The second I decided to do a show on a Wednesday I knew I was in trouble for a few reasons.
1. Wednesday, ain’t no one got time for that. It’s hump day which roughly translates to “Wednesday sucks.” It should also be mentioned that the show didn’t start until 9:30 p.m. and given the choice between going to a comedy show or laying in bed watching “House of Cards,” it was clear to see that many people would not be making it out.
2. It’s winter. Winter in New York seems to always be a surprise to people in New York like they don’t expect it to be this cold despite the pretty good track record it’s had since – hm – always. Because of that people shut themselves in and, unfortunately, I can’t blame them because if “people” invited me to do something I would complain about the weather just so they would stop asking if I was coming.
3. I was sick. This one isn’t really fair because I wasn’t sick when I booked the show but I was still sick either way so stop harassing me. I got through the set despite my runny-nose and I’m pretty sure I got everyone performing and in the crowd sick and fearful that they now have ebola.
There was an advantage to having the show at 9:30 though, I got to go home, shower, eat dinner and relax before I had to arrive at Gotham. I much prefer that over waiting at a Starbucks for an hour, drinking two cups of coffee that usually make me jittery and increasingly more nervous. Plus, I wouldn’t have to see a homeless man masturbating in the corner showing me my potential future if I pursued comedy full-time. Fortunately, I was able to go to my apartment and watch some TV and not constantly remind myself that I was going to fuck this up bad and want to cower into a hole as soon as it was over.
I left my apartment around 8 p.m. and made the journey to the club armed with a bunch of cold pills and cough drops – I felt like a real pro! As I walked in I felt confident that this was going to be a strong set. I was confident in the material, even made some tweaks I was looking forward to unveiling and I was eager to get on-stage – maybe those pills had something in them…
I arrive to a PACKED house. It was probably the most packed I’ve ever seen Gotham and the place was electric, it was great. I was feeding off the energy and my adrenaline was PUMPING.
Then everyone left.
You could literally hear a pin drop or, as I found out later, hear silence amplified beyond anything you would imagine when no one laughed at a joke.
There weren’t many comics on the bill that night, mostly because others had dropped off. I was called aside by the booker to discuss something important, away from the other comics.
In my head I was thinking this must be a good thing for me and then he goes, “no one showed up for you tonight.”
I had an idea by that time that no one was coming but I still put on my best Kevin McCallister and screamed at the thought of it. Luckily I could still perform and perform I did!
I was actually very happy with my set. Watching the video back I think you could tell I was relaxed and ready to go, which is a great thing to feel. My confidence never waned and I dove right in. There was a small crowd that night so some of the jokes don’t sound that great but that could also be because of the writing – I’m so good to myself.
I left the stage feeling rejuvenated and ready to pass out from being sick, it’s a weird feeling to explain but just know there is a lot of sweat involved. As I walked past the sound booth I was called in by the manager who gave me a lot of encouraging words. Thinking about it now makes me feel really great and inspired and thinking whether or not being a homeless man in a Starbucks is that bad of a fate if you follow your dreams to the fullest.