Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Boston, Mon. Aug. 3rd

I've never done my stand-up act outside of Philly. We were going up to Boston to visit our old stomping grounds. I did a show a few months back w/ some Boston folks who came to Philly. I shot one of them a Facebook message and got on his open mic schedule.

I was really eager to do this show. And, especially, I wanted to try out a new bit I've been working on in private.

I did my baby powder/intro. It didn't get the response I like and I had to yell at the audience to do the hand gesture thing. I also flubbed the timing of the "Slamdancin'" call/response part. And, since no one knew who I was there, no one knew what I was doing at all and had no trust in me.

But for some reason, I forgot to check my set-list and skipped a bunch of bits that usually work. And then I rushed too quickly into my new bit. With this, I ask an audience member to come up on stage. I talk about how hypnosis saved my life from an addiction to cough drops (which I have to work on, the set-up sucks), and I wanted to show the audience how hypnosis works. So I got someone in the crowd and, as I dangled a necklace in his face, I told the audience how I would be under HIS complete control.

I was really excited to try this out. I really like crowd participation stuff. Usually, comedy is about the comic having control over the audience. But I figured why not let the audience, at least for a few moments, have control over me? The Helium show really inspired me to see what else I could get away with on stage -- why not do something like that as a big experiment? I'm not a big fan of improv, but I really love it (and at UCB they're awesome at this) when something looks like it's completely heywire but gets reeled back in.

The set-up line got a laugh, but the guy didn't buy in at all and, in fact, was a dick on stage. The bit ended within seconds.

Also, the whole "non-stop introduction to a really anti-climactic ending" thing didn't work because of how flustered I was.

It was the worst I've performed (and not just in stand-up) in at least six months. But I still got one of the better reactions of the night. I don't think it's because my material is so insanely strong (because it certainly isn't) that if my delivery sucks it will still get laughs. A lot of the stand-ups at this night weren't so good (most likely because they're just getting started), so I think that I've performed at least a little bit and have a novelty to my act helps a lot.

I at least took some satisfaction knowing that I was about 100 times better than the asshole who did the hypnosis with me. Wow. He was horrid.


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