Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sets #43, #44, #45, #46 & #47: Terra Cafe, Red House Tavern, Firestation One, Looking Glass Lounge and Sidebar Tavern

I was in the bathroom at my office today and someone walked in and said "OH MY WEINER".  In other news... today has been the best day of my life. 

I've been busy the lately, and the last few days have featured several sets.  Set #43 was at Terra Cafe in Baltimore.  This eight minute set featured few jokes and a lot of riffing.  This was a tough open mic (which I hosted) and featured very limit audience and a million comics.  Overall, this was still fun and I got to practice improv skills (which I don't use a lot). 

I followed TC with a twenty minute set at the Red House Tavern.  This was a late night room (which started at ten and I took the state around midnight).  This was a lot of fun and featured a very good crowd.  I did mostly "A material" and worked on some of my feature set bits that I haven't had a chance to work on in a few weeks.  Overall, this was a good time. 

After a day off, I performed three sets (that could not have been more different from eachother) last night.  The first set came at Firestation One in Silver Spring, Maryland.   The crowd was a little tight at first but definitely receptive.  I spent most of my time working on two stories, which seemed keep the audience engaged and had a nice payoff (despite not hitting on every punchline). 

My second set of the night was less successful at the Looking Glass Lounge in Washington, DC.  This was kind of a rowdy show with a the drunkest and loudest table closest to the stage and not very condusive to comedy.  However, I spent my five minutes working on some new bits (one of which will work nicely) and got to see some comic friends that I don't typically see.  We'll call this "breaking even". 

My last set of the night was at the Sidebar Tavern in Baltimore.  My six minute set hit strong and the crowd was fantastic.  I got to the venue just moments before my set and kind of "winged it" on stage.  Still, all the jokes hit and I had a lot of fun with this group.  This room (which I originally started and then gave to Tim Hoeckel) has evolved nicely over the past few months and has turned into a legitimate work room.  Overall, this was a nice end to my long weekend of shows.

Not every video that accompanies my blog needs to be funny... 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Set #42: Pratt Street Alehouse

I had a good thirty-three minute set at the Pratt Street Alehouse in Baltimore last night. Despite a drunken idiot (that happened to work at the venue), this set was a lot of fun.  A girl/heckler/participater/fuckhead interrupted and was loud at several points during the show, but I recovered nicely.  I messed up one bit (a movie theater bit that I'm going to scrap) but opened (with the "air freshener story") for the first time to great results and closed very strong (without a microphone).  This was a very strong headlining set. 

Sets #36, #37, #38, #39, #40 & #41: RiRa, Dionysus, The Cove, The Sidebar Tavern, Dangerously Delicious and Red House Tavern

Here is a rundown of shows from the past week and change...

I had a really strong seven minute set at RiRa in Arlington, Virginia on wednesday.  This is a great venue and features some of the area's best comics.  This was my first time performing there, so I didn't really take any chances.  I did seven minutes of my polished "A material" and it could not have gone over better.  I look forward to coming back to RiRa soon. 

The show at Dionysus in Baltimore was tough for me personally.  "In real life"... my mom broke her hip.  I spent a lot of time in the hospital and drove straight from there to the show (getting there five minutes before my set).  My ten minute set went over well but there was definitely a lot going on in my head. 

After a day off on Saturday, I had a good thirteen minute set on Sunday at The Cove in York, PA.  I spent most of my set working on "Cemetary Flowers" and another story from high school.  This was a solid set and if I edited out a few extra lines, it would have been a great set.  I followed this with a another good set at the Sidebar Tavern in Baltimore.  The five minute set consisted of a work story and a few new jokes (which worked well). 

On Tuesday, I had an okay set at Dangerously Delicious in Canton, MD.  This was a good work room and did a set of all new jokes.  There were some winners and some big misses.  There were a few premises that will eventually become good bits.  Overall, this was a productive set. 

I followed DD with a very good eight minute set at Red House Tavern (also located in Canton).  This was one of the better sets I've had in a while.  Despite being tired (from work, stand up, my mom being in the hospital), I stepped up and had a very good set.  This set consisted mostly of a story about getting arrested (which I haven't done in a while).  This show was a lot of fun.  My friend Matt Baetz (a talented dude who has made more appearances on the Late Show w/Craig Ferguson than any other comedian) was there and said "You killed man.  I remember when you started... you're not allowed to be that good". 

Coming from him... that means a lot.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sets #30, #31, #32, #33, #34 & #35: The Barking Dog, The Irish Channel, Two Doors Down, The Baltimore Comedy Factory and Firestation One

I did thirty-eight minutes at The Barking Dog in Bethesda, Maryland. It was blah blah blah blah blah blah and blah. Conditions were not ideal (small crowd, too long of a show, a really tired crowd that was smaller by the time I got on stage, weird lighting and a really hot mic) but I should have done better. I needed to make adjustments and I failed to do so.

