30 minutes, 30 seconds, 30 days and 20 days

As I mentioned last time, I’ve been working with Chris Clobber to beef up my set for the “tour” I’m doing next month. I’ve been working the new material we’ve developed into some of the sets I’ve done recently, including those at the Burbank comedy festival and at an open mic this week.

This evening was our last scheduled session before those gigs. I’m feeling much more confident. We developed some segues to help me remember which bit follows which bit, and we’ve been reviewing some of the weaker material to bring it up a bit. Tonight we substituted a few bits with stronger ones and moved some others around to a more conversational flow. I’ll do the next show in Normal Heights as a ‘dress rehearsal’. I’ll be doing 30 minutes – this feels like moving into the realm of “real comedian”.

In other news, I did finish the video I mentioned in the last post. Sometimes I write more material than I know will make it onto the stage. I wrote a spoof of a Dr. Seuss book, but when I tried to use it on stage, it became apparent that the audience could handle only 30 seconds of it. I didn’t want to lose the rest of what I wrote, so I contacted comedian friend Chet Sewell and we did a video – you can see it here.

In non-comedy news, we’re expecting to close on the new condo on Monday, and I have lots of work associated with that. I started a web video series about it, since the condo has not been updated since it was built in 1975 and we want to modernize it, starting with a few “must do before we move in” projects. So for the next 30 days or so, that’s where most of my attention will be. Except, of course, for the time in Nevada and Oregon – OMG that’s only 20 days.

August, already?

Yikes it’s mid-August already, and I haven’t posted any updates.  A lot has been happening outside of the comedy arena – my husband’s contract job in Orange County became a permanent position and we’re buying a condo nearer his work (which is almost 100 miles from where we live now), I volunteered with the San Diego Fringe Festival, I’ve been working on a short parody video, I signed up to be an extra (wait – “background actor” is the new term, “extra” is considered demeaning), and now that we know where we will be living, I’m adjusting my “day job” search accordingly.

Still, you didn’t bring up this page to find out about all that.  

We’re still building the show in Normal Heights. We’ve had several local big name comedians on the stage. We even had one-almost full show and collected enough tips to cover our expenses – I consider that a success for a new room that has only been going for three months. It is also giving me something I was hoping – a regular place to try out new material and/or longer sets in a low risk environment.  It is true that there is no substitute for stage time, but it is also true that some stage time is better than others. 

I am still struggling to recover when a set starts off slow. If I don’t get a good reaction to my first bit, I don’t seem to be able to bring up the energy later in my set. Unfortunately this was an issue at the GLSEN fundraiser show; fortunately everyone else was really “on”, so the audience had a good time overall. And at the end of the day, that’s what counts, especially for a fundraiser.  Still, I hate to be the weak link.

I gave myself a challenge for the Clean Comedy Contest I was in last weekend – I wanted to do the set with no gay material at all. I felt the set went well, although some of the geek stuff landed a little flat. I didn’t make the top 2, but it was a good set and forced me to do a new opener and closer.

The next week is busy comedy-wise. Tonight I’m in Belly Room of the Comedy Store in Hollywood – my first time performing there. Next week I am in two showcases at Flappers in Burbank as part of the Burbank Comedy Festival. One of those is in the big room and one is in a primo slot (7:30 on Friday), so I’m feeling really good about that.

The looming challenge is the 30 minute set for Winnemucca & Klamath Falls next month. WIth the help of Chris Clobber, I’m reviewing my material and finding where we need to punch up some bits. We’re also locking down the flow of the set. I’ll try the full set out in Normal Heights before I do it on the road. I’m both excited and a little scared – I have a fear that I will forget part of it. But that’s why we push ourselves, right.

That’s about enough for now – I have to review the setlist for tonight’s show.