Charlie’s Standup Comedy Journal
I have to admit, I was pretty nervous going into this show. Sure, it was my third show — I was on my way to becoming a ‘seasoned vet’ (or at least a ‘starving artist’), but still, it was pretty harrowing. If you look closely enough, you’ll see my about-to-pee-my-pants deer-in-headlights look on the tape. So don’t. Look closely, that is. I can’t be entirely sure that I didn’t wet my Levis at some point, and that’s really not something that either of us needs to know about.
So why was this show so nerve-wracking? Well, a few reasons, really. For one, it was my first ‘invited’ show — the first two were ‘freebies’ that came with taking the ‘Standup 101’ class I took. (And yes, we ‘got a bowl of soup with that’, too. Oh, ha.) The teacher of the class is also the Wednesday night emcee at the Isle, and was nice enough to let me come back, even after I sullied his stage two weeks prior. So at least I was familiar with the place, I suppose.
(I mean, I did ‘sully the stage’. You never forget a good sullying, now, do you, folks?)
Anyway, I was informed before the show — several times, by multiple people — that since this wasn’t a ‘newbies’ show, where friends and family come out to support a dozen or so people, that the crowds would be smaller. Less receptive. Quite possibly sleeping, or pissed off, or both. (Yeah, I don’t know what that means, either. Maybe they’re dreaming about Boston drivers, or George Steinbrenner, or something. I dunno.) The words ‘small and jaded‘ were thrown around, more than once, to describe the crowd. So I expected either a smattering of disinterested people… or a horde of angry midgets. They really weren’t so clear on what ‘small and jaded‘ meant. So I worried, just a bit.
And to top it off — and without really planning it this way — all my material was brand new. Not only had I not done it onstage before, but I hadn’t even blogged about it, for the most part. So I had no feedback on any of the ridiculous drivel that I was about to perform for the three surly bikers (or the snarling crowd of ‘little people’) who showed up. Eep.
In the end, though — and as usual — I was saved by my friends. Two minutes before showtime, the comics outnumbered the crowd. A couple of non-performers were milling around, but it was looking pretty ugly. Then, like a miracle shot from the heavens above, my friend Sue showed up. And with three people in tow! And then John, and his wife, and Christine, with a friend! Woo hoo! The crowd just tripled, and I knew everybody. (Which, of course, has it’s own sort of pressure, but that one’s easier — I’ve been making an ass out of myself in front of these people for a long time now. What’s having a mike in front of me gonna change?)
So, in the end, it turned out pretty damned well. I got some laughs, had some fun, and now I’ll have to wait until next time to face the empty room, and getting ‘crickets‘ after every punchline. So it seems I got all liquored up for this show for no reason. Eh. What’re you gonna do?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. This also marks the first time that I’ve made a real, provable error onstage.
(Yeah, yeah, I hear you — ‘Except for deciding to go up in the first place‘. Very funny, there, numbnuts. You’re a real comedian, you know that? You should get up there yourself. Douchebag.)
In any case, just so none of you also feels you have to correct me — when I stepped offstage, one of the other comedians walked up to me, shook my hand, and said, ‘Nice set. By the way, it’s FDR on the dime, not Eisenhower.’
Damn. A whole bit about money, and I didn’t even stop to double-check which coin that ugly picture of Dwight Eisenhower is on. (I still haven’t yet, though at least I’m remembering that it’s either the half-dollar or the dollar. One day I’ll look that up. The day right before telling that joke again, most likely, and not a moment before.)
So excuse my faux pas, and try to enjoy the rest of the clip. I sort of ended with a fizzle — I never really worked the ending out the way I would have liked — but overall, I’m pretty proud of how it went. And I’ve even spun the ‘dime’ thing into a positive — I think it just goes to show how much of a ‘starving artist’ I’m becoming. I see money so rarely, I don’t even know who’s on the coins anymore. Even when they’re in my jokes! Yeah? Huh?
Not buyin’ it, huh? Okay, fine, I’m a moron, and I don’t check my sources. Get outta here; go watch the clip. Nobody said you had to be ‘small and jaded‘, too. Shoo!
Download Clip of 12/17/03 Set —
Emerald Isle, Dorchester, MA (5 minutes, 42 seconds):
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