The other week I was at an open mic that was already having a rough start. The two women who went up before me both went over their time. This place gave comics three minutes and at two minutes, a red light goes on in the background so you know when to wrap it up. When the light goes out, you end your set even if you’re not done and if you continue, music will play to drown you out or your mic will be cut off. It’s considered rude and amateurish to keep going, especially when there are about 35 other people waiting to get on stage.
One lady went through a list of sexual fetishes but asked the audience, “Who doesn’t like fisting!?” as if this crowd of mostly polite Seattleites would holler at the chance to show their solidarity for kink. (wouldn’t an fistbump in the air be more appropriate? Right?!) The other lady also went over and also went heavy on the sex subject, but wasn’t funny. Sex is so easy to talk about but when it’s more crude than crafted, I want to take a screwdriver to my eardrum so I don’t have to hear it.
So when I went up, it was still pretty early in the evening. I made a few mistakes, the biggest one being I let the first two ladies affect what I was going to say. I changed up my set list right away to more mom jokes, fewer sexy ones, nothing about fists.
I got a joke wrong and it rattled me so much that it wasn’t until the very end that I got a laugh. But until I had closed, there wasn’t a single heh or ha, there was silence. And it felt awful. Awful. Awful! It felt like I was this big idiot with clownish makeup and the question, “What am I doing here?!” played in my mind. But I made it through, thanked people for my time, said my name and scurried off stage.
I know not every time will be magical or as awesome as it was to perform on Saipan and that there will be other times I lose people or I have an off-night and that all comes with this crazy territory called stand-up.
So dear Internet friend, if you do want to see me be funny, check out some shows I’m doing below. I know you’ll laugh because we are friends and your hair is so nice and shiny today. Also: have you been working out?
University District Theater
5510 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Wednesday, May 30
$5 tickets at the door
Joker’s Night Comedy Show
Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar
5419 S. Tacoma Way
Saturday, June 9th
$12 tickets at the door
Thirsty Thursdays at Darrell’s Tavern
18041 Aurora Avenue N
Shoreline WA 98133
Thursday, June 21