Before I headed out to the open mic, I thought about skipping it and doing something less nerve-wracking. Like anything else! Eating the entire contents of the fridge. Organizing the book shelf. Lipsynching any one of the the following movies: Anchorman, Clueless, Sleepless in Seattle.
It’s intimidating to entertain a room full of strangers but there’s the great thrill of someone’s laughter, someone thinking what you wrote and performed was funny enough to respond to. And I though I felt secure in my material, I thought: what if I’m not funny? What if no one laughs?
I put TJ to bed and waited for Mike and Nathan to come back from swimming. I read through my jokes and imagined some reason I wouldn’t be leaving the house (Ebola. Basketball Wives marathon. I got the Glengarry leads!). But Mike had told our son that I was going to go out that night and perform comedy. When they came home, Nathan walked toward me and urged, “Mommy, you have to go. You have to go tell some jokes.”
And that was enough, to hear that from my biggest fan, to send me out the door. That’s one way to build a fan base: give birth to one.