Over the past two months, I fell into a trap that every experienced comedian warned me about when I started back in October: the trap of not writing new material.
I realized that I was in a trap this morning when I listened to The Duncan Trussell Family Hour featuring Joey Diaz. They spent a good amount of time talking about work ethic and discipline. The interesting thing was that Joey Diaz didn’t think he had a strong work ethic, per se, because he enjoyed the writing process…me too.
How I Fell Into The Trap
Over the past little while, I had a laser focus on crafting a five-minute set that would kill at the Hard Rock Cafe and on my television performance on Late Night With Matty D. To be fair, the feedback from those shows has been excellent, and I’m glad that I spent a lot of time manicuring my material for those shows.
However, I can see the future. As requests for me to perform come in more often, I realize that I’m going to be asked to do longer and longer sets. New York and California aren’t that far away, and I need to be ready. I need to become a killer. Most importantly, I have a deep desire to be a killer. Good thing I can press any button to continue, eh?
Pivotting My Goal
My goal during the past two months: Do well (get laughs and have people come up to me after a show) 8 out of 10 times I’m on stage.
My new goal moving forward: Do well (get laughs and have people come up to me after a show) using improvisation, crowd work, new and old material 8 out of 10 times I’m on stage.
I think that the adjusted goal reflects the well-rounded comedian that I would like to become. I’m not upset at my old goal; pivotting can be one of the most useful parts of the goal-setting process (just ask Instagram).
How Do I Do That?
Alas, a goal without a plan is merely a dream. How am I going to come up with the next round of applause-breakingly good material? A writing blitz. For the next 20 days, I’m going to write new material and develop older bits, and I’m going to publish this work on the blog. I’ll call it, ‘The 20-Day New Material Challenge.’
In addition, I’m going to be taking this new material to the stage. Now, since I will also be focusing on building up my improvisation and crowd work muscles, there’s bound to be some uncomfortable times ahead. There will be times where I don’t get laughs…ok probably a lot of times where I don’t get laughs.
But hey, my goal isn’t just to write a killer five, ten, or fifteen minute set. My goal is to be a killer with all of the tools of the trade at my disposal. When the call to do an hour comes along, I will be ready.