I haven’t been on stage at all this month, but that doesn’t mean comedy hasn’t been on my mind.
Early in the month a group of my comedian friends all went together to see Eddie Izzard. It’s one thing to watch a TV special and another to see a comedian live. I was stuck by the educational aspects – references to British history, multiple language jokes, etc. I have mostly avoided topics I feel are too technical to get to a quick punchline, but in fact I love getting technical, so maybe I need to re-think that.
I have been on a two week plus trip to Europe – I’m writing this from the Newark airport on my way home. The first week was in Paris and I was playing tour guide for a friend, so I didn’t do much comedy – except to tell him that Cleopatra’s Needle was either a gift or a theft depending on which country you listen to. The second stop was Milan for the world’s fair and a special Cirque du Soleil show at the fair. The pre-show was an Italian clown act. I’m not generally a fan of this sort of buffoonery, but I can appreciate the talent it takes to do comedy with basically no words , as one must when the audience speaks a dozen or more languages. I tend to do some wordplay on stage; I don’t see a need to change that any time soon, but I’m thinking I should probably put some physical comedy training in my long term plans for versatility. My third stop was Barcelona. A friend of mine from high school lives in Spain and in the midst of our catching up, we chatted a bit about comedy; apparently there’s not much of a local standup scene there, as they get a lot of the French comedy influence, that is to say physical comedy as personified by Jerry Lewis. I don’t think I can go that far.