Hammers and Other Tools

I don’t have any stand up stage time scheduled this summer, but I’m still keeping the right side of my brain engaged.

This month I finally put pen to paper (or more accurately, fingers to keyboard) to complete a short play which I am submitting to a San Diego playwright festival.  It’s about a comedian in the hardest room – a night when everyone is focused on a tragedy. While it’s a solo show, it’s not the kind of thing that one can do during a standup gig (and I don’t really expect to perform it).  The idea has been in the back of my head since a friend told me about a night he had to do something like that, but I finally took the time to outline and write it.

In a totally different vein, I finished the costume for a drag character I will be doing at an event connected with the gay square dance convention. I am not a drag performer, but a few years ago, I wrote a comedic backstory for the character and have been joking that I should actually perform it someday. “Someday” will be this weekend.

I think it’s good to allow my creative endeavors to venture off the stand-up stage.  Last year, I wrote a parody that I knew was just too long to include fully in a stand-up routine, so I contacted a friend and created a video. When my husband and I took a long trip, I wrote a book. And now that we are renovating a condo (again!), I’m doing a web series.

These excursions are good for my stand-up too. I often do a few lines from that parody on stage. The book came out of a trip that inspires a stand-up bit and the web series is based on another bit.

It is said that if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The stand-up stage is just one hammer in my toolkit; I may not know how to use all the tools equally well, but I’ll never get better unless I exercise them all.