March Madness 3 – Comedy Underground

Tonight I performed in the “Best of Seattle Sunday Showcase” at the Comedy Underground in downtown Seattle. It’s a weekly show put on every Sunday. Pretty good crowd considering our competition was the Oscars. I don’t know who won anything yet since I didn’t watch them and I haven’t looked at twitter in something like two months.

I worked on my “drugs” section of my act that I didn’t get to do over the weekend. It is currently composed of a couple different bits loosely tied together. I think I have about 8 or 9 when you count them all up, but I usually only through 4 or 5 into rotation at any one given time. Tonight’s picks where “legalized pot commercials”, “the effectiveness of DARE”, and my new one “Drugs at NASA”. The first two I’ve been telling for a couple months now and they are fairly solid. I mainly wanted to work on the third joke, so these were just filler to set up and get some good laughs on the subject. The joke, for the most part, bombed, but I succeeded in staying in a vary weird character for longer than I usually do. This was my main goal tonight, and I actually did a callback which worked better than I thought it would. I would say my commitment level to the character was only about a 60%, and some of that was due to playing with the setup WAY too much before getting into it. In the end, I may choose to take it a different way. Also, I don’t think I should assume everyone knows what the lunar lander looks like…

Shows like tonight are weird because I’m basically going up there with an experiment. I’ve got something very new and there are so many questions to ask about it. How is it going to sound coming out of my mouth? How is the audience going to react? Do I reveal too much in the setup only to let people down in the punchline? Is this new weird character believable, hacky, appropriate? This, to varying degrees, I have to do with all new jokes. After I’ve figured them out though, sometimes I put a joke away too early.

One thing that I’ve started doing more over the last couple of weeks is to take my favorite jokes and really dive into them. Even today while doing some writing, I uncovered a new tag that really effectively drills into the point I was trying to make in a much more generic way. I looked at it after I had thought/wrote it, and I thought “there it is, and I need 100 more just like that”. What this means from a performance viewpoint is that I’m doing the same 20 minutes over and over again but each time I tell it, its getting stronger.

I’m trying to compress a new video for YouTube tonight, but iMovie is so freaking slow right now. I think its because I have about 50 gigs of comedy videos that need to be moved off my laptop, but alas, I can’t find the power cable to my external hard drive. What is a nerd to do? Tomorrow night I’m back at the Underground for their open mic and helping a local photographer pick out open micers for an upcoming piece she’s shooting on comedians. Cool stuff.

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