Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 383 - Comedy Improv Can Save The World

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Actually feeling a lot lately. And I seem to be writing a lot more lately. At this moment, I’m in the space to dissect even further into my intuition that tells me (often passionately) that comedy improv is one tool that can save the world. Many of my students and I have discussed this topic at length but as I continue to grow and teach I learn so much from my students so I am (along with my syllabus) always expanding my passion and love of sharing improv. The truth is that the laughs, the play and the fun are just a bonus that will inevitably appear to those that commit to the craft. During my experiences as a performer and teacher, I see that this form of play provides a powerfully safe tool when we listen to that voice in us that says it’s time to leap into the void.

The most important words when doing comedy improv are “YES AND…” Applying these 2 words allows for compassionate conversation. The performers and the audience will feel the conversation lift. There are many ways to manage our angst and improv gives us space to do that. “Yes and” gently assists us from detaching from our uncomfortable struggles. For example, “Yes that was tragic. And maybe a greater dance of life is unfolding from this struggle. “We can even apply this on ourselves. “Yes that happened. And now I have the space to….”

There’s no resistance with “Yes and.” The other person has nothing to push against. Everything seamlessly calms down and a conversation can flow. I see so many people willing, ready and hungry to grow and change. I feel it comes down to utter faith when we’re ready to take that leap into the unknown. The ride will happen. Yes, we have no idea how it will play out. And Improv is a tool that will make it go smoother.

I’m very much in a place where I feel we are being called to heal ourselves. Then our community. Improv is an astonishing helpful way to allow that to happen. I’ve worked with engineers, at risk youth and VERY Republican women. Communities evolved. Fast. Improv is a safe context to get a vibrant connected community together. With laughter. Anyone who says that laughter is not healing is exercising superiority and control. I bless them and walk away.

I use the word “safe” quite a bit. Let’s face it, you can’t change the world by freaking people out. Improv allows us to let go of certainty. And in a way that allows others to support us along this challenging journey. And we’re helping them. We come out of it. We land where we need to be knowing that we’re fundamentally changed. Then life starts working for us rather than against us

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 382 - Jacqueline Unplugged & A Heartfelt Thank You to Those Who Stop by to Hang Out on Facebook Page:

Jacqueline Unplugged & A Heartfelt Thank You to Those Who Stop by to Hang Out on My Page:

I've been in a very creative space the last few weeks. More than usual. Here’s the deal. I LOVE teaching comedy improv. Recently, it really occurred to me that I also want to be writing and performing more. Along with teaching. I’m trying to be really honest with myself as to where I see the next level and growth that I feel in my heart of hearts I’m ready for. Perhaps all these loves can be more clearly intertwined . Or not. I dream that my work will continue to take me to beautiful places. Places that already have my heart and new destinations that feed my soul. I want to continue to work with people I trust, respect and have empathy for and continue to create new partnerships that would also be mutually rewarding and profound. I’ve made a commitment to myself to run with. Trust it. Surrender to knowing the highest good will prevail. It’s challenging to be vulnerable. And vulnerable on Facebook. Right? But I have to admit that it's been pretty liberating. People are like candy to me so I thank you for engaging in these update threads. It’s great. Really wonderful. I extend my gratitude as you all have been inspiring, wise and hilarious. Often all 3. It’s amazing to see exchanges that Facebook allows us to facilitate. Yes, this website can be an “addictive time waster” … but I also see it as a remarkably effective platform that gently connects people who would not cross paths otherwise. Like when your high school friend starts shooting the shit with your drug dealer on a thread. That’s heartwarming. Connecting. That's what it’s all about. Who cares that it's on Facebook. It’s happening. I’m learning that this virtual community can be an amazing first step to connect and build very fulfilling friendships and communities in the non virtual world. It already seems to be happening seamlessly. But it takes commitment. And heart. Thanks for the kindness, the honesty, the authenticity and the fun. There’s a really “We’re all in this together” vibe evolving. I say let’s keep going. I try very hard to be an optimist. When I was 7, I won the biggest trophy on the swim team for having the best attitude. Still have it. But one of the arms broke off the silver bald swimmer. Now it’s creepy. But poignant creepy. xoxo Jax

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 381 - Ask Jax - Part 36

March 29th, 2011

This is the 36th installment of my "Ask Jax" series. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity.

