And So It Goes

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I used to be a trendsetter in my early days of comedy.  Looking back, I can say that it’s a 50/50 split whether I deserved what happened, or not.  It surprised many, though probably secretly, as I never heard much in the way of compliments or criticism.  It all comes down to three words.  The Park Town Hotel.  Okay, that’s four words.  See, I never said math was my strong suit, did I?

A couple of years in, I stayed away from the local comedy scene for reasons I won’t get into.  I did not feel safe or particularly wanted in the Saskatoon scene.  So, I went to perform in Regina, making the three hour drive each way for five minutes in a near empty bar.  At times, friends did accompany me down only to watch me die a slow, methodical death on stage.

This lasted for 18 months. You read that right.  For a year and a half, I went everywhere but Saskatoon for comedy, including the thriving metropolis of Lloydminster.  They have a comedy room in the back of their pool hall, called The Sticks.  It’s a nice room for comedy if you ever get the chance.

So, 18 months pass, it’s probably around 2015.  I got a hot, new girlfriend who used to model (true story) and started working with my comedy coach for a while.

Sometimes you just need the right person to tell you what you can achieve.  Everyone around you can tell you the same thing, but it doesn’t carry as much weight as the right person telling you.  I asked my coach, or maybe told him that I would like to be an opener at the local comedy club in town at The Park Town (at the time a different comedy club ran it).  He told me of course you can host, why not?  I’ve done karaoke hosting, am a good public speaker and even hosted a nomination meeting for a provincial riding with a couple hundred in attendance.  Of course I could, right?

So, I figured out who does the bookings.  A company in Alberta booked, so during my break at the RV dealer I worked for (not the present one), I talked to the booker directly.  I mentioned who I was, and told her a bit of my story and of my difficulties in the local scene.

In the middle of telling my story, the booker stopped me.  They said yeah, we have an opening for an MC/host for a weekend (Friday and Saturday) in November.  Would you like it?

Keep in mind, this booker has never heard of me, I’m just some nobody from Saskatoon calling out of the blue, asking for stage time at a pro club where I would get paid.

The mind blowing part is they told me I had the spot, the only formality was to send them a clip of my stuff, which at the time was mostly clean.  It had to get approved by the higher-ups, but I was in.

18 months of no Trevor, then my reintroduction back into the local scene will be as a host/MC at the pro club.  I have to sign a contract and everything.

To the best of my recollection, open mic types in Saskatoon didn’t get any stage time at the club, just the headliners, and even that was scarce.  So for me to get that spot was a shock.

Did I mention that the new girlfriend then was hot?

I remember that weekend in November.  Her family, some relatives and friends came out that weekend.  You want to talk about a nerve racking experience, I remember crying backstage as I was being introduced, I was that scared.

I wasn’t the most confident comic back then, so my stage presence left something to be desired.  My legs shook, the lights were bright and the room was full.  I was the only local act that weekend, and I believe it helped to sell out the room both nights.

I got a few laughs, though nothing consistent. I didn’t do the best job of keeping the crowd engaged, but I gave it my best.

Fast forward to now several years later. A different chain of comedy clubs runs the room and many local acts are getting stage time as openers.  I’m not here to cry sour grapes or whine.  It’s great that they get a chance, though I wonder how easy it was for them considering I could never find the right person to reach for bookings.  Seemed like I got passed off to different people in different cities that did the bookings.  Anyhow….

I recently asked how to get on the shows, since everyone seems to know about these opportunities but me.  I was told to polish my shit, which makes sense.  But doing a deeper dive into the comics comments gave me time to reflect.

A few things need to line up.  First, I need a bit more stability in the home and personal life.  That will allow me to be free of stress, free of worry and give me the ability to write.  I will need to come up with a completely new set.

Let’s say I accomplish that and get some new stuff constructed for a half hour.  Now, I have to hit the open mics more than I have. I used to be secret about my material in the sense that I wouldn’t work it out in front of other comics.  I would work it out at home and debut it on stage.  Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Depends on the work ethic and how much time you spend editing.

The biggest thing is that I will sell out the room, easily this time.  I have many, many people that have never seen me before that will want to.  A pro club that pays you, where the audience pays to watch adds an air of legitimacy to the show and sets expectations that you as the performer should hit.  People from church, work and friends will fill the place.  Getting to that point will take some time because I understand that if you are on the stage, you don’t disrespect it or the audience, like one comic I feel does.  You should dress better than the audience, be confident without being arrogant, have fun and be believable.

That will take some time to reach that point for me.  It isn’t impossible, just takes time.  I’ll get there, and when I do, I won’t take it for granted because I know the journey I took to get back to that stage after several years away.

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