Take Me Where The Wind Blows?

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Do you ever have those moments in life where you’re feeling like you are stuck?  What do you do to get unstuck?  Maybe you get a new haircut or buy an expensive toy.  Or, if you’re like me, you wore the purple corduroy dress pants that mom bought for you to wear, and you decided to wear them in high school, grade 11 to be exact.  With a pink short sleeve dress shirt.

Thank God no pictures of that exist.  I looked like a sharp dresser, but kinda nerdy.  I remember walking past the cheerleaders practice once, and they all thought I had a hot date.  Ah yes, good times indeed.

Regardless of the profession you are in, most of you could probably come up with a few ideas of how to get unstuck.  Some of those ideas could even transfer over into your personal life.

But what if you are a comedian?  How do you get unstuck?  Better yet, how would a comedian know they are stuck in the first place?

Now, this isn’t to say that I am necessarily stuck, more like I am frustrated, tired of the status quo, if you will.

Trying something new in comedy always comes with an element of risk.  The level of risk varies from one comedian to the next.  It’s a bit more risky if you cannot explain how or why your material works, then deciding to go in a different direction.

It took two years of coaching, but I am at the point where I can confidently write my own material and know it will work with an audience.  I don’t have that fear anymore that told me not to try material on stage until I ran it by my coach first.  Now, I believe my material plays a bit better at the Laugh Shop.  I think the videos prove this, because I think at the comedy club you are more in tune as an audience to the comedian, there are less distractions versus performing at a bar, and generally a lot less noisy.  If your material has structure and timing, the audience at a comedy club is more in tune with you and will follow along.

I am back on stage at The Laugh Shop on Friday, September 16th.  I will be receiving a “guest spot”, meaning I will be on after the MC but before the main opening act.  I have about ten minutes like I did my last guest spot there a few months back.

But this time there’s a catch.  I’m kind of scared to do this set.  I don’t mind being vulnerable in admitting that.  The material I’ve written is solid and funny, some of the best I’ve ever done.  But it comes with a risk, one I am not sure of its magnitude.  That’s what bothers me.

I cannot divulge any details on what this entails.  I have ran the idea by a couple of the local guys and it was well received.  My comedy coach is planning to use my “writing style” (you’ll understand what I mean when you see what I have planned) as an exercise for his comedy classes.  A couple of other people know outside of the comedians, and they like the idea.

That’s great, but what if those people don’t show up to the show?  What if I am there, on stage, all alone, with every eye in the room focused on me, some might wonder “what the hell is he doing?”   This is something that is a bit different from your traditional stand-up comedy.  It’s risky because something like this has never been done before in this province for sure, let alone in Canada.  I have no idea how it will be received.  It will either fall flat, be kinda mediocre or it will kill.

On the one hand I would love to have some of you come out to see this, because more than ever I’m going to need familiar faces in the room to make this less intimidating for me.  On the other hand if it doesn’t go very well I might be regretting asking anyone I know to have come out in the first place.

I really need this to work, and I really need the support.  Having people approach me at the high school reunion mentioning that they follow me, but never been to a show, while it’s nice it doesn’t reassure me for my upcoming show.

If this works, I will be marketed to the corporate comedy audience which means I can make some decent money for my work.  It’s difficult to run a successful comedy show in the city, much less getting it started.  I know, because I have tried three times.  Two of them went ahead, one for a single night and the other for a month.  The third one never got off the ground.  I am the only comic of the local bunch who doesn’t get asked by other comics to join them for sets, not asked to do corporate gigs, nor am I asked to go out of town with the local guys, and I’ve been doing this for almost five years.

Five years.  Sure, the first couple were extremely difficult to stomach for an audience, but the back half of those five years has seen a level of consistency in my writing and performing.  It’s not setting the world on fire, but I’m not as bad as when I started either.

By the end of next year, I will have wanted to make some inroads in the local comedy scene, or at least travel outside of the city for more shows.  At least that’s the hope.

I won’t be emailing people to tell them about this upcoming appearance.  I will wait until I get back to the Laugh Shop for a half hour opening set, which I am working towards.

So I kinda want you there, I just won’t hype it up like I usually do.  I just hope this works.

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