I feel calm. Not all the time, mind you, but more and more as I get on stage. I understand that there’s a natural progression and that the more you do something, the more comfortable you feel about it. But, I wasn’t expecting this.
I’ve started to just come up with topics or ideas off the top of my head and run with it. I’ll give it a go on stage with nary an ounce of trepidation. If it works, great. If not, well, I’ll try it a few more times just to make sure.
I’m starting to feel like I want to take more risks. I want to get into crowd work. Add a little bit of uncertainty into the foray. Am I being over confident? Am I playing with fire? Perhaps, but playing with fire is how steel was invented. Not to say that I’m comparing my budding comedy career to steel, but maybe tin.
Next stop, aluminum.
As I sit here waiting for the show to start, saddled with strep throat and a general malaise overall, my thoughts turn to the old saying, “the show must go on.” Fuck that noise, I feel like shit.
So, I’ve been coming to the Funky Buddha in Boca now for their open mic for the last four weeks and there’s something that I learned rather quickly: the signup processs is a fucking madhouse.
For the uninitiated, open mic’s have a signup sheet that’s numbered with the slots that are available for the evening. Most, if not all, open mic’s put this list out an hour before the show starts. This known as ‘dropping the list’.
With every open mic I’ve been to other than this one, the list drop is fairly benign. Show up at the time the list drops or even a little later and there it is, sitting out waiting for signups. Easy peazy, lemon squeezy.
Except, that is, for the Funky Buddha. It’s currently 6:30pm and I just arrived to claim my spot in the front, waiting for the list to drop at 8pm. That’s right, I’m here 90 minutes early. The reason? It’s because by 7, they’ll be a dozen people here and by 7:15, that’ number will swell three times that.
That wouldn’t be a big deal if the signup was, at the very least, somewhat organized. It’s not. Not even close. By 7:45, there’s a dense crowd gathered around the table where the list will drop. By 7:55, it’s like a feeding frenzy. And when that list hits the table, it’s a God-damn free-for-all. There’s no line, there’s no courtesy, there’re no prisoners. It’s a bum rush to get your pen-filled hand near the paper so you can (hopefully) get the slot you want… or at least close to it.
So, where does that leave me? Sitting out in front of an empty venue writing a blog post and girding my loins for the impending battle.
At least the weather’s nice.
I was thinking about this this morning. I’ve been spending more times in bars and restaurants in the last few weeks than I have in years. In fact, I’ve been to one every night this week. The reason, of course, is because I’ve been hitting up all of these open mic nights. However, the more bars I’m at, the less drinking I’ve been doing.
For those of you that know, or maybe even for those of you that don’t, I’m a big fan of martinis (and vodka in general). It’s not uncommon for me to pour myself a drink at the end of the workday and relax. However, with all of this driving to different venues and my desire to stay ‘level-headed’ before and during my performances, I’ve become quite the teetotaler.
I’d say this is a good thing, which it is, but it also making me wonder. Had I gotten so used to having a cocktail at night not just for what I perceived to be the enjoyment and relaxing qualities, or because I was merely bored and had nothing else to do. Now with this standup thing, I’m occupied and this occupation is keeping me away from the booze, even though I’m surrounded by it now more than ever.
I reached out to the comic who runs the New Faces of Comedy show at the Fort Lauderdale Improv to ask him about how I could get into the show. He’d told me once before that the show fills up about a month in advance and that there’s a lot of comics that want to participate.
So, it was much to my surprise that he told me that he wanted me to participate in next week’s show! So, it looks like I’m back on stage at the Improv on Thursday, May 15th at 8pm.
To add some icing to the cake, he mentioned that the comic who runs the open mic at the Funky Buddha I’ve been to twice paid me some really great compliments.
This is all exciting stuff and I need to keep it going.