Stand-up Comedy at The Hard Rock Cafe: A Look Back

The last time I wrote a review of my performance at the Hard Rock Cafe, I was thoroughly disappointed in myself. On that occasion, I came to the stage ill-prepared and paid dearly for it. I told myself that I wouldn’t let that happen again.

How’d things go this time around? Well, I’ll give you my perspective, and hopefully you’ll let me know yours.

Travelling To The Show


As always, I took the subway down. With Buddhist monks chanting through my headphones, I closed my eyes and imagined my voice being called, taking the mic from the mic stand, smiling at the audience for the first time, hearing them laugh at my first joke, feeling the momentum as I moved deeper and deeper into my set.

What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve – Napoleon Hill

I also reminded myself that I didn’t have to break my back trying to make them laugh tonight. Reflecting on the fact that I had material that had been thoroughly tested really helped set my mind at ease.

Getting Used To The Stage

michael jagdeo stand up comedy at hard rock cafe

I made a point to come to the venue extra early so I could get used to the stage. I wanted to know where everything was, from the mic stand to the placement of the tables in front of me. In addition, I had an idea to incorporate the Hard Rock sign at the back of the stage into my, ‘Sexy Plenty Of Fish Profile Pictures‘ bit, and I needed to find out how far back I’d need to walk in order to use it effectively.

The Set Itself

The biggest mistake that I made during my last performance at the Hard Rock was that I included a bit that wasn’t completely polished and tested yet. It bombed, and that destroyed the good feeling I got from the three other bits that did well.

This time around, I had a solid five minutes of material. Let’s take a look and see how each bit did.

Sexy Plenty of Fish Profile Pictures
This worked. When they laughed at the, ‘SweetHotCookieCream‘ (an actual PlentyOfFish username, I might add), I knew that things were going well. There’s a lot of magic that’s created when the audience has an idea of where you’re going with something. When I said, ‘However…‘ at 1:34 and they chuckled, I knew the next 30-40 seconds were going to be fun. I wish the last line got a bigger laugh, but oh well.
Dates vs. Evenings
This is another joke that I’ve been working on for a couple of months. Shout out goes to Brian Ward who told me to put the thesis, ‘Women don’t want to go on dates…they want to go on evenings‘ in the beginning of the bit (0:14). He said that if I put it there, I’d audience would be on my side. The thing I’m most happy about is that I heard a guy in the crowd say, ‘And?’ at 1:31 right before I did, meaning that he knew exactly what I was going to say next. That tells me that I really connected with someone.
Why Quinn C. Martin Is Popular With The Ladies
One day, Quinn and I were talking on the phone, and he said, ‘Jags, you know why these girls like me? It’s because I don’t have any kids.’ That had me laughing for about two minutes…but he was dead serious. I’ll let you come to your own sociological conclusions on that one.

What’s Next?

michael jagdeo stand up comedy

The morning after the show, I felt kind of down. What do I do next? I had spent so much time preparing for the Hard Rock show that I forgot to plan my next steps. So, I took out my business plan, and started anew.

I’ve done Yuk Yuk’s, which is the largest chain of comedy clubs in the world. I’ve done Hard Rock, which…is Hard Rock. I have yet to do Absolute Comedy, which is Yuk Yuk’s major competitor in Toronto, so that’s next on the list. I also need to do a tour of sorts of the downtown shows. I’ve made a list of all of the comedians/producers/shows that I need to meet/get booked on, and this week I’ll start emailing them and proactively going to their shows to press flesh.

My goal is to do well on stage 8 out of every 10 times I step up. From there, my goal will be to KILL 8 out of every 10 times. That goal requires me to hone my improvisational skills as well as keep writing new material.

Essentially, I’m trying to build an hour’s worth of material so I can do a Comedy Now Special and Just For Laughs in the next 1-2 years. I know it usually takes people a long time to get to that level, but I’m not people. That probably comes off as arrogant, but I know that I can make people laugh.

life plan via workflowy

As simple as it sounds, I just need to keep:

  • Maintaining and improving my physical and mental well-being
  • Getting on stage
  • Writing new material
  • Taking risks
  • Seeing great comedians
  • Plugging into my mentor, Quinn C. Martin

By doing those things, success is guaranteed. Guaranteed? Yes, guaranteed.

I hope that whatever you do, when you have a really successful moment, you’re filled with the same spirit of male bravado that I felt when I walked off stage. This song embodies how I felt,

Jagdeo

PS – I’m currently in the process of negotiating with the Illuminati. They wrote all of my material, convinced everyone to laugh, and have even provided me with a personal trainer to help me get back in shape. Thanks, Illuminati! [virtual secret handshake]

About Michael Jagdeo

My name's Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I'm a Comedian from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to honing my stand-up comedy act, I maintain this blog and write the weekly comedy article for blogTO.com.
This entry was posted in How To Be A Comic, My Comedy, Open Mic Experiences, The Art & Science of Comedy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stand-up Comedy at The Hard Rock Cafe: A Look Back

  1. I think your line that you wish could have got a bigger laugh was a good set up, but not everybody knows about Mufasa. Gettin fucked by Tarzan might be a bit more universal. Just a thought. Jane could always hold the camera.

    • Hey Ryan!

      Yeah, you’re right, Tarzan might be more universally recognized. I guess a part of me liked the idea of placing an innocent cartoon in a sexually suggestive situation. And now that I think of it, that part of me needs therapy.

      Were you thinking something along the lines of, ‘If Jane assumes this position in the wild, she’s getting fucked by Tarzan.’ ? I like that!

      Jagdeo

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