Rule of Three

They say comedy needs to happen in threes. Here are three very different comedy experiences in Las Vegas this weekend:
Saturday (gentleman’s club) – I found it difficult to connect & get laughs from the audience. I know I could blame it on the fact that the men were waiting for the burlesque performer that followed me and the women were waiting for the male stripper show later in the same room, but the reality is that when I’m on stage, my job is to make people laugh despite any obstacles. I need to work on that.

Sunday (regional Burning Man camping event) – It is mildly disconcerting to arrive at the venue where you are scheduled to perform only to find that the structure has been dismantled except for the entry and several thrift store sofas. This was a new “The Show Must Go On” moment for me. Burners are always ready to improvise though, and an audience member put a lighted hula hoop on the ground to be my “stage”. About the same number in the audience as the previous night, but we connected (& they laughed) right from the start. There was some newish material & I hadn’t worked out all the segues, I used notes. I have to work on memorizing the transitions for longer sets.

Monday (comedy club, as audience member, not performer) – Three comedians and three examples I can learn from. I guess that’s like the rule of three squared. The host/opener had what initially seemed like non-sequitur transitions between topics, but then with a few callbacks, wrapped everything up into a cohesive whole. The feature handled a heckler (well not heckling per se, but talking to the comedian and just wouldn’t shut up) by “reminding” himself that it wasn’t a good idea to engage with the audience at that particular part of the show. While I thought the headliner’s material was predictable, his delivery was so over the top that the audience lapped it up.
Not bad for a weekend, but I still don’t know the punchline.

A Coffee Shop, a Vegas Strip, and a little off the Strip

Earlier in the month, I made an appearance at Comedy Heights at Twiggs coffee shop in University Heights (San Diego). It had been several months since doing this show, but immediately I remembered why I love doing the show. The room was packed and enthusiastic, the other comedians were top notch, and when we pass the hat, people actually put money in it. Well, enough to cover gas for my drive at least. I tried two minutes of new material and four minutes of re-worked material I haven’t used in a long time and…. it all hit well.

As I write this I’m packing for Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas. Not entirely in Vegas per se. I’m going to the southern Nevada regional Burning Man event because A) It sounds like a great time, B) I haven’t done this event before, and C) I didn’t get Burning Man tickets in the first round, so I need a “playa fix”.  It takes place near Boulder City, and like Burning Man, you have to pack in and pack out everything you need for the event.  So you see why I need a break from packing.

Since I am going to be in Vegas, I thought I’d try to get booked for a show either Thursday or Monday – i.e. before or after the event.  Instead, I got a slot on the Sapphire Comedy Hour – yes, the big strip club – on Saturday. So I will miss a little of the festivities outside of town, but hey, I get to play Vegas on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend!

When I told the Burning Man regional event organizers that I will need to leave and return to the site, they asked if I would do a set in center camp at the event. So I will be doing that on Sunday night. It’s a little off the Strip, but it will be just as big a show for me.