Say What?

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I have been doing stand-up comedy now for over three years.  In that time, I have been heckled, beaked at from the audience, performed in different venues.  I have told dozens of jokes; some nights I get no laughs at all.  Some nights I get consistent laughs, and only TWICE in these three years did I have a specific joke that I knocked out of the park.  I’ve spent quite a bit of money investing in a comedy coach from Los Angeles who showed me the “why” of comedy.  It then took me six months of no stage time to figure out how to write for my voice.

I have a friend named Veronica who has followed me from the start, and from what I have shared about comedy writing from my coach, she’s able to identify a couple of different patterns that comics use to tell jokes.  She has a greater appreciation for comedians in general because of the patterns she identifies and sees how they are used.

I highlight that example because I feel like unless you are either in comedy or a non-comedian who studies it, then it becomes difficult for you to understand what my goals are.

For example, at the show in Lloydminster I did on the weekend, going into this show I knew that it was not my job to kill the material, because my material at this point doesn’t kill.  It merely gets laughs, mind you they are more consistent laughs than what I received when I first started comedy.  A couple people commented that I killed it, that I got big laughs, and I believed them.

Until I went home and watched the video footage for myself.

I believed what others told me and I inadvertently thought I did better than I actually did.  Then I get told that I shouldn’t be so “blah” after the show.

For starters, Richard Pryor never got too excited about doing a great show.  He always thought he could do better and said “we’ll get ’em next time.”  I believe that being humble is part of the maturation of a comic.  If you act like your shit don’t stink then it prevents you from growing or learning anything new.  I’ve ran into these types before.

Am I being hard on myself?  For those who don’t know any better, the answer might be yes.  However, remember that none of my friends or followers have watched me perform live in almost two years.  Just my girlfriend and other comics.  That is all.  I have never been the type to jump up and down with excitement or do cartwheels when something goes well.  It’s not my style, maybe all the years of being picked on and bullied have something to do with it.  I am usually humble and if I ever do kill a set, I won’t ever admit to it in public because I don’t want one really good set to change who I am, whenever the hell that happens…..

Anyhow, the room in Lloyd was 80% full maybe, with 70 to 80 people there.  It was good to be in a smaller room that was almost full because it’s easier to hear the laughs when everyone is sitting so close to one another.  I didn’t hear consistent laughter from everyone, I just heard it in spots.

The laughs that the opener and the headliner got are good laughs, big laughs.  Those are ones I have not had in 1.5 years.  If you watch the other guys sets to listen specifically for the laughter, you’d see that I am not on the same level as these other two guys.  It’s easy to listen for a specific type of laugh, if you are focusing on that.  But most people just focus on the volume of the laughs and that you get laughs, and that is where they miss the point.

I’ve never done podcasts or interviews, and maybe I never will.  None of my sets have gone longer than ten minutes because as it stands right now, that’s all I know how do effectively do.  I am not equipped to get the big laughs.  I am an opener or an MC at best right now, because that is what the laughter dictates.

I don’t care if you don’t believe me, because I know what I hear, and you would too if I showed you the difference.  I am not at the same level as the two guys I hosted for, and that’s okay.  It might get better one day, but right now that’s the way it is.

Did I do a decent job hosting and warming up the crowd?  Yep.  Did I get some decent laughs?  Yep again.  Did I kill it?  Absolutely not.

So unless you want me to show you the difference in laughter, don’t tell me I killed a set.  I will be the judge of that.  I have three years of laugh patterns to go on, and the audience does not.  On second thought, I don’t want to show you the difference in laughs because I need to lie down and take some Ibuprofen for this headache.

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