Approach | First Act | I’m Angry | What Time Is It? | Denouement | Also Noticed
The Open Mic Scene
When I embarked on this journey to become a comedian, I knew that I had to get on stage right away. I realized that the best joke without the best delivery wasn’t going to do me any good.
So, I immediately started looking up open mic’s in Toronto, and I found 5 that I could put in my schedule right away. These open mics are usually earlier in the week, I figure because they have the professional acts from Thursday – Sunday.
Last night, I visited my first one, which was Yuk Yuk’s at 224 Richmond Street in Downtown Toronto. I walked in a touch late because I didn’t have change for the parking meter. You see, I don’t have a credit card. Well, I technically do, but it’s, er, um, indisposed at the moment…
Anyhoo, so I pay my four dollars at the entrance (in change, no less; classy mike, classy downtown move) and walk downstairs into the main room. I’m alone and late and find a seat at the back.
There’s a white guy on stage, the host, and he’s funny. That intimidates me, because I realize that I have to be funny too. I know that sounds weird coming from a comic, but from a pure competitive standpoint, I can’t help that kneejerk emotional reaction that says, it’s you against him.
And I know I shouldn’t think and feel like that. I know that I should appreciate good art, that I should appreciate when another human being is doing what they were meant to do, because that’s what true human beauty is. Whether it’s an artist drawing, a singer singing, or even a salesman closing a deal, when a human being is applying their God-given talent, it’s a beautiful thing. Perhaps the most uplifting experience one can have is to see someone doing what they were meant to do, whatever that means.
The First Act
He brings up the first act, and I know the name because I’ve seen her online when I was researching the open mic nights. No offense, but she’s not funny. Is it ok to say that? Fuck it, it’s my blog and if you can’t give an honest opinion, you shouldn’t bother reading it. She’s just not that funny. You can tell because the claps outweigh the genuine laughter. But she’s trying, and I guess that’s worth something.
It’s clear why he is hosting the show – he consistently has funny jokes. He brings up a few more people, some funny, some not so much, and I start to get my confidence back. But I also am getting a bit upset.
I’m getting upset because it’s clear that a few of these comics have not prepared whatsoever. And that’s not the booking manager’s fault, that the comic’s fault ENTIRELY. They are just going up and trying to ‘wing it.’ And I don’t mind if they are trying to wing it and interacting with the crowd, because that’s an art in and of itself, a la Mike Bullard (see 3:13 of this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggtnh6NManA).
It makes me upset because this is something that I’m trying to do with my life, trying to dedicate my time and my energy, my heart and soul into, and here’s some guy on stage that obviously doesn’t give a shit if he does well or not, and its disrespecting himself, the person from the club that booked him, and the audience. It’s also disrespecting me, a guy that could have been on stage with written, prepared, well-rehearsed material ready to go – but can’t – because this guy wanted to, ‘see what it was like.’
So fuck you, unprepared guy. Get out of the way. Because when you’re in the way, you’re hurting yourself and the people that are ready behind you.