Just Do What Blue Rodeo Says

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Next Friday night marks my return to the Laugh Shop at the Ramada, the second show into their fall schedule.  The closer I get to showtime, the more confident I’m beginning to feel about the new direction I will be taking with my comedy.

All that I had to do was remember where I was performing, at a professional comedy club.

This will mark my sixth time performing at The Laugh Shop in Saskatoon, dare I say more than any of the local comedians over the last few years.  The professional comedy club, sure it’s held in the ballroom of a hotel, as they usually are.  But even still, it’s a professional atmosphere.  The audience pays attention and appreciates the art of stand-up more than they would at a bar.  The performers get paid respectably and the performers are treated like professionals by the other comedians.  There is nobody telling you that you suck, or no comic getting on stage saying you are not funny and will never perform in the city again (yes, that actually happened to me).

Since it’s a comedy club and not a bar, everyone is paying attention to the comic on stage, meaning the comic in this setting can really work on his or her timing.  A comedian can wait for the audience to piece together a joke and hit way more laugh triggers than you could in a different type of venue.  The audience also doesn’t mind if you are a bit “out there” or a bit dirty.

I am getting the chance once again for a guest spot, meaning I will only get roughly seven minutes to do my thing.  As you can imagine, I have been running through the material trying to pare it down to make it fit.  A few people know what I have planned and are supportive and excited about this new avenue I am pursuing because it is different from what everyone else is doing.  In fact, my new direction is so different that it allows me to write way more new material easier and quicker, thus ensuring that each performance of this new direction is fresh and new.

I know that a lot of you have mentioned you don’t come out every single time, or even on a consistent basis because the jokes are all the same ones you have heard before.  When the audience’s job at a comedy show is to laugh, that’s understandable.  An audience can laugh if they are caught off guard or surprised.  Mostly the surprise comes from misdirection, that is one of the laugh triggers.  The bigger the misdirection, the bigger the laugh.

I honestly don’t know how I came up with such awesome material, I mean it’s really solid from front to back.  It’s a bit different from your regular stand up routine that you see on t.v. and it’s different in the way it’s written.  I cannot say much more than that right now.  Once I have done the show then I will explain in detail about the writing process and how you, yes you, the comedy fan can actually contribute material to my act that I may use!

The last guest spot I did went pretty well, but this time I am doing something completely different that nobody else is doing.  You can’t even find anyone doing what I am planning with a Google search.  There is a bit of uncertainty without question, but also confidence and anticipation.  I’ve been feeling a lot better about this performance lately as it’s reflected in the fact I am getting normal sleep again, actually going to bed at a decent bedtime, instead of staying up all night worried and stressed.

One of my friends purchased twenty tickets for next Friday nights show.  Twenty!  The most humbling part is that I am only on stage for seven minutes right at the start, so to have that kind of support means alot, although I am wondering if he will be able to find another nineteen people to bring along.  Aside from that, there are only two people who I really want to be there that have not been there for months and months.  It will mean a lot if they do show up (I think these two know who they are), because even though it’s a guest spot, this is about redemption for me, about second chances.  To have these two special females in attendance would be nice.

All I have ever wanted was to do a kick ass set, and know I kicked ass, to have them tell me I did a good job.  I’m looking for that validation from my close friends from a very good set, which I have never had.  Well, I had it, but only once.  That was during my last guest spot at the Laugh Shop, and they were both old high school friends who were dudes.  Nice, but the love from the ladies will always trump the dudes.

Sometimes, just like Blue Rodeo says, you’ve got to try.  Just try.

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