I also like logging stand up appearances because it helps me keep track of how often I'm doing stand up and how I'm hopefully progressing. It will be fun to see how many times I'm actually getting up to do time, and what I'm working on. I also want to give an honest depiction of what its like to try to be a stand up comedian in an area that doesn't have a lot going on in the stand up comedy community.
Some blogs will be shorter than others, but every blog will say where the show/open mic/appearance took place and how long of a set I did. So here is the first installment....
My attempt at stand up in 2011 took place at the 11th Street Lounge in Washington DC. I've never done this open mic, but I wanted to check it out before I featured at a showcase coming up next week. There was also a new bit I really wanted to work on and try out. I did seven minutes, and I have to say it was a very strange set for an other wise receptive crowd of 15 or so.
My first and second jokes killed, but my tag on my second joke died. There is nothing worse than having a great joke that dies with a tag. The tag, a reference to Lethal Weapon 2 (the classic scene where there is a bomb on the toilet and if Danny Glover moves his house is going to blow up) ate a dick. It was a younger crowd might have been too young for the reference because it worked really well the other two times I tried it. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
My new bit I wanted to work on followed that and died. I killed it half way through because it wasn't hitting. I really like the idea of the bit and think it has potential to be really funny. I also realize it could work better in written form and if it bombs again I might use it as a blog, and retire trying it in stand up. My friend and comedian Mike Storck tells me to give a bit three tries, and if it flops three times, give up on it. This bit has two more tries.
I ended up going out on two polished bits because I wanted to go out on some laughs. My bit about guys who listen to Maroon 5 are pretentious, wear skinny jeans and have a vagina got a really big laugh. My usual closer that I like to refer to as "Office Date Rapist" helped me go out on a big laugh. I like giving bits names like that, so one day I can forget my nope book and some random dude can find it. I love the idea of some random guy in a Starbucks finding my notebook, a series of bullet and going "'Gray pube'!? 'Maroon 5'!? 'DATE RAPIST'!? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?!"
So in the end, 11th Street Lounge wasn't a bust. I did drive over an hour to get there and the one bit I wanted to work on failed... but it's always good to get up and do time. I really do think there are always things to learn and experiences that make us better. My log/blog entires probably won't be this long, but I just want to paint a picture of the thought process and what goes on in trying stand up comedy. So until next time...
P.S. Watch The Town. It's pretty awesome. It's like The Departed meets Point Break.