Like attempting to comply with the directive of a comedy room booker, who was in diapers when I headlined NYC showcase clubs. My mission: get 3 people who worked at (will remain) Nameless Club to vouch for me, before she'd even look at my video.
Feeling very get things done, I checked Nameless Club's website & saw a familiar moniker. I asked (will remain) Nameless Sister Comic for a simple recommendation. Her response was, Nameless Club was pretty shitty & I really didn't want to work there.
What kept my reply from flying out of my mouth? It certainly was pounding loud enough in my head.
I'll send up a fart fueled multi-colored flare if I can coerce 2 other "regulars" at Nameless Club to vouch for me, so stay tuned for fire works.
Last week I was confused by a friend's question about The Divorced Divas of Comedy Valentine's Day Show, which I headlined and BTW, was most capably produced by Mindy Matijasevic, Tuesday's She So Funny.
Nameless Friend, asked me if there would be vulgar language? She was bringing guests who were concerned. I was stymied, baffeled, perplexed... I didn't know what the fuck to say.
Was it the coughing/achy Nyquil resistant, almost-flu like thing that held me in grippe; or that it touched a sore spot from my past?
I loved the good money I made back in the day being a comedy queen in the
I worked every week either headlining or opening for national music acts in every hotel, and bungalow colony in the
I loved the whole old time show business history of "the mountains". The clientel had seen every big name & industry wanna-be to travel Route 17.
Catskill's Competitive Converation was a major sport with two catagories:
1) Progeny's Triupmhant Accomplishments
2) Major Entertainers Walked Out On.
Mega Successful Specialty Practice of My Son The Lawyer / Doctor certainly caused Competitive Conversation envy, but nothing shattered dining room chatter like dropping a We Walked Out On trump name; like Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield or
For years my Schvartze Married to a Jew routine kept my income / laugh numbers high & my showroom walk out numbers low. Rumors of door bound stampedes when Joan Rivers, uttered "damn" or "fuck" even once during an undeniably hilarious performance, kept me in check.
What could possibly derail my reign as a Catskill Comedy Queen? The impending death of the area as a vacation destination? My conflict riddled personal life? No, it was my desire to be vulgar on stage, i.e., suggestive, ribald, risque, indelicate, saucy, adult. Talk straight from my heart about personal, social or political issues. I had self-censored myself into a creatively depressed space with no room for improv flights of fancy.
Here's a secret joy in what we comics do. Saying a line for the first time or going with an in-the-moment improv can be the adrenaline sparked birth of a new stand-up bit or a lead lined eclipse of preceding laughs, leaving cricket punctuated silence.
I (almost) never say anything on stage just to shock. There are plenty who lead with that, do very well & I'm not hatin'. I frequently enjoy them, but it's not my schtick. Truth is, when I'm on the mic & in the light, I never know what new combination of words will evoke riotus laughter, guffaws or groans. Hell, no comic is 100% certain how even tried & true lines will hit any particular audience.
When my Nyquil mind numb wore off I realized my only response to "Would there be vulgar language?"
Did I equivocate? Got damn right! When it comes to 3 additional tickets being sold or not, I'm guilty! I went with the truth. I HAD NOT seen the acts of the comics on the bill & was responsible only for my own words.
BTW, the Divorced Divas of Comedy show was a rousing success. My Nameless Friend, her guests & what seemed the entire audience, was full of after show superlatives. As for me, I had a great time being a common fool, straight from my heart .
Rhonda Hansome is an actor, writer, director & comedian. She loves working out at Broadway Comedy Club. Get your tickets HERE to see her Thursday, April 23rd in the Westchester Comedy Festival!