I’ve had some great times doing comedy at Burning Man – late nights at stage that happened to be next door to where I was camping, a show where the performers and audience were both naked, being the ‘headliner’ at the self-proclaimed ‘Worst Show on the Playa’ – but this year wasn’t one of them. My only ‘scheduled’ show was 3 PM at the Center Camp Cafe’s Spoken Word stage. Doing standup outdoors midday is usually a little tough anyway because people generally are less inclined to laugh when other people can see them doing it. That’s one reason why comedy clubs are generally dark. Add to that the fact that the Spoken Word stage is mostly populated by people with a serious cause to promote, and I had an uphill battle to extract laughter from the crowd. Seeing that I was not quite up to the challenge, I shortened my set.
There’s a group of musical theater enthusiasts we’re a part of that meet monthly to discuss local theater. There is always entertainment at these meetings, and the leader of the group, upon hearing that I do comedy, asked me to do a set this month. While I thought I was prepared, I realized partway through the set that certain jokes I had planned wouldn’t in the venue (an Italian restaurant, with people still eating). Sometimes I can adjust my planned set on the fly. This wasn’t one of those times.
Last night, I was invited to perform at a monthly show at the Faultline in Silver Lake. And 10 minutes at that! It was a pretty stellar lineup, with some comedians who work in various roles on big TV shows, etc. I held my own pretty well, getting a great reception.
So two sort of misses and hit. That’s just enough success to keep me going and just enough failure to make me work harder.