Arrggh! What a fucking annoying night. I show up at Mainstage's "writing circle" at 7, which ended up being me starting to talk about a premise and my beloved A.D.D. riddled Susan interrupting me before I could finish any part of my bit (it was the debate bit by the way). Finally she asks why I like politics and I say "It's because that's the place where people affect the world." She then asks why I should talk about it "because nobody gives a shit." "So you should talk about that. Find what you're passionate about." and in my head I was screaming "I WOULD'VE IF YOU LET ME FINISH!"
Then open mic. Bear in mind I was there before anyone else. SOMEHOW I end up going almost last. This might have been all right BUT the beloved host was not paying attention to anyone's time so people were going 10 minutes and up. Even though there were so few of us it ended up taking for-ev-er. Now later that night an improv group is coming in. Guess what, by the time I go up (two and a half hours later) I only get 3 minutes and everyone was dragged though the mud for so long no one gave a shit and I diiiiiiiieeeeeeed.
Then a headliner named Craig Something came up and performed an act of alchemy. He transformed that dead ass room before our eyes to a place where everyone was having a good time. The whole bit surrounded on how he made it and his dreams finally came true doing an open mic on a Tuesday at Mainstage. I'll spare you the details because he was amazing and it would lose something here... but at one point he said this is where you find your voice. Open mic is where you find your voice.
It turns out Susan was absolutely right. Her whole point was that I should come from a place where I was passionate. I haven't been doing that this entire time. When I was directing... I constantly told my actors to dive in the deep end, to invest themselves wholly and love every minute of it. Life's too short and there's no need to pussyfoot around. My friend Josh Lanza paid me the extraordinary compliment that I was very inspirational and a good leader. Why haven't I been able to translate that to comedy?
Because I've been speaking without a voice.
I can't find it if I don't try in the first place. I've been trying to be very safe with comedy as I get into it. Try to learn the rules before I break them. In doing that I've been holding myself back from what I'm really capable of. The people I admire in comedy ONLY speak with their voice. It's time to take this shit out a whole new door. Carpe Diem and so forth. I'll probably hit Comedy Underground tomorrow for 3 minutes of pleasure, I don't know how much of a voice I'll have by then, but I think Mainstage might be into some shit on Sunday. I'm excited. God I hate it when I'm wrong.
After all that an improv troupe went up. Improv is seriously the red-headed stepchild to stand-up. However, it seems like it could be a necessary skill so I'll probably do more. Sigh.
Lesson: Find your voice.
Backup Lesson: Listen to everyone who's been doing this longer than you... they're right/you're wrong.