Is “lonely schizophrenic” an oxymoron? –Anton Salaks, Los Angeles, California

This is a tough call so I had to consult the voices in my head. Here’s what my delusions revealed to me(via PowerPoint presentation) : Along with “Anarchy rules!”, “Books on Tape” and “A stripper's dressing room”, a “lonely schizophrenic” is indeed a contradictory expression. Disclaimer: I apologize if I offended any readers for minimalizing the severity of mental illness. Some people say that I'm superficial, but that's just on the surface.

Will you do a sex tape? - Dan Verkman, Washington, DC

Jax’s Answer - Funny you should ask because my three goals for 2011 were as follows: Become one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses, give a kitten a pedicure and make a sex tape. I’m proud to share that I have achieved the first 2 missions (and have cat scratches on my face and “the clap” to prove it.) In the remaining nine months of this year, I intend to accomplish my sex tape videography. Good news to my perviest of fans: It will be exponentially raunchy. Bad news: It will only be available on Beta Max.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? - Beth Bernard Curley, Greensboro, North Carolina

I am unable to answer your inquiry. Why?.. you might ask… Bernard Curly of Greensboro, North Carolina. I was born without a tongue. Please refer to the column “Ask a Porn Star.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 380 - Ask Jax - Part 35

December 22nd, 2010

This is the 35th installment of my "Ask Jax" series. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity.

Why is everyone so upset with full body scans? - Eric Bergson, Seattle, Washington

Jax’s Answer: Simple. It’s foreplay without the sex. If you’re not going to close the deal…please refrain from enticing us with those phallicly shaped seductive body scanning devices that make our bodies tingle with heightened pleasure. Plus, I find the airline body scan tease analogous to the time when someone slipped a roofie in my drink…and didn’t even take advantage of me. You know who you are. Shame on you.

Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawnshop? - Claudia Mizrahi , Brooklyn, New York

Jax’s Answer: Sorry to say, most of us Jewish girls who grew up upper middle class aren’t versed in the world of pawnshops. However, if you’d like to join me for Chinese on Sunday night, I’m available.

I get sad when I think of Helen Keller. Do you? – Anonymous, Orlando, Florida
Jax’s Answer: Not as sad as I feel for this girl playing the deaf blind girl in the following community theater production of the Miracle Worker:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 379 - Ask Jax - Part 34

December 9th, 2010

This is the 35th installment of my "Ask Jax" series. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity.

When will I see you? - JillSchimmel, New York, New York

Jax Answer - Yes, there are times when I have been compared to Keyser Söze, often spoken of...but never seen. I do work in mysterious ways. Well my sweet Jill, you can feel me with you at all times if you use your third eye while on a disturbingly intense acid trip. Look for me between the 2 animated dancing bears. If you can't find me there...try the Olive Garden in Times Square.

What do you think of one night stands? - Anonymous, Seattle, Washington

Jax's Answer - - Eh, not so into them. When it comes to sex, why have a Twinkie when you could have a crème brûlée? However,in this economy, I do salute the prostitutes utilizing their sexin' for a fee. A slew of one nightstands= Pretty kick ass work ethic.

If I have an itch, should I scratch it? - Adam Holtz, New York, New York

Jax's Answer - There are some questions that the universal answer will always be an absolutely no doubt about it I 'd swear on my mother's grave...and your mother's grave...YES. This is one of those. If you have an itch, for the love of Jesus Harold Christ, scratch it. If you want to torture yourself, watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills...while eating nails. Other inquiries that would always be answered with an affirmative:

- Does a man in a black turtleneck and black pants look like Phil Collins in the No Jacket Required album cover? - Yes

- Is today tomorrow's yesterday? - Yes

- Is it abnormal if a straight guy doesn't fantasize about a threesome? - Yes

*A question Ask Jax would have to research would be: Does a mime shit in the woods? This I do not know.

