Wednesday, August 27, 2008


My first gig proved to be a success. The event's organizer was thrilled with our performance and said everyone enjoyed our show. The crowd was about 80 successful businessmen and women and I hosted. What kind of threw me off was that the event's emcee was really funny. He knew everyone and jabbed at all of them. It was nerve racking having to follow that. So I was introduced, did a few jokes and introduced each comic. The comics loved performing for this crowd. They were attentive and had a great collective sense of humor.
Now, the show didnt quite bring on the type of success I was hoping for (at least not yet). I was expecting to be able to network and get some leads for future gigs that night, but after our show, the band they hired stole the show and everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves. So I simply hounded the organizer for the pay and went on my way. I left a nice big stack of cards for them to take so maybe Ill get a few calls soon. The other comics were to bring DVDs to sell, but didnt. Not sure why.
This show did bring on some success other than the immediate praise from the organizer that night. Two of the comics performing that night are part of a group and are working to form an official standup comedy company. They told me they were very impressed with the level of show I was able to put together and sort of invited me to join them. I say sort of because they didnt outright ask me to join them. I simply went over to their home and we discussed quite a few ideas regarding getting more exposure. My concern with the group is that there may be too many mouths to feed. I considered declining the offer, but then i thought, 'what am i doing to help myself?' Nothing. At least being included in a group can keep me a bit busy creatively with little projects and instead of just me looking for work, theres four of us working for a common goal- RECOGNITION.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My first Gig!

I'm partnering up with a business networking group for their annual banquet. They've decided to offer me a half hour block to showcase my comedy. Since I dont have 30 minutes of (good) material, I've invited a group of comics that Ive worked with. They've offered me stage time when they had shows, so I felt obligated to reciprocate. This business group is offering to take pretty good care of us. Dinner and drinks will be taken care of for all of us and they'll have a table for us to put out merchandise and are allowing us to pass out flyers and cards. To top it all off, they're paying me! I guess this is pretty standard stuff, but usually no one wants to pay us, and we have to beg for food. What we're really looking to get out of this is more work. This sounds like an incredible opportunity to showcase to 150 different local business owners. We'll see how it goes.

Carlin's dead, Im not

I AM still alive, incase any of the zero readers were wondering. I just got really lazy about posting since I havent been getting on stage. I'd like to say I havent had time to get onstage due to my 2 jobs, but that would be a major cop out. It's a very minor obstacle to simply ask for a monday night off. Truth is, I've been procrastinating and allowing my stage fright to come up with excuses.
I have been going to shows and have found a couple places I'd like to perform at soon. Only problem is, its a bar scene and its really hard to get ppls attention. People dont go to a bar to see a comedy show. They go to drink and socialize. I'd have a really big problem if I was a patron of the bar trying to talk with friends or maybe flirt with a couple ladies (shh dont tell my wife), and some guy with a mic started shhshing me because I was interrupting the show. No, Im not interupting the show, you are interupting my 'game'. So there's another EXCUSE for me not trying to take the stage at the only available open mics in town. So tell me Roly, when the FUCK are you going to get stagetime.
I think that last paragraph was all over the place, but somehow it makes sense to me. And since im the only one that reads this, I wont be editing. I refuse to conform. But Im sure most comics would agree it sucks to have to perform on a milkcrate in the middle of a bar and no one paying attention. And most comics would still take the stage simply because its all we can get. So, snap out of it! Take the stage already.
George Carlin passed away recently and through the countless specials dedicated to carlin, I learned a bit more about him and comedy in general. About him, I learned that we were kind of similar in our approach to the craft. Turns out, he'd been keeping a journal since the beginning of his career. Sound familiar? Here I am thinking Im doing something revolutionary, offering my future fans a glimpse into the life of a beginning comic and how he made it big when all along, Carlin had beat me to the punch.
I also learned a bit more about comedy writing in general through these Carlin specials. Essentially there are 2 kinds of standup writers. Wordsmiths, as Carlin and I are. (Dont slam me. I know im not, or ever will be in the same level as Carlin) Every word he spoke onstage was carefully and meticulous crafted to perfect his bits. The other kind of writer is the ranter. Basically a ranter thinks up a topic the s/he finds interesting and tries to make it funny without sitting down and actually crafting a joke. They get on stage and just talk about nuances and its usually a hack topic. It may sound like im slamming this style and Im truly trying not to. I know it wont work for me and frankly, I think its a lazy approach. It usually works well with audiences if the comic has some personality, but I imagine it would work so much better if the comic put some time and effort into what he's going to say. As I write this, I have 1 particular comic in mind. Its a local comic who Ive worked with and have become good aquaintances with. He's been doing this alot longer than I have, so who am I to tell him how to write. It does kind of bother me tho, that he thinks thats the only way to do it. So, of course, he pushes that approach on me. I can never get behind a micstand with knowing exactly what Im going to say. My performance anxiety would never allow me to attempt it. Hopefully, I can get over my stage fright, because the open-minded part of me would like to try that approach. It may work well for my act to mix it up. Well, the family just arrived so I've completely lost my train of thought. I'll wrap this one up and hopefully my next entry will include a story about me onstage.