Standing up

I’ve always wanted to do a little bit of stand-up comedy, just for fun, yet have never taken the time to pursue it.

It’s hard, people. Harder than you can imagine. Especially for someone like me, whose dry and self-deprecating style of humor doesn’t always translate well into the world of HEY HOW ABOUT THAT AIRLINE FOOD expectations.

My sole experience with stand-up is one unintentional set I performed at a local club in 2001. I say unintentional because it was an open mic night, and I didn’t go with the intention of performing.

The show started with a headliner (for some reason), which pretty much meant a death sentence for anyone who dared to follow with their awkward, amateur, foot-shuffling routine.

The three people who took the stage were okay, considering, and got polite receptions from the small crowd. Then the emcee put out a call to the audience for anyone else who wanted to perform. And somehow, even though I was the only sober person in the club, my friend convinced me to do it.

I did five minutes. I had no material, no planned set. I ad-libbed and riffed the entire thing.

And I killed.

It’s one thing to get laughs over the internet. It’s an entirely different feeling to get laughs from sixty people sitting in a dark room in front of you. It’s scary as hell, but it’s exhilarating. There are few feelings better than making people laugh by just being yourself.

I never did it again after that. I always thought it was a fluke; a one-time response from a room of drunks. I felt like I could never write and perform material that would get a better reception than the five minutes of stuff I’d made up on the spot.

posted 5/11/09 at 10:54am to Uncategorized · 0 replies · permalink