Through and through, I am a creature of habit. My planner is the most important purchase of the year and I thrive off my Sunday night organization session where I outline my upcoming week in multi-colored pens. I have certain habits for grocery shopping and laundry and when I like to study foreign languages.
These routines, much like running and writing, keep me grounded and focused. But at some point, routines can become too much. It isn’t until you’ve stepped outside of yourself for a day or a week that you notice how much you’ve missed. You know that feeling of taking a long weekend trip? Suddenly, Saturday seems to last forever as you forget about buying bananas and bread and focus on enjoying wherever you are.
All this is to say that while I appreciate some of the structures I’ve given my life, I can’t help but wonder what’s just outside the box. The new idea for Sunday blog posts is to write about one experience I had in the previous week that was out of routine, that wasn’t predictable, that made me think a little differently about myself and the world I live in.
Challenge 10: Saturday Night Live
Before I begin this blog, I want to add a quick disclaimer. When I decided to use the 2018 Sunday Series to write about unique experiences, I chose the website tag “Things I Wouldn’t Do.” I chose to label them all as “Challenges” but perhaps that wasn’t the best way to explain it. So far, I’ve written about fun things like karaoke and going to a professional basketball game. Neither of those are things I’ve ever been adamantly dead set against. More they are things I’ve never given myself the opportunity to do.
While some of these challenges are intended to make me think about something from a new perspective or make me see the world with more empathetic eyes, some of these so-called “challenges” are just fun. That might be what makes them the biggest challenge of all. By my own admission, I have extreme work-a-holic tendencies. I almost have to schedule time in my planner to allow myself space for fun or relaxation. If that sounds Type A, that’s because it is. It’s a system that works and – at the same time – a system I am always working to update.
All that is to say there was nothing “challenging” about this week’s new experience. This week was simply fun.
Last Christmas morning, I opened up a piece of construction paper from my brother that said “SNL in Spring!” One of the major perks of living in the same city means we can share experience gifts. On Saturday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day – we hopped on the train: destination 30 Rock.
We stood at the front of the line waiting for the doors to open – if you will. We watched a couple cast members walk by right in front of us. It was a little star-striking if I’m being perfectly honest. Saturday Night Live is a huge deal and here I was, outside the door to where it all happens.
Our seats could not have been better. We were located in the balcony directly in front of the band, which gave us a view of each set, the main stage, and the area where Arcade Fire would be performing later in the show. Bill Hader hosted and absolutely nailed it in every scene. The house band was unbelievably talented.
Another thing that I quickly noticed was how well-oiled the entire SNL machine was. Everything was down to a perfect science. From the prop guy just off to the side or the way they could reset an entire scene during a commercial break. It was like watching mastery.
Overall, the entire experience was phenomenal. It was funny (obviously) but also wildly impressive. I have so much respect for not just the cast but the stage managers, directors, coordinators, musicians, and every single individual whose work goes into creating such a great show.
While I have friends and family who work in television, it’s a world I still know little about. To see this industry open up before my eyes was really fantastic. To the cast and crew of SNL – if by some freak coincidence you are ever reading this – great work.