It’s been a while since I’ve done an open mic but with a show coming up on Friday I felt I needed to test my material out on people who were disenfranchised and inattentive and then base my material purely on their response.
But, hey, call me an optimist.
Much to my surprise I was felt uneasy and really couldn’t shake the feeling. I’m not sure if it was the material or the half cooked breakfast burrito I got from 7-11 that morning but when you get a breakfast burrito and coffee for $1.99 it is a deal you can’t pass up, folks.
As I sat at a table waiting for my name to be called I was constantly going over my material and where I should start from, questioning what I should say and how I should act, and asking myself why the bathrooms in this place have three urinals side-by-side but the room was too small so if you were stuck at the one on the inside you had to wait for the other people to finish up before you could exit.
Design flaw for sure.
My plan was to get called early and then head home to bask in my glory and check my email constantly to see how many people wanted to thank me for changing their life with my comedy.
Spoiler alert: none of that came true.
One-by-one my fellow comics were summoned to the stage while I kept looking over my shoulder at the host almost trying to will him into picking my name. Needless to say my name was selected LAST.
I’m not against going last and have been selected for most things last. When I was a child I was on the heavier side and despite my athletic abilities, and how far I could crush a kickball, it only takes you so far if you can’t run that fast – plus, it’s kind of embarrassing when you kick a ball about 400 feet and still get thrown out at second.
But I was happy I did get selected because that at least meant I had the opportunity to play. If dating was selected this way, and my life went the way it did go, then I would be the nerd sitting on the bench hoping one day to get picked. Looking off into the distance wondering why people didn’t like me and then I would go on to chug four Yoo-Hoos.
I’m not one to make excuses on why my material didn’t work, I didn’t exactly bomb but I didn’t exactly do that great either. I was a jumbled mess up there and clearly didn’t practice enough in front of the mirror holding a Wii controller and acting like the crowd was there in front of me.
That is ALL true. When I practice I actually go through all the motions. Once my name is called (by me) I start the timer on my phone and then go through all my material. Usually it’s just me sitting there for five minutes while my fans continue to cheer.
When I was up there many of my jokes didn’t land and I think my material was confusing, again I should’ve practiced more, because I was jumping all over the place. My punchline at the end didn’t hit AT ALL and even when I did some improv stuff it seemed like the room either didn’t want to hear it or didn’t want to be there. Despite the lights in my face I could see that people WANTED me to be good, but much like me standing on first base and taking off when the batter hits one into the gap once I rounded 2nd it seemed like someone was constantly behind me telling me to hurry up.