Measure of a Man

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. — attributed to J.K. Rowling (although I can’t believe that the subject never came up earlier in the whole of human history.)

As wonderful as the improv community is, and it genuinely is, it’s not so inspiring to watch how differently people in it behave, depending on the status of who is watching.

I’ve been to several auditions recently. Most recently today, at Second City. Not one of the professional revues, or the Touring Company, and not something that anyone will be making a living off of, but something with, I think, some official support and certainly some prestige. It was after work, so I went directly there, and arrived about half an hour early. And I wasn’t the first one there. Nobody showed up late, or even terribly close to it, and as near as I can tell, everyone who signed up showed up.

Contrast that to some of the other auditions I’ve been to recently. I arrived early (I’m like that), but not nearly that early, and I was still first. One had ten scheduled, and only half of us showed. Another had “several” (the auditor didn’t specify) and I was the only one who came. He even waited for fifteen minutes, and called the people who had signed up, to no response.

Needless to say, these weren’t shows that had the cachet of a Second City production.

I understand the human nature, that “important” people get treated better. Improvisors tend to pride themselves on the wonderfulness of the community, though, so I wonder why they aren’t more fastidious about extending this wonderfulness, no matter how high the status of the potential recipient.

It’s late, this isn’t well thought-out. But at some point, this will make it into Unnamed Hypothetical Improv-set Novel.