Tonight’s performance takes place at the Green Tortoise Youth Hostel. That should be fun. I wasn’t slated to perform, but Seth, who runs the show, put me up, which was nice of him, and unfortunate.
It was the cafeteria area for the hostel… now put yourself in their shoes; you’ve been traveling in a stinky bus or hitchhiking to get to Seattle, when you get there you have to walk around in the pouring rain to find this place and you’re starving. Finally you sit down to enjoy your make-shift tacos and then… COMEDY!
What I’m saying is that it was a tough crowd.
I did something for the hell of it which was to not prep a set and see how I could float on my own. The first two comics had a hard time with the crowd getting light giggles at best here and there. I fared no better. I attempted thing that they could not possibly get the reference for (Bumbershoot, Nicole Ritchie). I attempted drinking/drugs to which they laughed at the dirty part. OK so I gave them Neuva ring which SANK. I pulled it out a bit with Cheesecake Factory and got some response at the end. Over all I did not do well.
Here’s the weird part… I had a great time. I realized early on that I was out of my element in terms of having ANY idea on how to get this crowd on my side. So I didn’t worry about it and then it was like playing solitaire: if I won, great, if not, myeh. In a way I got to watch this set outside of myself and enjoy it from that perspective.
Inner monologue: “Wow Jake, you are not doing well with them.”
Other inner monologue: “You are right about that Jake. I am not.”
There is a freedom in acknowledging the reality of your situation. It allows you to let go of expectation.
Harlem Blue (of Faire Gallery fame) saved the day with an amazing high energy set. He demanded their attention and then worked at level 10 the whole time and kept their focus until toward the end. It was great, and since I wasn’t beating myself up about my set I could watch what he did with his and take it with me. Next time I don’t know what to do, go high and far. It’s worth the conversation any way.
Inner monologue: “Well Jake, that didn’t work either.”
Other inner monologue: “No Jake, back to the drawing board.”
Lesson: Let go of the sinking ship. Enjoy the view.
Back-up lesson: Pay attention to the successful people then steal their tricks.