This might be one of the most interesting topics I’ll ever write about. It has to do with what’s funny and what’s not, and how you should judge between the two when starting out. No lie, this is a must-read for any new comedian. Oh, and by posting something about bombing on stage, I’m the realest ninja out there, fer real dough…
I have a 5-minute set that I consider my A material. A material is the stuff that you think is the funniest out of everything that you have. It’s like a lyrical logo. ‘My flows lyrical making y’all ninja’s cynical – rotten – nobody knows your name; forgotten.’ Damn, I’m a rapper. $22.95 for the debut LP. That’s right: we’re going back to import CD prices from 1995, bitches. I think that was the price for the Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony East 1999 CD; my favourite (that’ right, favoUrite, Yankee…) CD all time. My name be MC Jwag All Deo (pronounced Day-O). For my caucasian audience, swag refers to the confidence one exudes. Jwag is a play on that term. It’s…lets save that for another post.
The first time that I performed my A material, I got a steady helping of laughs from an crowd that consists purely of comics. I felt very confident after that.
Yesterday, I performed the very same material in front of 6 comedians and got a sputter of laughs. I bombed. And bombing for the first time sucks ass. It sucks because, as a neurotic, you start to rethink this whole career. Objectively, so far one crowd has loved my stuff, one crowd has not loved my stuff. So officially the jury is still deliberating on my fate. But how you feel doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.
How we feel about life
Robert Anthony said your impression of life can be likened to looking at pictures of a party the day after. If you only looked at the people at the party that had a crappy time, you’d get the impression the party wasn’t that good. But if you looked at all the people that had a great time, you’d get the impression the party was great. The key is balance.
The Crazy-ass experiment
And so tonight I’m at Starving Artist’s Bar, 584 Lansdowne, Toronto, ON. It’s 10:19am and I go on stage circa 10pm.
I’m writing this blog right now because I believe my material is kick-ass. And so I’m going to do a crazy experiment and film it for you.
I have film from last night of the bomb. I’m going to have tonight’s performance filmed as well. WHEN I KILL TONIGHT, I’m going to put up a video that shows, one after another, the reactions from the different crowds.
My goal? To show that one bomb does not a comic destroy. To show that my material rocks. To show that you shouldn’t take the advice on what’s funny from other comics, because they tend not to laugh at jokes as much as a lay crowd.
I’m going to practise (practise verb, practice noun) my ass off to make sure I’m on point. I can’t do a contrast if there’s nothing to contrast, and boy am I going to have one hell of a contrast tonight.