Usually I put some time between my shows not because I can actually make that choice but because I need people to come at this point in my progression and people don’t like me enough to spend money on me constantly.
That sounds like I’m complaining but it’s the reality of it all. I barely want to spend all this time with myself so I’m not offended at all.
The show I did on 2/18 no one showed up to – which I detailed in the post about that show – so I was asked to do a show on 2/23 and bring as many people as possible to make up for the fact that I had such low attendance.
Part of the day I was checking my email secretly hoping that I would get kicked off the bill because I was struggling to find people to get drunk on a Monday night. As the seconds melted off the clock like an ice cube in the hot summer sun, my anxiety creeped up on me and the refresh button on my email was like pushing the button on the morphine drip but it was empty each time I went back for more.
Since there was no indication of me getting the boot I ventured down to the club early because I’m a professional. Turns out I couldn’t check-in yet so I sat at the local Starbucks where I played on my phone and worried about hitting my marks. I decided to fill up on iced coffees and get jittery prior to going to Gotham and checking out the open mic they were hosting in the smaller club downstairs. As I sat there watching other people perform their little hearts out I made the great decision to mix up my set and try some new things.
When 7:30 rolled around I did my best to sneak out of the smaller room without making a scene as to not distract the comic on-stage. I did my best to stay elegant and courteous for the performer and then I got caught up in the legs of my chair knocking that over and then proceeded to knock my drink over causing me to yell, “SHIT!”
I’ve spoken about the horrors of open mics and this is the exact thing that can deflate a comic on-stage and completely ruin their aspirations.
I got to the main room after struggling with the door downstairs, causing more distractions, and went to the three table area they consider the “green room.” I mingled with the other comics and saw that I was going on 9th!
If you’ve ever played baseball or softball you know that 9th is a position in the batting order where they typically put THE PITCHER or THE WORST HITTER ON THE TEAM – I’m not going to discuss the Designated Hitter used in the American League. In this case I wasn’t either but anticipation waiting for your turn is a killer and can really take you out of the zone especially when people start getting seated and there are only about 30 people in the crowd.
As people filed in I scanned the crowd to see if anyone was there for me and it appeared that wasn’t the case. I started to get nervous when the booker made his way to me, it was like the executioner was walking over to me with a hood in his hand. The he extended his hand, said “hello” and then went through the club rules.
The whole time I was waiting I expected to start making my way onto the stage only to be pulled off with a cane like at the Apollo theater.
And then my name was announced and I got to perform. The crowd took a while to warm up and in this instance going up 9th was actually a benefit because they were ready to go. I did my set, worked in some of my new stuff AND COMPLETELY FUCKED UP A JOKE!
I just stopped in the middle of it. I was working on something new and ended up on an unpaved road and thought, “well this has to connect with another road eventually!” And it didn’t, instead it lead to an abandoned house with some creepy woman standing in the window and I decided to turn around.
Luckily, admitting you messed up can benefit you when you’re on-stage and it did this time . People laughed and I even got my first applause break – gotta take ’em where you can get ’em – and in that moment I think people felt bad for me but still made a connection.
I got off stage feeling good – not great – knowing that sometimes just being a human being on stage can be the best way to approach comedy.