Where Do I Fit In?

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I had a conversation with Dez just last night, and one thing that he said really stood out for me, hence the title of the blog.

He had a discussion with a guy who is a booker for one of the big three late night shows on US t.v.   I believe the conversation was about the fact I was only in comedy for a year and I haven’t really defined myself as a comic yet.  This booker said to not worry about it, sometimes the acts he books take three or four years sometime to fill out and to find their niche.  While this was certainly positive in the sense that I can still stick with it, it certainly makes me wonder where exactly do I fit into the scope of the Saskatoon comedy scene?

Of the newer guys who are on the local comedy scene, if you spend enough time watching them perform, you can get a sense of their onstage persona, stage presence, or shtick.  There is one comic, a good friend named Steve Thomas.  He’s Irish, and started off very strong for a newcomer, and he’s been able to maintain a consistent performance level from one set to the next.  Steve has only been at the comedy game for a few months.  Junior Kush has been at it for just over a couple of years now.  When I watch him onstage, maybe it’s because I am a fellow performer and can see it a bit more than others, but I get a clear indication of what he’s trying to accomplish when he gets up onstage, from his mannerisms, stage presence and audience interaction.  I can’t quite put it into words to describe, but there is definitely something there.

Then there is another friend, Dylan Williamson.  He started around the same time I did, and was struggling early on like I was.  Then he got a few pointers and shot way up in terms of his performance overnight, and he’s been getting better ever since. 

Every time I am onstage, I try to have a central theme for my material, or at least string it together within a certain subject, but from one set to the next, I’m never really certain if I’ve set out in defining myself as a performer yet.

There have been a couple of moments that I felt were watershed-like, in the sense that I matured as a performer. The first probably was on the night I beat some of Saskatoon’s best on the comedy competition one night at Manchesters. Then there was the night at The House Tap Bar for the comedy festival, the creation of my homeless material, and the night of the fundraiser where Jody told me to do more time. So, as you can see, over the space of a year, those types of moments I can only count on one hand, and I am not able to fond a common thread between them all, to build a foundation for something. Then again, when certain people see some performances and not the others (of the few I considered noteworthy), it makes it tough to gauge the feedback.

Dez had said being more of a host is more along the lines of a defined role I can get for myself. While the hosting needs some polishing up, I am not sure its something I will do for certain down the road, as you are somewhat restricted from doing material once the show is underway, unless an act bombs, then you need to break out the material in order to bring the show back up. Last nights hosting wasn’t as good as it could have been because I didn’t get lots of laughs at the start. It made me feel like I was brand new all over again playing to a largely silent room. The material I did last night needed to be worked into the crowd work I die, so until I get better at the hosting, for now I am limited to the material I can use to relate to the crowd with.

With more practice though, I can slowly start to include more and more of my material into the hosting and crowd work.

I’m sure with the turmoil that presently exists within my life now, it doesn’t make it any easier to figure this shit out. It will come though, just takes time. I do get laughs, the timing and delivery is getting better. Nobody can tell me that I don’t belong. I have put too much time and work into this, ignoring the people who said I can’t do it. With help from Dez, we will find that happy medium, someday…………

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