Can fat people go skinny-dipping? - Claudia Mizrahi, Brooklyn, New York

Jax's Answer - Now this question would require the exact opposite stance. My answer to "Can fat people go skinny dipping?" is NO. In truth, they can. But should they? No. No they should not. Think about it. Ew. The following are some questions that would always be answered with the negative:

- Is it right when you see a kid on a leash and a dog in stroller. - No

- DidAsk Jaxgive you your venereal disease? - No

- Do you think that OJ Simpson was just "misunderstood"...? - No

*However, I am unsure of the following: Does OJ Simpson shit in the woods? Again, not sure about this.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 378 - Ask Jax - Part 33

December 1st, 2010

This is the 33rd installment of my "Ask Jax" series. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity.

Who likes ice cream more, Ben or Jerry? - Mike Webster, Brooklyn, New York

Jax's Answer - Ben & Jerry's was originally called Ben, Jerry & Howie's. Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield and Howie McJewishshtein were childhood friends and dessert pioneers who made the world take notice of frozen dairy. They were rewarded with fast cars, fast woman and a plaque from the Surgeon General praising their effort to contribute to America's obesity epidemic. The ice cream empire's downward spiral began when Howie realized that he was the only one pulling the weight when coming up with innovative flavor combinations. Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey and Chubby Hubby were all his creations. Meanwhile, Ben and Jerry were responsible for poorly received flavors like Nails & Honey, Oprah Saliva and Vanilla. It did not go over well when Howie confronted his two partners about their lack of creativity. In a deserted Vermont field, Ben and Jerry doused Howie with hot fudge and lighter fluid. His body was never recovered. Oh yes. Who likes ice cream more, Ben or Jerry? Neither care for it. They're lactose intolerant.

Why has it been storming for 24 hours straight. Tell me Jax. Why? - Anonymous, Princeton, New Jersey

Jax's Answer: Rain. God's way of orchestrating a wet t-shirt contest. Perv. But I still want to win.

The annual Christmas tree lighting that takes place in New York City's Rockefeller Center, why all the hype?- Jill Jones, Brooklyn, New York

Jax's answer - I've never really bought into the excessive publicity around this live broadcast. In fact, it troubles me that NBC execs scout out country folk and offer a cash exchange for these people's most prized possession, a 100 foot spruce. People with a giant spruce, I assume your freakishly large tree even has the initials of lovers carved into it. That's adorable. Don't sell out. Interesting note, the original premise of the book, The Giving Tree, wasn't a tale about a long term relationship between a young boy and a tree in a forest. In the original, the boy was approached by the Rockefeller Center higher ups and had no qualms about giving his tree away for their ceremony. This happened on page 2. It was a short book. More of a pamphlet.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 377 - Ask Jax - Part 32

November 24th, 2010

This is the 32nd installment of my "Ask Jax" series. I'm open to answering ANY of your pressing inquiries with little to no thought, accuracy and sensitivity.

What is the cheapest airline ticket I can buy that will let me get a nice pat down with no intention of ever getting on the flight? - Jason Maxham, Chicago, IL

Jax’s Answer – US "I Will Violate You in Ways That Will Lead to Shame and Confusion" Air

Is the sparrow better in Istanbul near the fire? – Paul Hale, Brooklyn, NY

Jax’s Answer. – If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this question, I’d have 5 cents. The sparrow is absolutely NOT better in Istanbul near the fire. These plump brown-grey birds make the mistake of nesting in buildings in large cities and Istanbul is the 5th largest city in the world with a population of 12.8 million. Sparrow roasting on an open fire (which is also a hit Turkish holiday song) is considered a delicacy in this Far East metropolis. Note to readers. Shall you decided to travel to Istanbul and treat yourself to this succulent dish, I suggest topping it with some A-1 Steak Sauce and a sprig of parsley.

What was Willis talking about? - Dan Neveloff, New York, NY

Jax’s Answer – Seldom discussed was the fact that Willis adhered to the doctrine of opposition to the social and political establishment. So, as it turns out, Willis was talking about Anti establishmentarianism. He was simply trying to explain that he viewed our nation's power structure as corrupt, exploitative and repressive. Also...sometimes, he was talking about bacon.