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  1. My Audition at The Comic Strip

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    This past Tuesday I got to audition for The Comic Strip Live. A very historic venue, where Seinfeld, Murphy, and Rock were discovered and managed. Jimmy Failla, a very funny comic and friend who performs there regularly, told me to come to the club two Tuesdays ago to hang out and meet people. Everything I had ever heard from Marc Maron's WTF podcast came to fruition. I got to chat with the pros, old and new. They told me stories of "back in the day" over whiskey. It was a magical night. I got to meet one of the club's owners, Bob. We talked about SNL and he said to me "You know who Eddie Murphy is? Yeah? I produced all of his albums and managed him from when he was unknown." After which, I shat. Then he asked me to audition the following week, which I did. After shatting a little more. I was terrified. But I have taken on a philosophy that has really helped me not want to kill myself after a bad set: As long as I don't trip and fall on stage, I did good. Low expectations. Works really well for my anxiety driven, sometimes self-hating psyche.

    I arrived at the club around 9:30, checked in with the booker and was told I was going to go on in 5 minutes. Completely not expecting that at all. Definitely thought I'd have at least an hour of hang time to pace back and forth. Totally wanted to shat my pants but I couldn't because I was wearing a dress. Have you ever had a moment where you thought you were going to die from something that you definitely could never die from? It was like that a little. As I was in the green room peaking through the door into the theater, waiting for the MC  to intro me, Jimmy and a bunch of other pros who could do a 15 minute set in their sleep and kill, kept saying "Krystyna look, you're gonna be fine. I think you're gonna be ok. Just breathe. Calm down. Whats the worst that could happen? Don't suck. Its ok, you're gonna be fine. Seriously though, don't blow it."

    Luckily, I got a tip from a previous comic that the audience was hard to please. It's always a huge advantage to get this information before you go on stage, because you can walk in the room knowing what you're up against. 

    Aside from both my hands shaking like I was on a coke binge, and not being able to see the red light, the 5 minutes (that was probably 7) went well. I didn't trip and I got great feedback. And then I drank a lot of whiskey.

    Later, I got to hang out down in the basement area where all the comics dwelled on Fridays and Saturdays after their sets... since 1985. I felt like I was touring the SNL studios. It was so nostalgic, even though I had never been there before. They had a lot of De La Vega art hanging, like this cardboard dude below. IT WAS GRAND.

    The moral of the story is... you need those moments of terrifying, shat-inducing fear and you need the experience of overcoming that and just doing it. Because as long as you don't trip... you're in good shape.


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