Some crowds are tight, some are attentive, some like being punched in the face. This crowd enjoyed being punched in the face (which I did a few times) but I didn't follow through. It was a weird vibe in the room and I didn't make things better or less awkward. The crowd didn't dislike me or hate the show... They just weren't the most lively or enthusiastic bunch.

I followed this set with a very good set at the Irish Channel in Crofton, Maryland. I'd be lying if I said my heart was fully into this one... but I think that I faked it well. This is actually a big deal. You're going to have off nights and times when you're not feeling well. Being able to perform at a high level and not having the audience realize you're not 100% is an important skill and one I have not always done well with in the past. When I listened back to the set... I think I pulled it off.

On Friday I had an odd thirty minute set at Two Doors Down in Manchester, Maryland. I've been to this venue before and had a lot of success. Unfortunately this show was derailed by the "Desperate Housewives of Carroll County" (a table of drunken hecklers). This group of obnoxious women interrupted the host, guest comic and the co-headlining comedian that went on before me. They repeatedly disrupted the show for me, the other comics and their fellow audience members. After they interrupted my set several times (and I asked them to be quiet several times) I finally had enough. I responded by laying the microphone on a stool and refused to continue the show unless they "were removed, left or died".

It seems like a bold move and one that I've never tried before. There was just no way I could continue with the show as it was. It wasn't fair to me, the other comics or the other audience members that paid ten dollars per ticket. The people were eventually removed and it made for a better show. Despite the awkward removal and unexpected two minute break, the rest of the show went very smoothly. I performed 15 minutes after the drunks were kicked out and I ended up having a good, if not interesting set.

I followed the Manchester episode with an last minute feature gig at the Baltimore Comedy Factory where I performed two sets in front of the hilarious Godfrey. My first set (20 minutes) went okay as the room had a short attention span and was a little chatty. After starting out very well, I lost them with a long form bit at the twelve minute mark. I got a little nervous and started speeding up after that (which is something I haven't done in sometime). However, I calmed myself down and rallied. My closer and my backup closer (which I used to cover the time because I cut another bit short) did well. I feel lucky that this set ended up the way it did... because it could have easily gone off the rails and been a disaster.

My second set at the BCF went much better. I ditched the long bits and adjusted to the rowdy room by doing all shorter entires. This fifteen minute set (everyone's sets were cut short due to a late start) went over very well and was much needed. Every joke hit hard and the response by audience members after the show was great as well.

On a side note... Godfrey could not have been a cooler headliner to work with. He was an incredibly friendly, funny and thoughtful dude. I really enjoyed chatting with him after the show and got a lot of good advice from him (as well as nerding out about the Dark Knight Rises and dueling Bane impressions). Overall, this was a very fun night.

Finally, I had an okay set at Firestation One on Monday. I spent most of the eleven minute set working on two stories and it went over pretty well. The main story was a six minute story (that is called "air freshener" in my notebook) did not do as well as I would have liked but will eventually be a great bit. I screwed up the order of the bit and missed a joke or two but the arc of the bit is in good shape. It has a strong punch at the end but just needs to be structured better. This venue was a perfect place to workshop this bit (and a few others) and helped it cap a productive monday.

Overall, this has been an odd but solid and busy week. If you've read all of this... Bless you and I'm sorry. I'm done.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Set #29: Firestation One

I had a good set at Firestation One in Silver Spring, Maryland on Monday.   Most of the six minute set was dedicated to refining the "cemetary flowers" bit I've been workshopping and it seems to have come together nicely.  It will be interesting to see how this story I've been obsessing over fits onto a larger canvas when I add it to my headline set tomorrow in Bethesda. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sets #26, #27 & #28: Red House Tavern, Caoco Lane and RFD

I finished January by performing two sets on Wednesday and one on Thursday. My early set on Wednesday was pretty mediocre.  The eight minute set at the Red House Tavern got laughs because of the material but not the performance. Listening back to it, I sounded tired and the set came off as very flat. However, I managed to rebound and had more energy at Caoco Lane in Ellicott City.  The ten minute set had some minor flaws but it went over very well. Overall, I have no major complaints about this one.

On Thursday, I decided to use my six minute set at RFD in D.C. to work on a five minute story.  It felt kind of odd to use most of a set on one long form bit but it went over incredibly well.  I had been working on the "cemetery flowers" bit all week and it showed.  Now a polished chunk, the response from the near capacity crowd was fantastic.

Overall, January was a very good month.  I did twenty-eight sets (with no major train wrecks) and drove about 1,411 comedy miles.  Not a bad start to the new year...