Went to Mainstage (disclaimer: I love them and all they've done for me so this is not meant as a poo-poo on their establishment [for the four of you reading this], but an honest reaction to the evening, which is what this blog is all about). There was going to be a comedy show at 7 and open music night at 9. Get there quarter to 7, ghost town, 7:30, some comics but that's it. We wait in case people come. Don't start the show until 8. That's not too bad, and the hour from 7 to 8 was actually really fun. It was a bunch of us comics shootin' the shit on the patio and running our material for each other. Then a bunch of friends of mine from work came. I didn't expect a bunch (only 2)... oh well. The vibe is good the comedy begins.
Travis opens the show and is very funny and cordial as usual. Then the second comic goes up and goes FLYING over his time (like, 15 minutes) and not one. joke. landed. It was fucking rough but this person lacked the objectivity to notice a) that he went flying over time and was therefore incredibly rude to the other comics performing and b) that he was dying and should have gotten off stage long ago. The next comic up went way over time again, but this was more forgivable as she was funny and from out of town so why the fuck not. Then Solomon went up and did a good set that would've been on time had a drunken Nick not been screaming through the set and distracting him.
This is where it gets bad. With Travis's set (which was long too, but that's understandable as it's his show) and the comics going over, we're four down and it's 9 o'clock and the musicians come in and take over the show. Now being an open mic I figured, musician does a song then comic does a short set. It was lame that everyone going over cut into our comedy time, but fuck it, we'll all get to go up soon right? WRONG! First music set goes A FUCKING HALF HOUR then they decided that since we had comedy before, they could let another musician go on for ANOTHER TWENTY MINUTES. Remember how I said I had friends there? Did I mention they were the ONLY audience. I talked to them so I could go up after the first musician set and got blocked by those cocksuckers.
It's not that the musicians were bad (well...) but no one I was with came to see music. So two hours of long (including a particularly bad set) comedy and not very good music took the wind out of everybody's sails. Then I go on. I had a decent set and people responded as well as they could, but is wasn't a massacre. People liked it, but it was late and they were tired. And there was still hours to go. Danielle and I ended up leaving. She didn't get to go up, James, whose girlfriend came for the first time, didn't get to go up, my friends were tired. Fuck it. Never again. Either tighter organization or something else, but that's the second time my friends got blocked on a Tuesday and we suffered through long bad sets.
Now I'm a little self-conscious bitching about other people's bad sets. It's not like I haven't bombed. Who am I to judge? The thing is, I was still attached to some objectivity. I didn't go over time and when it wasn't going well, I moved to something I figured would work and at least I HAD material that worked. It's the utter lack of objectivity that kills me. If you have a joke that no one laughs at it (by the 3rd time you tried it), let it go. Try new material until something lands. Ask your friends how your jokes are. Make sure they're honest. Just don't fucking lie to yourself and think you're funny when you're not. Do the work. That's what the rest of us our busting our ass to do. I'm climbing this ladder right now and the reason I am is because people tell me when something works or doesn't and I LISTEN. That's what open mic is for. It shouldn't be abused. Etc. etc. Rant rant rant. I'm not saying people should give up, I'm saying people should work hard so that they don't subject people to bad comedy.
But who the fuck am I.
Lesson: Stay objective and respectful of the audience and other comics.
Back-up lesson: No more Tuesdays at Mainstage (until the format changes).