My First Gig as an Opener!

I opened for Sketch Haus last Friday, ImprovBoston‘s house sketch comedy show.  This was my first stand up performance that was not an open mic.  I got the gig the Tuesday before, when I got a mass email requesting an opening act for Sketch Haus.  A contact email was given if anyone was interested.  Lo and behold, the contact was a good friend from the puppet reality show I had acted in earlier.  The same man who took me out for un-sensational Tibetan food and talked comedy with me when I was first started out.  Small world.  Come to think of it, I’ve been blessed with 3 men and magically one woman, who were all bosses of mine and took me out to dinner.  Apparently I give off that likable, “God I feel bad for him, he looks hungry,” kind of vibe.

So I contacted my friend and locked up 7-10 minutes of stand up at the beginning of the show.  Soon, I came to the realization that I only had 4 minutes of material people usually laughed at, and about a minute and a half of that I fucked up a quarter of the time.  So I had 3 days to double that.  The next day I woke up with a fever.  Damn you microbes!!!  But I wanted this, so I typed 3 pages of new crap, and I say crap because most of what I write is shit.  Joke writing is about pinching off a bunch of ideas, and finding the pieces of comedy corn within them.  That’s why it has taken me 2 months to get people to laugh for 4 solid minutes. 

That night, I went to two separate open mics, wearing 4 shirts to compensate for my fevered body temperature.  Both went ok, and I restructured my material for the next night.  Thursday I performed at this death open mic at a Howard Johnson’s, or as known on the street, a HoJo.  About 7 comics tested their luck, and the only person to get a laugh was a woman who joked about her vagina breathing fire.  Oh, HoJo.  So I got a nice kick in the balls before my first real gig ever.  That’s good, no one can not laugh at a man getting kicked in the nuts.  That link is random, but my life is about entertainment now.

Fast forward to Friday night.  Still relatively sick, I restructured my act again, and substituted some material I had made up THAT DAY for a chunk that wasn’t working often enough.  I blame the illness.  Just to give you a teaser for my act, the new piece was inspired when I farted and it smelled like pumpkin.  Deep stuff there.  Again,  I refuse to take responsibility for my actions.  If I do that the terrorists win.

So my time came to do my thing, and there were two people in the audience.  The show members decided to wait for more people, and the host asked me politely, “Do you want to wait and do a little less than 10 minutes.”  “Ahh…sure.  I mean I was so looking forward to the complete 10 minutes, but I’ll do my part.”  “Oh no,” she says, “You can do the whole thing if you want.”  God, I’m an idiot.  My nerves must have masked my sarcasm.  “No, these people didn’t come to see me, it’s fine,” I replied.  Never take responsibility for actions, that only leads to learning and growth.

Finally, I was introduced, talked at the audience for a nervous five minutes and thirty seconds, and exited on an “aww…”  As bad as it sounds, it actually went pretty well.  You can view it here, and I’m working on obtaining a copy for myself.  I’m opening again this Friday, so if you’re in the area feel free to drop by.

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One thought on “My First Gig as an Opener!

  1. First of all, are you even getting these comments?
    Second of all, I am unbelievably proud of you Tom. You are making some real progress; the new Salem bit is pretty damn funny. Good job! I’ve almost managed, with the help of alcohol and drugs, to convince myself of trying what you do. Thankfully my roommate tends to dunk my head in freezing water, and I get back to school work.
    Love,
    Ian

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