Yes, I sort of disappeared from doing standup.
I was very fortunate when the pandemic hit – my office moved pretty seamlessly to work-from-home. I quickly got used to watching business meetings on a screen that strongly resembled the opening of The Muppet Show.
Comedy, not so much. I tried, but it just didn’t feel right.
I was invited to do a few shows on Zoom. Everyone except the person on “stage” stays on mute or else there is audio chaos. (Hmm, “Audio Chaos” – wasn’t that a punk band?) Somehow, seeing a hand clap emoji just isn’t the same as hearing people actually laugh. I tend to be all over the stage when I do a show, so staying in webcam range was like wearing a straightjacket (at least what I imagine wearing a straightjacket is like. I’m not quite kinky enough to know for sure).
I was invited to pre-record a set for a fundraiser. Every performer was asked to record their bit at home and all of the clips were streamed at the time of the show. That added yet another distance from the energy of a show with an audience.
I dabbled with writing some new material during the pandemic. You can only do so much “I was so bored during the lockdown….” material. And everyone else has roughly the same experience. At least I never watched Tiger King.
Yeah, I sort of disappeared from doing standup. But things are mostly back to normal, so it’s time to pick up the microphone again.