Jesus Christ. It’s been really long time since I have written anything and I feel badly about that…mostly because I used to update so frequently and now I’m like “uhhuh…blog…I’m busy.” During the day, I work like a mad woman, editing and emailing and fielding calls and figuring out how to fix people’s problems and make their days a little bit sunnier. It’s actually a lot of fun, even if that sentence didn’t quite capture the essence I was going for. I do quite enjoy everything about the job…with the exception of the occasion terrible phone call (or rather…terrible person on the other end of the phone, call). At night, I have been…jeeez. Guys I’ve been busy. I’ve had the past few weeks off from SM’ing Potential Boyfriends and I’ve STILL been all over the place. Armageddon Pie (the play I was in) closed last night. It was a great run and while I’m sad it’s over, I’m also glad it’s over. Putting 6 months(+) into a project is exhausting. Awesome…but exhausting.
I am now taking the energy from A.P. and putting that into finally..FINALLY..pursuing my childhood dream of doing stand up. Yep. I know I’ve been talking about it for a really long time to anyone who’ll listen, but I’m starting to go forth and watch and write and prepare myself for the day I add my name to a list to stand up in front of a room full of strangers and make them laugh without the aid of an improv team.
I cannot wait to fail. Hear me out! I’m not being self-depricating. I swear.
I went to an open mic night on Monday night at the ComedySports Theatre. Well, I went to the show before it, too, but my main goal was to see how the open mic nights work. It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, and as I sat and listened to these people who were either doing stand up for the first time, or trying out new material, I started getting ideas for fleshing out jokes that I’d previously thought of. I scribbled furiously (I love that mental image…I wasn’t not angry but my brain screeched out words to my hand like a madman! (My brain’s a dude?)) as they told their jokes. I thought about how it must feel to step onto the stage and wrap my hand around the mic (I tried to not make that sound like a sexual thing but there’s really no way to do that). I imagined looking out into the audience, making eye contact with someone, and beginning my set.
And I thought about the audience laughing, or not laughing.
The things is, and I already know this, but you’re not going to be able to make everyone laugh. And, if you do make someone laugh, it might not even be the kind of laugh you’re looking for. It might be a “HA!” laugh like “YOU SUCK AT THIS!” or “THAT WAS STUPID; GET OFF THE STAGE!” instead of a “YOU ARE GENUINELY FUNNY AND SMART AND WITTY!” laugh which you know, would be really awesome to get those but it’s pah-retty impossible to guarantee that.
And that’s fine! You can’t learn if people are constantly slapping you on the back and telling you how great you are. Well you can…but..well no…Ahhhh I’ve gone and confused myself. But you know what I mean. If no one failed, then no one would learn. ”If at first you don’t succeed…” is a cliche for reason, and a a great cliche at that!
I want to bomb so I can get that over with and think to myself “Hey…that wasn’t great, but you did it, and you lived.”
My plan is that I am going to hit up a few more open mic nights to check them out and build up my confidence a bit more. I’m going to work on my onstage persona and map out a few more jokes. I find that writing actual jokes doesn’t work for me, but when I map out the course of a joke, I get where I need to go. Improv helps, my friends. I know what I want to tell you, but it’s going to change a bit here and there each time. That seems normal.
I want to leave you with what is hands down my favorite recent episode of This American Life. The first story of THIS EPISODE features Tig Notaro, who I think is incredibly funny, and has a great voice and stage presence. When I listened to that episode, it reminded me that people want more than just silly jokey-jokes from stand ups. It reminded me of the ever-present Truth in Comedy mantra that is shoved down improviser’s throats and sucked out of their wallets. Audiences relate to pain as much as they relate to elation. Sharing our lives and experiences make us feel better, and knowing that someone else knows how you feel is amazing. It’s the real things, the big scary things, the little weird things, that captivate people and let them know they’re not alone. So rarely these days are we connecting on a person-to-person level, it seems.
Let me touch you. I really, really want to touch you*.
*That was intentionally sexy…and awkward!.