers are saying, the urgency they convey is worth the incomprehensibility of their commentary. The thing is: they care about the game. You can just tell. Unlike the announcers on ESPN, who let their attention...
Take Heart Young Lions!
There are a myriad consolations for the struggling fiction writer. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles, interviews, and essays in which accomplished writers describe the frustrations of their craft, the deepest of which may be the artist’s despairing battle against his or her personal demons. This week on the Rumpus, Steve Almond takes up this theme in reference to the...
Testing, testing . . .
Check one, check one. Check, check. Testing, testing. One, two. Check, check. How you feeling out there? (crowd roar)