I Know The Writing Is On The Wall, I Just Can’t Read It…….

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Here we are.  Another week is just about to begin for me with the same stresses I have always had that deal with being single, poor pay at work, office politics and financial concerns.  Now that I have kicked this stupid cold there’s yet another potential problem that looms on the horizon.

I haven’t been able to meet with my comedy coach since my last stage appearance, and that was at the end of last May.  That’s right, at least 8 1/2 months between coaching sessions.  He has a movie that he oversaw being made as one of the lead writers, in amongst coaching other comedians.

I have updated my look somewhat, with new pants, new glasses, new dress socks and new shirts, in addition to new material.  That’s all fine and dandy, but how do I know my new material really works?  I don’t have the comedic filter of my coach to help sort out my material.  I know how to write a joke to make it funny compared to the stuff I wrote when I first started.  That’s the easy part.  I know the jokes are funny when I rehearse them because they follow the same format of the ones that I did on the comeback video.  But will they work, and if so, how successful will they be?

I have to admit that when I was rehearsing the material for my comeback video, I knew the jokes would work because of the confidence that my coach had in helping create them.  The thing I didn’t know was how well they would work.  It would have helped to know beforehand how well they would have worked because the joke we both thought would get the biggest laughs at the end, didn’t happen.  The biggest laughs happened in the middle of the set and you could tell it caught me off guard, because I walked over top of the laughs (continued with the joke).  I have only had big laughs maybe two or three times in the two years I’ve been doing this, and each time I wasn’t prepared for it. Laughter is contagious, where if one person starts to laugh others beside them are sure to follow, it’s just human nature.

I have three plus pages of material to sort through, but in five minutes of material if you want to follow a pattern or theme you’ll have to do it right off the top to establish it and keep it going.  For me, the theme will be the same from the comeback video.  It’s about my struggles and misdirection.  Leading the audience down one path, only to pull the rug out from underneath them at the very last minute, inducing a laugh trigger and creating laughs.

I have listened to that video and watched it dozens upon dozens of times since my last stage appearance.  Some days I close my eyes and just listen to the material, rehashing it over and over again in my mind.  In all honesty, I think the only two things I did well that night were getting the laughs and dressing well.  That’s all.

There is so much that I could have done better, I’ve sat here waiting for my next opportunity for months while fellow comics and friends who are in bands get all the spotlight and glory.  Well this time, for five minutes this Thursday, it’s all about me in a room full of 70 people or so, for a fund-raiser on the campus of the U of R.  It’s a baby step along with way to something bigger and better down the road.  There will be opportunities for me down the road to perform for big names in front of large audiences.  How far down the road?  That’s hard to say, but if I can keep improving from that video, I will earn an opportunity one day soon.

I know my jokes will work on Thursday, I just don’t know how well they will work.  I don’t believe for a second that I have to be totally dependent upon my coach to succeed.  He’s laid the foundation for comedy writing and I would like to think I’ve been able to build on the success from the video.  I know that I won’t embarrass myself on stage, and I will get my share of laughs.  I just don’t know how well I’ll do on Thursday.

Given everything I’ve been through lately, it would be reassuring if I knew ahead of time…….


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