First Show at Gotham Comedy Club / Graduation Show

So here it is, my first show at a REAL comedy club. The place was packed with people who were guilted into coming despite the recent tragedy that occurred, a snow storm that hit New York City with no mercy.

Why do people react so harshly to snow storms? It’s like Jesus himself reached through the clouds and bitch-slapped you, that’s how people react to snowstorms.

Anyway, what a show it was and to bore you, here are the full details of the night.

I spent most of yesterday pacing around my office reciting my routine quietly under my breath without realizing it may seem like I’m about to kill somebody. Luckily I hadn’t noticed what my manic ramblings appeared to be to other people so I continued on – each time around more doors were closed.

At 5:15 I “peaced out this bitch”, as the cool kids in the 90’s used to say, and made my way down to Gotham Comedy Club. When I arrived at the club it was about 5:40 and when I announced my arrival no one was impressed, in fact they thought I was a waiter and told me I was late. Once we cleared up the confusion it was right back out the door – I was kicked out until 6pm! I hung out at Starbucks, met up with a friend from class, and then we ventured to the club where people were let in before 6pm.

Getting on a stage in an empty club is intimidating. The biggest room I was on stage for was a room slightly bigger than a bowling lane – take a second to picture a bowling lane and then put four walls around it and shove about 20 disgruntled people in there. This room had the capacity to hold probably 250-300 people, that’s a lot of fucking people, but as of this exact moment it was a lot of promises to be a lot of fucking people.

We congregated by the green room, also known as just a section of the club where we were told to sit – FANCY, and the whole class shot the shit trying to make each other think we weren’t secretly concealing a catheter so we wouldn’t pee ourselves. Finally we were called up on stage, told to say a few things into the mic – empty seats have a way of intimidating you – and then exit the stage to prepare.

Finally our lineup was handed to us – the last time I got this anxious over where my name would be on a list was in 8th grade when I didn’t make the baseball team, I was hoping history didn’t repeat itself – luckily I was the clean-up hitter tonight and I slowly started to tear apart at the seams.

The first few comics were good, really good. The crowd took a while to warm up, but once they loosened up they had a great time and gave really great feedback – I wish I did a Q&A now that I think of it.

My heart was racing as I paced the floor, my teacher came up to me and told me I would do great, my stomach didn’t agree with her. The nerves were causing a cold sweat, or maybe that was the cup of water thrown on me – that didn’t actually happen.

And then finally…

“Next to the stage, a very funny man, give it up for Robert Peterson!”

I slowly made my way to the stage, because I was scared, but it probably looked like confidence, then I realized I was taking too long so I sprinted up there. I grabbed the mic, said hello, and then it was like a bird taking flight for the first time.

Once I got my first laugh everything else faded away. I hit every joke the way I wanted to, got the crowd into it and walked off the stage with a confidence and an adrenaline rush that could only be rivaled by running from the cops – or so goes my experience.

All the nerves told me to keep away from all of this, but this performance has changed everything. If I could ground this into powder, heat it up on a spoon, and then inject it into my toes I probably shouldn’t be doing Stand-Up, luckily it’s just telling stories on stage.


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