The Debut

I decided to make it known on Facebook that I was attempting stand-up comedy, and why not?  Anything I have done in the past my friends have not only looked forward to, but supported wholeheartedly and gave positive feedback for.  However, Dez Reed let me know that there was a comedy competition happening right when my debut was.  This made it a bit more exciting for me, as I was not guaranteed a few weeks of stage time at the least.  Out of over 100 invites I had about two dozen people confirm their attendance for that night.

Right when I put the invite on facebook, I started to write material.  It wasn’t material that I really thought much about in terms of “wow, this joke is set up really nice for some laughs.”  It’s more along the lines of me writing things down that I felt were funny.  At this point I had about 30 pieces material written.  Next, I had to pick the material that would fit into a ten minute set, then I constantly rehearsed it for two weeks straight to make it fit into ten minutes.  I had it down pat.  I knew my material.  Then came the big day…..

That night there were 10 competitors, and I showed up an hour early to take in a comics meeting with Dez and a few of the other performers who were new to the scene.  We drew names, and I think I was close to the beginning.

I remember the guy before me was Derek Morrison.  He’s a nice guy, easy to talk to, and from what I remember he had a funny set.  Not because I was listening, in reality the only things I heard of his set was the joke where he talked about a waitress, his girlfriend and steak (in a restaurant setting).  I sorta tuned him out for his set because I was focused on remembering what I had to do and how I needed to deliver the material.  Then it was my turn.

I wasn’t scared when I went on stage.  There are a couple reasons for this.  First, when I got on stage the lights were very bright and right in my eyes, as they were set up right in the middle of the stage. So there I am, my first time on stage and I can’t really see anything, unless I walked to either the left edge of the stage or the right, then I could see people outside of the lights glare, other than that, I have no fucking clue where the audience is or their reactions to anything.  I knew several of my friends were there to watch and that made it a bit easier.

My set felt very mechanical, which was to be expected since it was my very first time.  I knew my material for that night inside and out, reciting it to the letter.  I was so focused on getting my material out that I don’t know looking back on it, if I really had any timing to my jokes, but I did get some laughs.  In the end the judges and the crowd both shared in the voting. For me being the only one who did stand-up for the very first time (everyone else there had done it for a minimum of several months), I finished 6/10.

I was told by some of the comics that for my first time I didn’t appear nervous on stage, I was comfortable in front of people and spoke loudly and clearly.  Some who try comedy when they first start may be admittedly nervous, and appear like it on stage.  I feel bad for those guys. Sure it takes time to get your feet underneath you and your confidence, but since I have always been comfortable in front of a crowd, I would never go on stage if I wasn’t able to appear that I was comfortable up there.  Am I good?  Well, I’m slowly getting there.  But am I bad?  No.  I wouldn’t get up there if for one second the idea crossed my mind that I would embarrass myself.

I knew I was at least the 9th best comic that night, because this guy who finished last, wow…he reminded me of Sailor Dan with a lot less talent.  Holy shit was this guy lousy.  Sorry, but he was an old man who played the banjo and did really bad parody songs that he tried to write.  I know I shouldn’t be trashing other comics who try, and I don’t mean to intentionally sound like I am, but if you are going to try comedy, at least know you stuff is funny to someone else other than you.  This guy was so annoying I’m not sure if he had any friends with a legal amount of sanity or common sense to give him positive feedback.

My next post later today (as it’s 3:04 a.m.) will talk about my last performance in the comedy competition.  It was my last chance to get into the finals, as they took the top two comics from each week.  How did I do?  What about the second performance of Trevor Dean, where members of my church family came to watch?  Did they like the God joke?  Stay tuned, and Merry Christmas!

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