First off, I love both cities for different reasons. However, getting to do shows in Cambridge is amazing, because you can mumble, be too long with your set-ups, screw-up a punchline, and you won’t lose the audience. They’ll still listen to your next joke if you don’t do that too often. In New York, I always felt I had to be funny, and it left me feeling less creative right before I left — like I couldn’t come up with anything new. Part of that was how I was living — in the same routine I didn’t like, spending most of my free time at comedy shows — but whatever pressure I was putting on myself didn’t help.
To New York’s benefit though, because the audiences are more forgiving, you can get away with lazy habits that New York beats out of you. I’ve written this a few times already, but I think both experiences are extraordinarily helpful, and my advice to any comic thinking about moving to NYC from their current comedy scene, is make sure you can leave town and feel funny somewhere at least once-a-month. New York absolutely makes you better, but you need to have fun and see how much you’ve grown, and that is most often apparent outside the Giant Crushing Apple.
That said, so far this tour is a great decision. I’ve already been able to expand and improve a few jokes in ten days worth of shows. Ideas are springing forth, and I don’t feel the pressing need to learn computer programming any more. AND I’ve got four shows booked in Atlanta so far, which I’ve never been to and haven’t put much work into yet, so I’m excited for that!