I am sitting at home Friday night working on some new comedy for a last minute gig I got in NYC tomorrow night. I am excited for it because regardless of how it goes, when I am in NY, I always feel so alive. It is, without exception, my favorite city.
It has occurred to me that this blog has been sort of heavy as of late – very cathartic for me – but perhaps it was time to get back to the reason I started it in the first place – getting my comedy mojo going. And, I promise, I won’t use the word “mojo” again.
When I first did stand-up it was on a dare – actually with myself – I had given myself 1 year from a birthday to try it and I was less than 10 days away from the next birthday. I took my kids roller skating and next door was a sign for an open mic…10 days before my birthday. So, that was it.
The main reason I considered it is because I had been writing for such a long time and was frustrated that I just didn’t know how to get “It out there”. After reading a lot of blogs and a few books, they all seemed to agree that the stand-up thing was a necessary evil, at least starting out, to network and also learn how to frame dialogue. I think there is something to that.
Now, I still am at it but grapple with if I really am funny or not. It’s hard to admit that because I envy so many of the comics I work with and get the crowd going every time. They are amazing to me. It is so difficult. I love the feeling of getting people to laugh and my best laughs have been in social situations or at work but that is a very different thing than being on stage. Perhaps, I’m not stand-up material and I am really more of a writer. That is fine, too.
That being said, I know I have improved and have had moments that feel really good. This is something every comedian goes through and I am still a newbie, relatively speaking. There are a lot of things I am still figuring out: the balance between pleasing the crowd and trying new stuff out; the balance between things that work and being edgy (my preference); how to trust my instincts and not plan as much; how to let go; how to find my natural stage presence and most importantly, how to stop making excuses to myself and others about why I am doing this.
I don’t think a lot of people understand the craft of comedy and writing. Just like any other profession, there are those who take their craft seriously and work really hard and there are…well, you get the point. I am taking it as seriously as any other comic, with the caveat that I will not usurp my responsibility to my family, which means comedy comes after family and my job that provides for said family.
For a long time, I was told to “hide” the fact that I am not a “full time” comedian. Who cares? It is not a coincidence that the people who have the least amount of time are usually the ones to take on more responsibility. Life is not an all or nothing game and I enjoy it (usually).
I am grateful for the opportunity to do something that has opened me up to a whole new world and regardless if it ever takes off or not, there still remains a push from within to not give up.
Comedy is pretty serious.
Until next time,