Well, this should be interesting.
On Saturday — a short, quick six days from now — I’m scheduled to do a 30-minute standup set at a bar out in western Massachusetts. So this weekend, I’m taking inventory — just how many bits do I have, how long do they last, and do they add up to thirty minutes, or anything like it?
So far, the results are mixed. Certainly, I’ve done more than a half-hour’s worth of material on stage. I could montage every bit I’ve ever quipped into a set of, I don’t know, forty-five or fifty minutes. Maybe more.
But is all of that stuff good? No. Is any of it good? Eh, who knows. Some of it gets the occasional giggle, and doesn’t make me especially embarrassed to deliver in front of strangers… but ‘good‘? Who can say, really? Goodness is in the eye of the beholder — it’s like ‘beauty’, or ‘truth’, or ‘great boobs’. It’s not completely subjective, but personal preference plays an awfully big part.
So, now I’ve got to make some tough decisions. After the twenty minutes or so of stuff that I’ve been performing recently, that I’ve got a pretty good handle on — then what? A few minutes of new stuff, that maybe I haven’t really tried yet? Older stuff that needs to be chopped down and reworked to be stage-worthy? Riffing off the bits I know, to fill in a few seconds here and there? Six minutes of juggling, or tap dancing, or old-skool breakdancing?
(Only one of which I can actually do, by the way. I’ll leave it up to you to picture me doing each, and try to figure out which is most likely.)
I suppose it’ll probably be a combination of several things. Plus, if I’m feeling frisky, I can throw in a bit of ‘crowd work’. That’s where we talk with people in the audience, instead of to the crowd as a whole. You don’t want to depend on it, of course — you never know when you’re going to be performing in front of a group of monks who’ve taken a vow of silence — but it can be a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll just have a friend come, and heckle me around the fifteen-minute mark.
(Yeah… no. That’s not gonna happen. With my luck, I’d screw up with even a ‘friendly’ heckler, and foul up the whole thing. I’d either lose the crowd, get carted off the stage, or get my ass kicked by my heckling friend after the show. I know it might sound like a good idea, but honestly, nothing good can come from asking a buddy to come and berate you while you’re doing your job. Really.)
Anyway, I’ll get it figured out — and hopefully, I’ll have a tape of the show, too, so you folks can eventually see how it turns out. I’m thinking it’ll be a lot like me having sex: it may not be pretty, and it may not be ‘good’ — however you decide to define it — but dammit, it’ll last about a half-hour, and I’ll be ready for a good long nap afterwards.
(Hey, that’s not bad… maybe I’ll use that on Saturday. Ooh, there’s another twenty seconds or so I don’t have to worry about. Woo hoo!)Permalink | 3 Comments