I mentioned to Hector that I had been trying to integrate what I had learned at the Annoyance intensive into my style of play, but I was running into the same problems with characters I did before the intensive and forgetting the tenets of other styles of play, as well. If I was playing in a style, it was the style of confusion.
I had assumed that by isolating and focusing on a single style and working on it as I had at the intensive, I could later fold that back into my overall style to yield a style that strictly dominated its predecessor. The reality had been murkier. When I had played at a show or a jam, I was just playing, and everything felt good. On the other hand, when I was in a practice or a class environment, I wasn’t able to keep track of what I had been taught at the intensive on top of what I was being asked to do in a particular exercise, and the result didn’t feel good.
Hector responded by noting that he had felt something similar after returning to San Francisco from New York after having studied at the UCB. He talked about how he felt like he couldn’t find the game of the scene sometimes, and this would frustrate him. At some point, he decided to let go of trying to play in the UCB style and have faith it was there somewhere if he needed it, and that let him play again. It felt like there was an implicit question at the end of his story: might a similar remedy help you? Yes, it might.