Seattle Comedy Competition Countdown

Friends and various blog readers, I’ve been away from the blog for a while. I’m sorry. Who would have thought an epiphany would be so time consuming. It’s been a combination of things really, but needless to say I’m really happy right now. Which is usually bad for comedy, but I’m doing ok. This month will prove to be a very exciting month filled with some interesting gigs and writing I’m sure. Next month it gets even more interesting…

Starting the first week in November, I’ll be competing in the 30th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition. Check it out here to see my mug on the page of comics (new picture taken just for the comp). I’m in week one of the preliminaries, which means I’m doing six back to back shows all over the greater Seattle area that first week in November. I’ll be scored in a bunch of different areas like originality, likability, and stage presence. I’ll be competing against 16 people in my round, with the top five moving on to the semis. The second prelim week will bring in another 5 out of 16 for a total of 10 in the semi-finals. Then it’s whittled down to the final 5 for the last round. The final show is at the Moore Theater in downtown Seattle in front of multiple hundreds of people. The winner gets a CD deal (among other things). I hope to do a short blog post about each night as the experience unfolds. Let’s hope I get to do more than six posts. 🙂

I think at this point I’ve figured out the jokes I want to tell for my first round set. It has to be somewhere over three minutes to score but under seven to stay qualified, and all of it has to be really funny. Especially the last part; closer has to be solid. That is where I think I’m the most shaky but have the most potential for improvement, so I’ve been hitting the shows and working on my competition set. I don’t want to question anything about my set when I get up there and do it. I just want to go up and give the best performance I can six times in a row. That’s all I can do. Hopefully if I’m not worrying about my set I can also enjoy myself just a little. That would be nice.

I’m also looking forward to meeting some of the comedians that are coming from all over the country (and Canada?). This year, Seattle only took nine locals, which is quite few when compared to previous years. It’ll be good for both the audience and the competitors as it should be a pretty varied field with lots of different styles. I’m anxious to get some new comedy acquaintances that I can meet up with if I’m ever in their respective home towns. I hope they like me.

Many of the past competitors have been bending my ear on what a mind-fuck the competition will be and giving me tips to survive it. I’m really encouraged by the advice for the most part. I think that being able to deal with the mental (non-comedy) part of the competition is going to be the biggest part for me getting through this on many different levels. It can really do a number on you to take something subjective as stand-up, especially my stand which I have written is truly important only to me, and then try to apply a measure to it. Well Brian, your material is original, but your charisma is a three. WTF? These are the kind of things one has to be ready for when comedy competes.

Most of all, I’m really surprised (in a good way) of all the well wishes (in their various forms) towards my performance in the competition. Thank you to all my friends and colleges that have wished me well so far. You make me think I have a way better shot at this then I thought I did, and for that, I can’t say how much I appreciate it. Good luck to everyone, but especially to yours truly.

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