Disclaimer: This post will make more sense if you read this first.Dear Diary,
Right as I was about to take the stage, the host whispered in my ear,
Hey man, we’re running late; I don’t know you, and so I can only give ya two minutes.
‘I’m gonna do my best shit!‘ I reacted with a confident smile.
I ran out of my best shit in a minute and a half. On the way home, I realized that doing well on stage didn’t mean that I had to use my best jokes. That was breakthrough number one.
But what then? How could I make people laugh? The other options were clear: crowd work and improv. But how did you do that?
The answer was simple: you just fucking did it. You just started talking to the audience, and hopefully they talked back. You just started improvising, and hopefully something funny came out of your mouth. Either way, I couldn’t bomb any worse than I was with my material!
Now, did I implement that strategy the next day? No fuckin way! I was scared as shit to do that! I was afraid of the silence, afraid that it wouldn’t work, afraid that I’d offend someone.
But as Don Juan said, the first enemy of a man of knowledge is fear. So last night, I did a set at an open mic, and you know what I did? I did ZERO fuckin crowd work, and ZERO fuckin improv.
Luckily, I had a chance to do another set right after. Even more luckily, there was a man and a women sitting side by side that weren’t comics! Two actual audience members!! Even MORE luckily, the host called the man out for hitting on the woman, which I realized I could piggyback on!
Now, it’s not like I got a crazy amount of laughter, but I got chuckles throughout, and that’s a start. And hey, it got more laughs than most of my material has for the past three weeks!
So what’s the story here? Meditation has quieted my mind so that I’m sensitive to what’s happening/not happening on stage, and it’s also exposing the fears that are holding me back. And now that I know fear is the number one obstacle I need to overcome right now, I’m going to do crowd work and improv every chance I get until I’m completely at ease.
So yeah man.