Everyone’s a comedian! Seriously.
Last night I did my first ever stand up slot at an amateur comedy night in London. I’d kept it quiet because I was worried about bombing. I’ve been told that bombing is a crucial part of stand-up, but I’d rather keep the first one to myself.
Thankfully, as it was an amateur night, everyone was very supportive and laughed in the right places, whether they found it funny or not. But it did mean I sat through 3 hours of other people’s amateur comedy too. Just to let you know how dire some of it was, one guy got up who was so drunk he spilled half a pint of beer all over the stage and basically had some weird stream of consciousness going on about hating babies and then got distracted when his ‘one minute left’ signal happened that he started from the beginning and then gave up and walked off stage.
I went on 17th out of 18 acts so you can imagine how tired and if I’m honest, fed up, I was by the time I went on. I even considered leaving half way through the night. After I’d been on I thought to myself ‘Do I really want to spend over an hour traipsing to these venues, sitting for another 2-3 hours through amateur comedy to do 5 minutes on stage, with no guarantee of being successful?’ The answer is a resounding no. BUT! I’m also highly motivated by one of my favourite people on the planet. In several interviews she talks about how she practices and practices and practices..and is asked in this interview for advice on following your dreams. Her answer inspires me. Which is why in just over an hour I will be leaving to pound the streets of London to go to my second open mic night.
Enjoy. (2:24 for the question mentioned above)
Ok, so it’s been a while. I’ve had a lot on my plate. A lot of inedible, tough, bitter things on my plate. But, things are looking up.
I now have a writing buddy who reads some of the stuff I’ve been writing for my book. Technically we’ve been writing buddies since we knew how to write and used to make up stories when we were kids, along with our own secret language. It was so secret that even we didn’t understand it. But now we have a set arrangement of giving each other feedback on our writing so we’re somewhat accountable.
I’ve also started to address something that has been nagging at me for several years. I like to make people laugh. I somehow assigned myself the responsibility of ‘Cheerer-Upper’. My wife and I have been together 7 years and 6 months and even now she will stop me mid sentence and say ‘You know, you don’t have to entertain me, that’s not your job.’ (As her wife, I would think it’s one of my main responsibilities but whatever).
I’m one of those people that is okay in conversation at making people laugh and was sort of the class clown at university last year but when it comes to preparing something in advance, I suck. However ever since I mentioned I might give stand-up a go, people haven’t let up on it so I have signed up to an extremely secret location and date to try my hand.
So for now, comedy is the way forward. At worst, it ticks something off my bucket list. At best, it’s my ticket to freedom.