I set several comedic goals for myself in 2011. Here is where I stand on obtaining each goal so far....
1) Perform 200 sets this year... So far, I have done 59 sets in the first 90 days of 2011. Currently, I am on pace for 239 sets during this calendar year. Obviously, that is well ahead of my goal. With my wedding in May and honeymoon in June it will be hard to keep this number up... but doing over 200 shows is more than obtainable.
Most importantly, I feel like I'm getting a lot out of each set. Even when I do not do well... each show has been a great learning experience. Looking through this blog, there have only been 2 sets I did not get anything out of. That is a pretty good batting average.
2) Have 60 minutes of material by the end of the year. At the end of 2010, I did my first headline show. I did a set that was just short of 30 minutes long. I think out of that 30 minutes...20-25 were quality. One of my goals this year was to more than double that. I want to be a solid feature (20-30 minute guy) by the end of the year. To do that, you have to have 45-60 minutes of really good material. Things are going to go wrong and not every audience is going to get every joke. A comedian has to have audibles. Hence me wanting to have a really solid 60 minutes of bits.
So far this year, I have 10 new minutes that I consider solid. I've tried out almost 30 minutes in concepts and bits...but 10 of them are usable. Ten new minutes in 3 months is a lot and I'm very proud of this new section. I've cut out older jokes that I've outgrown from the old set (I was either sick of them or they didn't fit with the new material). So right now, after 3 months, I'd say I am up to a really solid 35 minutes. I consider myself pretty far along on this goal.
As I've stated before... I'm becoming more of a personal comedian. I'm also a believer that the older I get, the more interesting life is going to be. With that in mind, I'm going to have a larger amount of material (and interesting jokes). It's already starting to show.
3) Feature at Magooby's Joke House... This goal hasn't happened yet, but I'm well on my way. I've already had several guest spots and hosted multiple weekends (with another one coming in May) and I've gotten nothing but great feedback from audiences and the people at the club. Andrew (the brutally honest owner) tells me that I am already ready to feature. He just needs to see me host there one more time. I'm pretty confident in saying that this goal is attainable. If it doesn't happen by the end of 2011... It's still very close.
4) Perform at the D.C. Improv... I've made the least amount of progress on this goal. I sent in a reel at the beginning of February and have not heard anything back yet. Though there is no immediate timetable.... this is going to happen. All I can do is keep working hard and getting better and this stuff will take care of itself.
So 3 months and 3 days in, I feel like I've made a lot of progress. Setting these goals (especially doing 200 sets a year) has helped me stay focused and also work more on the process of doing something. I can definitely see improvement in myself as a comic and other people can too. There is definitely more of a comfortability and a confidence that was not there just a few months ago.
It's like when people have goals in a general life sense. If you set a goal like "I'm going to lose weight", it probably isn't going to happen. But if you set a goals like "I'm going to the gym four times a week and cut out fast food"... really good things could come out of it (including your bigger goal). Yes, it is ironic that I, Mike Finazzo talked about weight loss in a blog. But that's besides the point...