Performing For Saskatchewan “Royalty”

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I have been asked more than once if I ever get nervous before I hit the comedy stage, and my answer is usually no.  After about 2.5 years of doing this, it’s more the sense of anticipation that builds, and hoping I remember the order of my set list.  I don’t call that being nervous because once I am performing the nervousness goes away, except for last Sunday.

Artists, athletes or entertainers will tell you that there is some nervousness, some butterflies that they get before the show goes on. The day the butterflies disappear is the day that even the best ones pack it in, because it isn’t fun anymore.  When all the preparation and practice prepares you for that moment before they say your name, and you don’t feel anything inside, that’s the time to walk away, whether it be in business, entertainment or life in general.

So I had absolutely no clue what I was in store for when I confirmed my attendance at this private fundraiser at a Regina restaurant last Sunday.  I was told there may be Rider players in attendance but I didn’t think much of it at the time.

Until I got there.  Gene Makowsky.  Donald Narcisse.  Taj Smith.  Chris Best.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shit

This was a private fundraiser for a Cancer survivor that was held in the back corner of the restaurant yet still within the open confines of the facility.  The tables or booths were in rows of three that went about seven or eight deep.  It was a confined space, making it more challenging was the fact that there was hardly any room for me to move around.  I had to stand in one spot and do my routine, with everyone watching.  About 40 to 50 people, with no bright lights in my eyes so I can clearly see everyone.

I’m not gonna, lie, but I felt like I was going to shit my pants.  My legs were shaking a little bit, but if I was able to walk around a bit it would have been less noticeable and made me a bit more comfortable, but like I said due to the lack of space I pretty much had to stand where I was.

The good news is that I was able to rattle off my set list and keep it within the time frame that was required of me.  I stuck mostly to the material I did from the “comeback set” (the first set I did after my comedy coaching).  It was a different audience this night versus the comedy club and it showed, I think.  Some jokes didn’t quite have the punch I thought they would have, although I did get laughs throughout, they just weren’t as consistent or as loud as the comeback video.  Out of respect for the individual whose honour this was held in I decided not to videotape it.  Instead I recorded it from my phone but the audio quality wasn’t very good, as there was too much background noise to really hear what was being said.

For some reason after the set was done I was agitated in a way, I felt uncomfortable to be there.  Not that I didn’t feel like I wasn’t appreciated (Chris Best told me I have “a Rodney Dangerfield thing going on”), but I felt out of my element in a way because it wasn’t a comedy crowd per se.  It just felt awkward for me to be there, not sure why.

A friend of mine was gracious enough (and seemingly excited) to come along for the trip, which I appreciated.  I mentioned to my friend that she was better off making good use of her time to visit her relatives than watch what I did, and for the most part I was accurate in my assumption.  When I got into the car to drive back to the city I was clearly agitated and it felt like my stomach was in knots for some strange reason.

This is the first time I have felt like that in a very long time.  I wish I could put my finger on why I felt like that, maybe over time it will become clearer to me and I will gain the proper insight that only time can provide.  So for now, all I can say is that I helped out for a good cause and had a memorable time.  I just wish that I was able to figure out what that uneasiness all means.

At any rate, it was another audience to perform in front of, another chance to get better and take lessons learned into the next set, whenever that may be.  While it was very cool to meet the Riders past and present, it was also nerve wracking because it was the Riders.  I knew if they were there that I would have to be much sharper in my delivery than I was the previous time on stage, and in that sense I did succeed.  Delivery was good, interacted with the crowd a bit and the timing was good, just that the results weren’t quite there.

That’s okay though.  It was a positive experience and a lesson learned.  I look forward to moving forward  🙂

Thank you again for following this posting, and be blessed!

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