My First NY Club Spot

One of the beauties of New York is you can have days like yesterday.  I did an open mic at 5:30, watched a $5 show of Nick Vatterot, Kevin Barnett, Nikki Glaser, Andy Haynes, Jared Logan, Mark Normand, Dan St. Germain, Adam Newman doing their Comedy Central audition sets at 8, did a spot at Broadway Comedy Club at 10, and then hung out with some great comics at 11.

One of the best and worst aspects of Boston is how insular it is.  There’s this great, supportive community of friends to hang out with, and that’s fun.  But they also frown upon doing multiple spots a night, and expect you to hang out, drink, and be supportive rather than work on getting better at comedy.  It’s so funny, because the same people who get upset about comics doing multiple sets in a night, also complain about the level of performance that currently exhists in Boston comedy. 

So I practically fell over when I got my first spot at Broadway (I was awarded it by doing well at their open mic), and they told me, “You’ll be on at the end of the 8:30 show, so just make sure you’re here by 9:45.”  Oh my God!  I can go be productive with my time instead of either talking with the other comics or hiding by the emergency exit and trying to write!?!  The almost falling over could have been because all the blood in my body rushed towards my genitals.  Mostly filling my balls.  I don’t know why I would write that.

Anyway, I showed up at 9:45 for my spot, and had to wait in the cafe just outside the show.  I was horrified by who they were barking in for 10 o’clock performance.  An angry tranny.  An angry drunk white couple.  An angry drunk black couple.  All very-few-of-them were intoxicated and furious, “This better be funny!  Drinks cost what!?  Who’s on this show!?  Is this the whole audience!?  I’m not attracted to you, tranny!!!  I am!!  Why aren’t you hitting on me!?!”  It was an audience that clearly was going to end some comic’s career and/or life.  I was a little down, and really couldn’t take another shit-show.  So my turn comes to go onstage and get my first peek of what’s in store for me, and as the door cracks open, this wave of relief washes over me.  There’s 13 exhausted people — something that could actually be fun!  I killed it for my five minutes, roused them into a light smattering of applause, and got offstage.  It was beautiful.  I needed it to be good so badly. 

I was gonna check out Whiplash at UCB from there, but I ran into Justin Morgan (an awesome comic from Atlanta), Boston’s own Jason Marcus, and a sketch-writer named Dan (who I assume is great and from somewhere).  They were going to have drinks nearby, so I joined them, and it was the best decision I’ve made in weeks.  So much fun hanging out.  Marc Maron’s podcast got brought up a few times, which is virtually a requirement if comics are talking to each other now.  Like saying grace before dinner for people going to heaven.  Dan mentioned one piece of advice where someone likened stand up to pottery: “You can spend your whole life trying to perfect one pot, or you can make a new pot every day and probably make some really shitty pots, but you’re bound to make a few great ones as well, even if by complete accident.”  That really hit home for me.  Nothing matters other than doing it.  You just keep trying differnt stuff and throwing things out.  I’ve always been so worried about creating a meaningful body of work.  I can’t really control how meaningful my jokes are.  All I can do is keep creating and hope it’ll work out.  Part of what gives stand up value is that not everyone can do it.  So however my comedy career goes, it’ll either be meaningful for me, or my failure will help make it meaningful for someone else.  Philosophy!


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