I closed out 2014 with a fizzle, two bangs, and two thumbs up.
First, the Fizzle. I was the feature at a show at Winstons in Ocean Beach, and I thought I was pretty flat. I hate that, not just for myself, but also because I have responsibility to keep up the energy to lead into the next person up. I know no one hits all the time, but I’m frustrated that I’m not at a point that I can turn my set around – if it starts off slow, it’s going to stay slow. It’s something I need to work on next year. So, come to a show – it’ll either be good and you’ll have a good time, or it won’t be good, and you can enjoy the schadenfreude.
Bang – Boxing Day show at Reds. The previous time I was at Reds, I did an only fair job hosting. This time I was in a sweet spot in the line up of very funny people and the audience was great. You know you did well when the host says “I got nothin’ to follow that” after your set.
Bang – Dat Phan and Friends at Lestat’s. Another great audience, another sweet spot, and a another wildly funny group of comedians – I had a great time and since people laughed at most of my stuff, I guess I did OK.
And the two thumbs up? Most weeks I have dinner on Tuesday at Baja Betty’s with friends and we go for a walk in Hillcrest afterwards. Last week, as we were coming out of the restaurant, a woman introduced herself as Madeline, and said she loved my set at the VFW. Then at the other end of our walk, we stopped into Our Gang to say hi to some friends, and one of the servers, Casey said she saw my set at Winston’s; despite how I felt I did, she said she enjoyed my set. Thanks and two thumbs up, ladies.
Tonight I did a show at the VFW hall in Imperial Beach. Yes, the VFW hall – that’s a first for me. Sometimes in non-comedy-club venues, I question whether my humor will be well-received. Tonight again, my fears proved baseless. In the middle of a joke with the punchline “Republican”, I stopped and said “I just realized this joke may not go over well here” and yet it did.
After the show, one of the other comedians commented that the fact most of my material comes from actual incidents is why people connect with it. Point taken – I don’t need to write jokes, I need to write material.
Oh, and a member of the audience asked me if I’m really gay – I guess she thought I am a much better actor than I am. No, it really is me on stage.
It’s all a part of the growing process.
One of the things I’m loving about doing comedy is that I get to meet so many nice people.
There are the people who come to the shows. Without them, I’d look pretty stupid standing on stage with a microphone, but it’s more than that. Several people have come up to me after a set and told me that something I said really resonated with them. Or that they’ve seen me before and I’ve gotten better. Or just that I brightened their day. And that makes my day.
There are the other people on stage. I’m constantly amazed that I get to be on the same show with big names like Dat Phan and Mark Christopher Lawrence, but even more impressed by the fact that they are genuinely nice people off stage as well. The local comedian community is pretty supportive as well. Two weeks ago, at an audition at KPBS, I ran into 3 local comedians and, even though we were all vying for the same job, we were genuinely happy to see each other. One of the KPBS staffers even mentioned it.
So, yes, comedy is about jokes, but mostly it’s about people.