‘Sbeen awhile… again. I don’t have much of an excuse for my absence this time. The play was up and running and I wasn’t doing anything else really. I think it was a combination of being really worn out from working on the play and intimidated by what is to be the next mountain I have to climb with comedy… finding my voice.
I’d love to say that’s what had me performing tonight but it’s rather a trick of fate. In two weeks my roommate Danielle (not to be confused with my other roommate Joe [asshole], not to mention [which I almost didn’t] a fourth roommate Lacie, who took the picture to your right [unless I changed it], [Can anyone else tell I’ve been watching a lot of Monty Python’s Flying Circus lately?].) and I each have 15 minute sets at the Capitol Club for our friend Solomon who has started up a monthly comedy show there. So we have 14 days, 8 (now 7) open mics, and 20 collective minutes in those open mics to be ready. I’ve got enough to fake it… but Danielle hasn’t done an open mic yet.
Between you and me I’m not worried. She’s a comedy nerd, inherently funny, a great writer and carries a lot of presence. She just needs the experience of being on a mic and telling jokes… oh and she needs jokes too. She’s been busting her but to put together material and tonight was her first night up.
We were supposed to have a writing circle but I kinda-sorta woke up at 5 pm. (It was the first weekend I got to sleep-in in months.) So in the precious little time we had she showed we what she wrote, which was quite a lot, and I gave her my input. It was funny but padded so I advised her to cut a lot and gave her options. I was her Joe (asshole). She put together an outline of stuff and we headed to the Mainstage… problem was I didn’t figure out what I was going to do.
Seconds before I went up I outlined a few things I had in my head. In attempting to find my voice I tried not to pander or rile up the crowd but just talk and lay down my bits. I started with the “Neuva Ring bit” which I’m actually very proud of and it went well. I followed that with what will be my guilty pleasure which-I’m-sure-will-never-work-but-it-cracks-me-up-and-it’s-so-short-I’ll-hold-onto-it-for-that-one-moment-someone-else-love’s-it “Tab bit”, and finally “Mid-life crisis step-dad bit”. I really didn’t prepare any of it before I went up so that I got any response at all was a good sign. Not surprisingly the “Tab bit” didn’t register, I’ll keep working on it until I die though. Almost forgot I did the “Downtown solicitor bit”, which got some “oohs” (it’s pretty wrong). The step-dad bit has legs I feel, but needs lots of work.
Danielle kicked some ass. She started off really fast and had to check her notes a bunch, but that’s just nerves. A lot of her lines landed and everyone really liked her. Once she works this shit and grounds it she’s going to be really funny. Susan was managing that night and she really liked her and was very surprised it was her first time up. Good sign. I told her one of her biggest asset’s is that she’s very likeable onstage, she lost a bit at one point but it was so adorable you didn’t care. We’re going to be awesome in two weeks… check it out.
Lesson: Practice what you coach. In fact practice at all.
Back-up lesson: Time management skills are your friend.