The Tang Triplet Improv Troupe

Tonight, my two brothers and I were driving home from dinner at a Chinese restaurant– Austin at the wheel, Chris claiming passenger’s seat and me in the rear– when an idea struck me. What if the three of us formed an improv comedy troupe?

At first, I was only half-kidding, but upon further thought, I wondered if the idea could actually come to fruition. Austin and Chris are two of the wittiest people I know. Chris is both hilarious and a natural actor. While performing may not be Austin’s forté, I’m sure he is trainable. As for me… well, I know I am nowhere near as sharp or witty as Austin and Chris are. When I converse with others, I find that I take every word uttered by the other party to face value. I still find it difficult to separate jest from serious discussion. I have little to no concept of sarcasm. When someone says something funny, I feel pressure to respond with something equally funny. These situations often end with me unable to think of a witty-enough reply, and turning to laughter as a means of respectful acknowledgement of the joke (also a means to fill the silence, lol).

Anyway, I proposed the idea of forming an improv comedy trio to my brothers. Austin replied that he’d be the weak-link of the three. I disagreed, expressing my admiration of his ability to crack witty jokes at the drop of a pen. I told my brothers that I wished for their mental acuity. Maybe the gene decided to skip over me. I don’t know.

Austin and Chris replied that, what I lack in intelligence and wit, I make up in eloquent delivery. I suppose my strong presence beneath the garish lights of the stage, made possible by many years of competing and performing in rhythmic gymnastics, gives people the illusion that I know what the hell I’m doing/saying, when in fact, my mind draws a blank the moment I’m placed in the spotlight. Performing is my strong-suit, which is a little ironic, considering my long-time struggle with stage fright and performance anxiety.

I mulled over my brothers’ observation for a minute. I wasn’t sure whether or not to take their remark as an insult or compliment. Basically, they were saying that my performance ability/projective confidence on the stage hides the deficiencies of my mental capacity. Well, I’d just as well be called a “master bullshitter”, then.

What I aspire to be is a sharp-minded, intelligent individual with the ability to communicate such knowledge to others in an engaging manner. That is, being both knowledgeable and charismatic. I suppose the charisma part comes more naturally to me than the knowledge-acquisition part. Correction– not knowledge-acquisition, but rather, mental sharpness. You know, the ability to both absorb and apply learned information in a quick manner. This particular skill is one I’m weak in, at least compared to my two brothers.

Anyway, while the Tang Triplet Improv Troupe may not be making its stage debut anytime soon, the conversation it sparked tonight has given me renewed motivation to train my mind to be sharper and more aware of the happenings of the outside world, beyond the bubble of my private thoughts.

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