I Give Good Note

Over and over again I hear my Comedian’s Way students say that I give the best notes. I’m not saying I do, they are! And if they’re right, here’s maybe why.

My goal is to help each student be the best, funniest, most truthful, productive version of themselves.

To do this I set out to listen carefully and compassionately to each person who comes to me. To help them find their own voice and the ways and places to have that voice be heard. To understand where their writing, performing and human-beingness intersect. To find the deepest, most truthful funny in them – you, and to help and enlarge it. To intuit where there is something wonderful to nourish and encourage. To hug if really a good cry is standing in the way of a breakthrough.

Ultimately my job as a teacher is to respond truthfully and kindly with the idea that each person who comes to me is on the planet to do something very particular with their work, and their life, and that it is my job to help them realize that at its highest possible level.

When I am watching you I am asking myself… What needs to be thrown away? What tools do you have that you are not using? What tools can I teach you? How can you have more fun while working more effectively? How does this piece fit into your big picture? How can I make you comfortable with my most difficult notes? What assignment can I give you to push you the exact right amount for you? How best to encourage you particularly? Who do you need to watch to understand what I am telling you? Do you need to work harder? Do you need to be kinder to yourself? How can I enlarge your funny bone? Are you making progress that you can’t see that I need to point out?

And in prep I ask myself… How can I create the safest space for creative risk taking? How can I bring together groups that magnify and exponentially accelerate creative growth? Which of my biggest ideas haven’t we worked on recently?

If i give good notes, that’s why.

That and the whole 10,000 hours thing.

Next session: Mondays June 9, 16, 23, 30. 7:30-9:30

More info here.

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Happy Healthy Wholly

I’m happy to get back to everything. But that seemed short didn’t it? Time is the greatest teacher that nothing is absolute. One minute is no longer than another – supposedly. Your age, your mistakes, your plan, your story. It expands and contracts. It sometimes reverses itself. Endings become beginnings. Tragedy becomes comedy. Sometimes comedy becomes tragedy. It all changes. And not always in the linear way that we expect. May the days of your lives this year be filled with surprises that delight and may you have as much of this mysterious thing called time as you feel you need.

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UnCabaret UpRising

UnCabaret Uprising! Has a lovely ring to it.

And even lovelier because the cause of the Un and the Up is that, on the occasion of her birthday, we are helping Jill Weiss raise money and awareness for UpRising Yoga – the very wonderful org of which she is the Executive Director.

Uprising Yoga is a non-profit org that brings yoga to at-risk youth and other communities in need.

Located in Downtown Los Angeles (yay downtown LA!!!!), UpRising Yoga travels to juvenile halls, juvenile detention facilities, residential group homes, community centers and schools. In juvenile halls UpRising works with children who have a history of foster care and / or commercial sexual exploitation.

I am a great believer in healing and wholing and using the pain that we have lived to evolve into higher states of consciousness.

I especially am a great believer in the healing power of laughter. And in the healing power of yoga. And in the healing power of using laughter to raise money for yoga!

So please join us and tell Suzanna at the door that you are here for the Jill party:)

Un Up and Away! Namast-hey!

UpRising on Facebook

Facebook Event

UpRising Twitter

Jill Weiss on the mysterious LinkedIn


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Logan Heftel singing Beth’s Song (that’s moi!)

I have mixed feeling about Obama. Hope, betrayal, suspicion, respect, love, fear – all of it. Watching him maneuver through the Syrian situation brings them all up. I’m remembering voting for him. Of course I wanted to vote for a President I had simple enthusiasm for. That’s what we all want when we vote. The feeling of pulling that lever – ok punching a tiny piece of paper – and thinking Yes! But I voted for him nevertheless. And when he won I wrote an email to Logan Heftel, who was going to be on UnCabaret that Sunday. And in it I said: Isn’t it nice to breathe again.

And then at UnCabaret Logan sang this song he wrote, inspired by my email to him. And he called it Beth’s Song. And I have no mixed feelings about it. Love it! It gives me chills, and not just because it’s mine mine mine!

It’s coming up on a year later and I’m realizing that sometimes the feeling of relief lets you know that your mixed feelings were not as mixed as you thought they were.

Logan will be on UnCabaret this Sunday playing with our dear mutual friend Taylor Negron. Also on the show will be the all very wonderful… Rebecca Corry, Julie Goldman, David Arquette, Andrew Goldenhersh, Suzanne Whang!

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An essay I wrote for an book called No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood was excerpted in TIME.

Ironically, when Henriette Mantel asked me to write it, I was in the midst of my massive, major, tumultuous life shift. I had absolutely NO time. So I wrote the piece in 5 minute chunks, between moving, and crying, and letting go, and getting willing, and grabbing on and producing 4 episodes of UnCab for Amazon. I almost didn’t hand in. But I finally I did press send. And it turns out I had enough time to end up in Time!

In the book the pice is called “Not’s Landing” but I guess that was too punny for Time. They went back and forth and in the end titled the piece….

I Just Don’t Want A Child: 

Deciding not to have a kid is like saying one big no and a million little yeses

I love the subtitle which is the heart of the piece. Apparently being #childfree is something that people have VERY STRONG emotions and opinions about. And I heard from a lot of them. I was just telling my story. Maybe it will resonate with you too. Feel free to tweet or e me. @bethlapides beth@bethbethlapides.com

Here’s hoping you have a more time than you think you have! And especially enough time to decide whether or not to have children!

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