Open Mics vs. The Confidence Factor

At the open mic last night, my confidence mid joke fell to an low point. It was a new joke that I wrote in the car on the way down, after having done some good crowdwork at the Non Profit Comedy Night show at the Comedy Underground. I was feeling great about it, all the way up to the point when I had to tell it. It was if my comedy instincts were rejecting it before it even left my mouth. What was so different about being in the car and then on stage. I really shouldn’t give a crap about what the open mic audience thinks. I’m there to work, I have things to say, fuck’em, right? I don’t know. Regardless, the joke fell flat, I saved the set by simply explaining to the audience that this just wasn’t a good night for me, but that’s what they get for a free show. My material may have sucked but my crowdwork was on last night.

Coming off of that set though I was able to take some good notes and I’m looking forward to tell the joke again. I basically re-wrote it from the ground up, coming off the one good part that explains how “I’m sexier than Jesus”. Sometimes the joke has to come out of my mouth and bomb the first time, and if I’m lucky, there will be that glimmer of hope, which is what happened last night.

Also, I think it might be time to re-write my JDate joke that was the opener from this one. It felt really stale and hacky, especially compared with the more conversational delivery style I’ve been using over the last couple of months. Now this thing sticks out like an 80’s airplane bit. Took down some notes on that as well, so we’ll see how that morphs itself.

All in all, both good things. A comedic phoenix arising from the ashes of other comedians smoking outside the club.

Norther Lights Theater Pub – Salem, Oregon

That is where I performed last weekend. Did a one nighter filling in for a comic friend of mine who had to go out of town. Got the call two weeks ago, so it wasn’t super last notice. Gig paid well and included a hotel room, and I haven’t been on a road gig for a while (last one was Longview with Duane), so I was looking forward to it.

The gig location, the Northern Lights Theater Pub was an interesting place. I had never heard of this place before and didn’t, for some reason, Google the place, so I had no idea what it was before I drove up. It is sort of what the name implies. There is a theater there, but like movie theater not drama. Four screens I think. The comedy was in theater 1. The “pub” part comes from the fact that you can eat and drink in your seats while watching said entertainment. They have a beer/wine bar and waitresses that will come to your table to deliver your food.

I performed with a comic that goes by the name Kermit Apio. That is his real name, and yes he has a joke about it. Regardless, very funny and all around great guy to hang out with. After the show we walked across the parking lot and had Mexican food together and he told stories about what it was like to work with some of the headliners he’s had the pleasure to work with recently (Brian Regan). I had nothing nearly that epic to share.

The two gigs went ok. Here is my takeaway from the evening. I think I’m at my best when my act sounds like a story or a conversation with the audience. What this means is I really can’t just put up funny observations or impressive thinking that I think, given the right mindset, could be interpreted as funny. My most solid jokes have a story behind them, with some victim (mostly me), and I deliver it in a more conversational style. Tonight at the open mic I tested this theory, and I liked the results. My joke about mating with a tall hot blond woman isn’t an observation, it’s a fantasy story that gets more and more fantastical each time I tell it.

I also haven’t done a breakfast post in a while, so here is a picture of the epic french toast I had the morning after the gig at a place called the “Saucy Onion” in Salem. Apparently this stuff is world famous, and I got the blintz version with marscapone cheese and marionberries. This was in a box with little onion cartoons next to it, so it must have been the extra world famous version. They went light on the cheese, which in the end was a good thing. The round bread is a mystery to me. Overall, solid french toast though. After slathering some syrup on this thing and two and a half cups of coffee, I was good to drive back to Seattle. Next time, I’m either going to get the prosciutto and eggs or just half a french toast with eggs and bacon. This was a little too much bread for me in one sitting, but I’m not really complaining at all.