I didn't even have to use my A-K, I gotta say it was a good day.
Umm.... yeah, so, I was going to do the Comedy Underground open mic again, but at the last minute checked out Mainstage Comedy's myspace page (www.myspace.com/mainstagecomedyandmusic) and noticed that they were having an open mic comedy competition. The prize was $75, the time was 5 minutes, the number of comics was 15, the minimum number of people to bring was 2. I could handle those parameters so why the fuck not?
I wanted to make sure I got a spot so I called several people to insure myself against flakeification (what do you mean that's not a word spellcheck?). Several people called several people and other people ended up going to the point where 10 of the people in the audience were there to see me. No pressure. Until this point I was not encouraging or discouraging people to come, mostly because open mics are like rehearsals and like rehearsals they're not always entertaining (some exceptions to that rule, but it's still a crap shoot). Now I had people I knew coming to see me. Fuck. Add to the fact that there is actually something at stake here, which is not winning. No big deal really, but you know... you know.... Pressure's on.
I decided to use the cocaine/80's bit because they've landed the most so far and I had enough time to work them together. I dropped some stuff that didn't land and worked with Joe to cap some bits I wasn't sure of. His input helped a lot. Asshole. I felt like I had a decent if not brilliant set so if nothing else I'd get to see how it measured up.
I signed up and got to chat with the host Susan, and the owner, Julie. Susan was nice (it was her birthday) and Julie was very business in a friendly way, which intimidated me. As much as I was a young (well...) punk who was trying to get into comedy, I didn't want to LOOK like a young punk trying to get into comedy. By that time it was too late. Oh well, I hope the material says more for me.
By the time the show started there were only 6 people signed up. The stakes are lowered. The second guy Brad Brake was clearly experienced and very funny. The stakes were back up. I was number 4. I had a little riff with Susan than went into my bit. It was, to date, my best performance. Actually it felt really good. Almost everything landed to some degree or another and I felt really good about my material. There was a hiccup here and there, but not enough to fuck up my game. After I finished the 80's bit, I had time for more, and could've gone into some Cheesecake Factory material, but I decided to quit while I was ahead and call it early.
OK so feelin' good, feelin' good, and then the last guy to go up was Riggs. I'd seen him a couple of times at CU and he hosted the last time and was really funny. Game on. By the time he was done, I felt at the very least that I had a shot at the prize. Hennigan (sp?) goes up to headline as the results are tabulated. Hennigan cracks me up. He's been in the game for many years so for open mics he just goes up and talks shit for 10-15 minutes. He headlined the first couple of open mics I went to. He took not giving a fuck up a few notches and rambled like a sober lunatic while my nerves were jangling and my bladder was straining. They finally handed him a slip of paper and...
...there was a tie. Jake Merriman and Brad Brake.
Now, I realize that there were only six people and tying meant I was in the top 33% but...
Cheers and pats on the backs from all my friends (Joe [asshole], Lacie, Paul, Nathan, Tabitha, Chad, Steve, Chris, Haney [sp?], love you all, very gracious appreciation), hands shook, money given ($37.50 thankyouverymuch), good will extended, and then...
...Susan asked if I could host for them this weekend. Double take and "...sure?"
"Cool, I'm out of town so talk to Julie"
"Guys, I'll catch up with you"
Julie and I talk business. I give her head shot and bio. I wear a blazer (shit). I promote the hell out of this weekend and Mainstage with friends. I get 7 minutes of opening and bring on some guests, featured artist and headliners. Absosmurfly. Three nights. 2 shows Friday and Saturday.
Do I get paid? Don't know. Do I get comps? Don't know (but I've got mad 2for1s hint-hint).
It was a pleasure to be asked. We talked shop a bit. She said I reminded her of David Sedaris. Know who he is but haven't seen him so don't know the comparison. She was surprised that I've only been doing this since February, but then I told her I have a theater/announcing background. She has one too so we geeked about that a bit. Some of the other comedians mentioned they might be able to get me gigs in other towns in the region if I had transportation. I told them I knew people who drove (hint, hint) Eventually I had to catch up with my friends so I left.
And then ran and skipped and jumped to the Mecca where I told them the good news.
Do y'all remember last week when I wondered how I was going to get a show?
Now I mustn't get ahead of myself. I still don't have A LOT of material and some of it still needs work so this is no time to think this is anything other than luck or right place right time. It is good to see a forward motion though. Who knows where this can go but at least it's going somewhere. Right now I just gotta be ready for Thursday. No pressure.
Life is good. See you there.
Lesson: Always ask "why not?"
Backup lesson: "I get by with a little help from my friends"