So I may not have followed up with the “updating more often” pledge of March 8th, 2012. I’ve been sick for the past week and haven’t done much while trying to get over it. Apparently, it’s typical for the Comic in Residences to get sick at some point because they’re not used to performing every night. Also, my frustration from being stuck in Boston for a month has led to drinking profusely. That and the Women in Comedy Festival was in town when my Grandma’s Basement Co-Pilot, Benny Bosh, was in a different country, and I did a lot of stressful running back-and-forth from the Comedy Studio and Grandma’s, which didn’t help. So now I’m coughing up pounds of goo every morning, and lying in the fetal position while listening to You Made It Weird episodes (Pete Holmes’ podcast) until 7pm, when I catch the bus, try not to cough green pieces of lung onto the audiences at the Comedy Studio, and return home to said fetal position.
Every other comic wants to know: what’s Comic in Residence like? Well, you figure out the secret to comedy. Unfortunately, it’s an ancient Chinese secret learned only when you can take a scorpion bowl from the Hong Kong restaurant owner’s hand. Mostly, being resident is a bunch of supportive shows where you can see how your jokes work against slightly different audiences — a month of introducing yourself to a crowd over and over again. Strategically, I’ve been trying to see how quickly I can get to the jokes I like more. Also, historically when the audience was cold, I’d often meet their low-energy level and have a hard time bringing them up. I’m still trying to improve upon that. The residence is great for experimenting with jokes, editing and rewriting them. Another nice thing, is you get a video of each night allowing you to compare and contrast performance.
I’ve definitely made a couple bits that I like funnier. Specifically, I’m trying to improve my neuroscience material so it’s bit more palatable to non-Cambridge audiences. In road rooms, sometimes I’ll mention the words “neuroscience” or “study,” and people’s eyes glaze over. Partially from the verbose nature of the joke, and partially because I may be triggering their math PTSD. Or the joke’s not good enough and I’m an elitist (clearly not true, I’m a really really good chucklesmith).
Maybe one of the 24 shows so far have been that difficult — and even then I won them over by the end. Between New York and Grandma’s, there’s been 100 shows before this where I’ve stood in front of a cold room and attempted to get the audience going, so I’m a little more experienced than most residents. Uhhh, I hate being sick. Fetal position time!