Monday, November 9, 2009

Get Up, Stand Up

Every couple of hours I panic. I’m going to forget a hunk. I’m not going to hit the line right. It is just not funny. Not even to me any more. It’s not 5 minutes. It’s about 3. I have to add a piece of another routine. No, then I’ll go over. I’ll miss the light. They will start playing me off the stage

Every couple of hours I get psyched. This is funny. People will laugh – they will laugh where I set them up to laugh. The adrenaline will pump. I will do it under 5 and get off. I will feel the applause.

I can’t write music. I don’t “get” music. I see people pick up an instrument and look at music, and play it, and take it somewhere they I can’t even figure out, and I want so badly to go there. I can look through the glass and know it’s there but I’ll never be inside the music.

Comedy I get. I listen to comedians and I hear the joke and, at the same time, I see the construction of it. I see the notes and feel the timing. I can appreciate the talent behind it or I can see how to fix it. When I think of a standup bit, I have the voice inside me; I know how it should sound. Sometimes it comes out of my mouth just like I planned it, sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m not a professional, I’m not that good, but I’m funny. I’ve done only amateur nights but I know I’m funnier than some of the people getting paid for it. At least, every couple of hours, I think I am. Then, later, I’m not.

I don’t know how it happened this time. I have not been sleeping well. Maybe my mind was foggy from fatigue. I had a headache at work and I asked someone for a Tylenol; she was out of those and gave me something else – supposedly an Advil, but possible quaaludes – you never know. Whatever the reason, I signed up to do 5 minutes Wednesday – amateur night at Go Bananas.

I had thought of something to write about for this blog. Then I remembered having done that topic in standup a couple years ago. I looked up the routine I wrote and, hey, it was pretty funny. What if I went back up? I love it when it works. People had been asking me for some time if I was going to perform again. I kept saying no. I gave reasons but the reasons have faded in my mind. It’s been a couple years. Why not do it again?

For the past week I have thought about this performance every hour of every day. Oh, I have been distracted by work and chores and food and occasional sleep, but it’s always there. I’ve gone over and over it and really made some improvements.

Every couple of hours I get psyched. This is funny. People will laugh – they will laugh where I set them up to laugh. The adrenaline will pump. I will do it under 5 and get off. I will feel the applause.

Every couple of hours I panic. I’m going to forget a hunk. I’m not going to hit the line right. It is just not funny. Not even to me any more. It’s not 5 minutes. It’s about 3. I have to add a piece of another routine. No, then I’ll go over. I’ll miss the light. They will start playing me off the stage.

I’m starting to remember why I stopped.

5 comments:

Susan said...

Nice post open and honest. I feel your conflict.

You'll do great.

Cali said...

Neat, when is that? You are going to do great!! Good luck! :)

Jenny said...

You can do it!

Tengrain said...

You know what? That nervousness? It means you still got it -- you're not phoning it in, like Robin Williams.

Get up there and enjoy yourself. It's been a long time since I did stand up, but the thing I remember is that once you start, the first giggle, the first laugh, you can let go and just rip.

Go get'em, tiger!

Regards,

Tengrain

JohnnyB said...

Cali - it's tonight, 11/11.

Tengrain - you are right, but if the first laugh isn't there ...

Thanks, guys for all the encouragement. I hope to get a good video and, if it's not too embarrassing, post it.