In A World Of Left vs. Right, I’m Stuck In The Muddle

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For starters, yes, I am aware that I spelled muddle correctly.  Read on and you will understand the title.

Things have noticeably changed in the last year in the local comedy scene.  I came back to that realization based on a comment another comic made about my stand-up only a few days ago.  There was no malicious intent involved as he was simply stating a fact.

He made the comment that the of the sets of mine he has witnessed, some haven’t been good, and wanted to know how I dealt with doing badly on stage.

Looking back, I haven’t done as well as I would have liked most times on stage.  There has been the occasional time where I get a solid reaction, but for the most part I have been consistent, if not unspectacular.

There are a few reasons for this, with the biggest one being that I simply don’t care.

That’s right, a comedian isn’t too hung up on the laughs he gets.

I am the only clean comic in the city, clean meaning always clean, not offensive, no curse words, swearing, innuendo, sex or drug talk.  The next cleanest comic would be around 90% clean and is very funny.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some comics out in the professional world that are clean and super hilarious.  I’m not one of them.  Most are in the gutter with their sets or they will spew out their political or moral compass, forcing it down the audiences throats.

Lately, there has been a side project in the comedy world that I am involved with, that I am unable to comment on, but unless you live under a rock you’ll know what I am referring to.  That can take up to several hours during my week to accomplish, then when you add in trying to set things up for future weeks, it can get a bit problematic and stressful trying to navigate through and still keep what’s left of my sanity.

Then, there comes all that goes with learning a new job and trying to make an impact to secure a future and have a career, which is something I haven’t had before, at least not one with a future in a great environment.  My living situation is in a state of flux also, as I am searching for a place to call my own (by myself to rent) once again, and trying to get a handle on a minor health issue.  Don’t worry, it’s not like I am going to die tomorrow.  I just need healing.

I have pages of material that are waiting to get edited and chopped up, but I just don’t have the energy or motivation to go through the process.  I kind of feel a bit blah, and it’s probably time to meet up with the comedy coach once again, but how can you prioritize that when you suddenly make no better than minimum wage in a job whose value far exceeds what you get paid?

I have been thinking about lobbying the pro comedy clubs to have me do paid sets, but for that to happen there is some serious work required on my part to get my material stage ready.  Also, if I got on stage here in the city, there would be much more of an audience this time around, one that I need to be absolutely certain that I can handle the responsibility.  Yes, I speak of my church family.  After the last time I was on stage in the city in a pro club setting, it didn’t go well but tons have changed in those few years since.  I’ve gone through an unbelievable amount of struggle and change, and landed in the church I now proudly call my home.  When I walk into that room at at the club, at least when I used to, it really played with my insides and had me nervous, fearful and full of anxiety.  Will that happen again given the changes that have taken place (hopefully for the better)?

Not only will I have to be clean, I will need to be funny.  Most of the congregation that show up will be going because they want to support me, and wondering if I come as advertised, meaning am I funny?  There aren’t too many videos that have surfaced of my material lately, partly by design I suppose.  My video camera and other stuff is in storage at the moment, until I can get myself a place, which may finally happen in the coming days.  If I did get a booking for a pro club, it would probably take me about a month to work out my material.  I’m not even kidding.  When you sign a contract and are contractually obligated to perform a half hour, you need to get your ducks in a row, pronto.

Doing comedy at a church is super easy, for reasons I shouldn’t have to explain again, if you have read previous posts of mine regarding audience psychology.  Even if you take those people in church and put them into a comedy club atmosphere, it changes the dynamic.  You go from church into a comedy club where alcohol is served, where people might not be too forgiving or joyful.

The clean comedians who are successful have a clear personna, their material is easy to follow and has a style that is uniquely defined.  It will take a lot of work to tighten up my material to achieve that, and it’s something I don’t feel motivated to work towards at the moment.  Maybe I need motivation to get there?   Nobody is really beating down the door wanting me to perform or asking to come see me live.  Also, I don’t have anybody in a relationship, and that plays a role too.  Having somebody by your side who supports you and is there for you unconditionally, that makes a difference.  You want to please them and be liked by their family and friends, so what better way to endear yourself to them by going on stage and getting laughs, right?

So it begs the question, at least in my own mind to why I don’t just go along with the crowd and do crowd pleasing material that is offside, not clean and “fun” in order to get laughs?  Nah.  Even when I do my Christian material I don’t force it down peoples throats the way some Liberal minded comedians do.  I try to keep my material fun and light hearted, not going on stage and being loud and preachy.  I’ve always been one to forge my own path, to not be a poser just to get liked.  Staying true to who I am is what I will always do and is made easier to try and uphold, especially when you surround yourself with a church family that keeps you accountable.

I could be better and crush every set I do, but that takes far too much work that I can’t put in at the moment.  I need to focus on my career and get some traction there first, then a place of my own.  Maybe then I will be able to focus on the comedy a bit more.  I have never been the most popular comic or anything close to that, as the facts kind of speak for themselves on that one.

But, I am the most popular comedian at Faith Alive, and that’s good enough for me, for now.

 

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