Thursday, May 5, 2011
My friend, Tyler, who wasn’t really my friend at the time, asked me if I wanted to do stand up about four years ago for a show he was putting on. I had always wanted to try it, but I’ve always hated memorizing things, so I needed to figure out a way that I could it without writing new stuff and without memorizing anything. So, I decided that I would do it as a really nervous guy giving a speech reading off of notecards, using Things I’ve Noticed jokes from my talk show, The Mystery Hour.
It has evolved some since then, but it is basically the same thing. See it here. I’ve done it a number of times over the last few years and it has been really well received for the most part. When I moved to LA I was excited to continue it. Then, I did an open mic in front of a handful of other comics, followed by a stand up club audition in front a handful of comics. Those did not go so great, so it shot my confidence quite a bit. I just thought that people in LA must not get it and must like a different style. It was pretty confusing because it had gone so well previously.
I saw an opportunity to do it again that wasn’t an open mic, so I figured I would give it a shot. The show was last night at the Comedy Store, the original and iconic stand up club in LA on the Sunset Strip. Leno, Letterman, Pryor, and others used to roam that place.
I was supposed to sell 20 tickets and I was completely surprised when I did. There was a good crowd for me. 90% of the people I know in LA came.
The show was supposed to start at 10 pm and I didn’t have any instructions about anything for where I should be when. I ended up hanging out in the green room by myself for quite awhile. It looks like a swank nightclub from the eighties. I was thinking about how many famous comedians have hung out in the same green room waiting to go on stage. I was also thinking about how much cocaine was probably snorted back there. That feeling came from the fact I just read a book about the club in the 70s and 80s saying there was, as well as the ritzy eighties decor and the mirror topped coffee table, with a step to get on it. With no hyperbole, the only conclusion I could draw was that the table was for cocaine and strippers.
I didn’t touch it.
I talked to some of the other comics backstage, who were a nice group. In my experience, most comics come across as brash and confident on stage and off stage are pretty subdued and quiet off stage.
I was getting nervous sitting there since my stand up confidence was recently made weak and the crowd seemed quiet. I was sixth out of ten comics. Plus, one of the comics said there was a rep from ICM, a big agency, in the audience.
It was my turn.
The guy introduced me as a comic who just moved here from New York. He was wrong, but it sounded cooler than Missouri, quite frankly. My friends in the audience represented a good portion of the crowd and cheered right when I walked out. I can tell in my unique style of stand up that if the crowd is laughing as I awkwardly toy with the mic when I first walk out that it is going to be a good crowd, and they were.
From, “they say public speaking is one of the most frightening things a person can do…” at the start to “remember these top five comedy rules” at the end, they were with me.
It went really really well.
Quite honestly, it really felt good to have that again. It’s been awhile. I would say it is my first real victory here. I’ve done a couple of student projects, but it was great to be on a stage in front of an audience having it go well.
The comic who went in front of me was a commercial agent. When she told me I said, “Oh, I don’t have one of those.” I got her card. I don’t know what the rules are for when I can e-mail her, so I will do it today.
After the show I hung out with some of the guys from my improv class at one of their apartments and went to bed at 3 am. There was no cocaine involved.
36 affirmation points.