So last night my A material bombed. The first time I performed it, it did great! And so my last post discussed the fact that I planned on killing tonight to prove that my A material was worthy of its title. Fuuuuuz – things didn’t go like I planned it in my head…
Realest Blog Ever
Yo homie, I’ve decided that this is going to be the realest comedy blog ever in the history of blogs and history. Most people would just post videos of them succeeding. I’m going to do the exact opposite. I’m going to show you the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I’m going to show you it in whatever order it decides to come out.
Hopefully, it can be inspiring to some. Hopefully it’ll show everyone the real part of starting something new. The reality is that falling is part of learning how to walk. Because that’s how tings gwaan when you start out. Eryting nuh gwaan criss when yuh fuss reach ah foreign. (Translated: Because that’s how things go when you first start out. Things don’t always go as planned when you try something new.)
Tonight didn’t go as planned. I thought that I would kill, and I didn’t. But I’m going to learn from tonight. Let’s take a journey into a set that doesn’t work out, and let’s see if we can’t glean some nugget of truth to go with the 9-pack of shame.
Mike has trouble with the mic
You’d think this would be obvious, but it was my first time using a microphone to do stand up. And when I got on stage I wasn’t talking into it, and the host said to talk into the microphone more. Fiddlesticks. That threw me off right away. You can probably tell:
Squirming in your chair yet?
I rehearsed a special opening for tonight, which related to the venue (a waffle house) and the fact that the first item on the menu was named, ‘Waffle Bacon.’
You can tell that the problem was that I wasn’t speaking into the mic. But remember, I didn’t know that at the time. I figured they didn’t find it funny. Watch me completely talk through their applause – I can’t hear it. It’s clear as day to you, but I don’t hear any of it.
I gotta get more comfy on stage.
That didn’t kill?
As a comic, there are times when you are dead certain that things are going to get laughs. That opening didn’t work out the way I thought it would, I think because I wasn’t speaking into the mic.
Not getting the response I thought I would, coupled with the fact that I was having trouble adjusting to using a microphone for the first time, was tough. Deflating, really. My springboard turned into quicksand on me.
And it’s like a ish snowball, gaining ish as it continues to roll downhill. Put a ‘t’ in front of ‘ish’ and spell all of it backwards and you’ll see what I’m getting at. I’m trying to keep this a G-rated blog for the kids. Because the kids are definitely reading this…
Manboobs doesn’t go down well
In a bit, you have preset points where you think the audience will laugh. The crowd didn’t laugh as much as I thought they would. And the room starts choking you. And you start rushing the preamble to get to the punchline. And you start sinking. Keep in mind, you might hear people laughing, but I didn’t. All I heard was a thick, imposing silence:
Please continue. There is a silver lining to this, but I warn you: it gets worse before it gets better.
And The Ish-ball gains steam
And man, because I’m not saying the bit right, because I’m rushing the premise, because I’m not taking the time to paint the picture I should, the next part completely bombs. No laughs whatsoever…
I think you get the picture.
But all is not lost
The room was very narrow and long, and I was totally separated from the back of the room. When I approach Natasha Henderson, the host of the show, I apologized for things not going well. She said, ‘No, it went ok. The people in the back were dying of laughter!’
Here I am considering throwing out my A material, and there were people dying in the back. And Natasha reiterated to me that she loved the manboob bit.
And now that I actually watch the video, I didn’t totally bomb, which is what I was convinced of when I got off stage. I semi-bombed. And that’s ok.
Lesson #1: Hold the Mic in your Hand, Einstein
Lessons Learned #2: Learn to relish the experience
At my second visit to an open mic, I had a chat with Kevin Gasior, a seasoned stand-up comedian. He told me not to judge my stand-up career until I had done 100 sets. He said, “It will be weird at first. One time you’ll kill and the next time you’ll completely bomb.”
That didn’t make sense to me at the time. How could material get different reactions from audience to audience? Funny was funny, no?
But that’s kind of like saying Michael Jordan sucked because sometimes he scored below 30 points a game. Even the best basketball player ever had a shakey start. Heck, Jordan was cut from the high school squad.
As long as I learn to relish the time I have on stage, I can enjoy myself, even if there are some people in the crowd that don’t.
Lessons Learned #3: I Love Comedy
Francis Brian Shaw, a comedian with 3 years of experience said to me, ‘The worst day as a comedian is still better than the best day in an office.’ Truer words, for me anyway, were never spoken.
Even with semi-bombing tonight, I had fun today. I had fun writing the Starving Artist bit, and I had a good time because my sister and gf were so supportive. Finally, it turns out that there were more laughs than I realized, and that my A material is A material if I believe in myself and don’t self-sabotage on stage.
So hey ladies, if you’re still reading this and haven’t totally been turned off by my lackluster performance tonight, I’m here to stay. Dude, I’m having fun. I’ve finally figured out a career where I could write all day and perform at night.
See you don’t understand, I can’t work a nine to five. No really, uff the nine to five, son. I’m going to enjoy life.
My name is Mike I’m not your legal type of fella,