Last night I decided to take a walk down to my usual spot where I massacre comedy on a small stage that I would imagine even a band like Mini KISS would have trouble playing. I figured it had been long enough since my last open mic disaster and I often enjoy feeling the sting of self-doubt and the bitter taste of disapproval from my peers.
I showed up to the open mic with a confidence I usually don’t carry around that often and started taking in the show. It took a while for the crowd to warm up – it was cold from the AC (rim shot!) – but once it did the room was vibrant and ready to laugh; that was until I got on stage.
You know when you’re in a group of people talking about something and the conversation is going really well? It doesn’t matter what the topic is about it could be a debate on sports or on how to properly corner a market while suffocating any local businesses who may draw even a few dollars away from the meandering corporate giant who is operating the store at a loss but had to block a competitor from taking that location or how cute puppies are. The topic is irrelevant, really, but the conversation is full of life and vigor and you are making that one friend who likes to think he is smart feel dumb and then that one guy who wasn’t in the conversation shows up and kills it completely.
Have you ever experienced that?
Well if you were at The Village Lantern last night you have now.
I’m a little shocked. I was very confident in this material and got almost no reception from it. For some reason I’ve been getting nervous at open mics lately and I’m not entirely sure why. When I first started this blog I said, “I think I found my voice” but now I’m starting to question that.
Sure there is a little bit of self-doubt in those words you just read but I’m not sure if I have. Yes, I am questioning if I need to approach this differently but I’m comfortable approaching comedy the way I do. I’ve been told open mics shouldn’t be the barometer of which you measure how funny you are, but when people only chuckle a few times while staring at you like Patrice O’Neal – RIP – at an all you can eat buffet it’s tough.
I also feel like I’m not entirely fusing my own personality into these stories and apprehension takes hold when I’m on stage. Although I did notice one thing recently and that it seems my first run-through of a new joke almost always fails.
I have a show on Tuesday and I’m still planning on using this material, I just hope it’s not a jumbled mess like it was last night.
Wish me luck.