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  1. Fun. Bags.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Ah, the comedy collision course. Unavoidable it seems.

    While I'd like to be the type of comic who can perform sans edit checking myself, it's just not happening yet what with the countless hats that I wear.  Mom, teacher, daughter by day, comic by night makes for a gal bordering multiple personality disorder.

    Furthermore, it's human nature, when we're with a crowd of people, to adapt our behavior, language, etc. accordingly.  Unless you're Larry David.

    Here are our problems as comics.

    Our job as comedians is to find our voice and put the funny into that voice; laughter from our audience being the payout. Audiences are smart enough, contrary to how we might gage intelligence, to sense if comics are being authentic.

    In the beginning, we perform to establish a level of comfortably and to develop material that speaks our truths. We perform sets with material that we think people want to hear. Our mentors tell us to be more of ourselves...but we're people pleasures. Even the most cynical comic is on stage to get people to laugh or else they'd be at some desk job muttering miserably Monday through Friday to their cubicle walls.

    We go to open mics... which in a sense are good...nobody cares what you say because they're too busy toiling over their sets. A comic can be themselves.

    We graduate to bringer shows.  We tailor our sets to engage the people who we've invited for 90 minutes of torture.

    We advance to booked shows.  We've fine-tuned our good stuff, but we might tailor it to suit the format of the show that's graciously given us 10-20 minutes of time.

    As I'm making my way through this comedic journey, I've developed a few different sets. The mom set ... the clean mom set ... the teacher set... the clean teacher set... the divorced lady set... the charity benefit set... the clean charity set... You get the picture.

    I know who I can be depending on what type of show I've been booked on and who I've invited to attend.

    Is it good practice?  Probably not.  But as a novice, I do it anyway.  I have a friend who constantly chastises me for deviating from the really funny stuff if my parents attend a show.  (Funny stuff translates to less than clean material...but I'm not at a point where I can talk about my saggy funbags while my dad is in the front row horrified. A moment of further digression:  I'm reading a trilogy written by Anne Rice, which she wrote under the pseudonym, A. N. Roquelaure.  I'll put it this way.  This trilogy makes 50 Shades of Gray look like Goodnight Moon.  It's not for the faint of heart.  Rice (Roquelaure) mentions, in the forward, that she decided to use a pen name because her father was still alive when she wrote it and she didn't want to have to edit herself.)

    As Comics don't have the luxury of a nom de plum... unless you're the Unknown Comic (showing my age here) so we try to prepare ourselves to the best of our abilities to make certain that our material is appropriate for our audience.

    So get to the punch, Biotch.  OK.  It happened to me. 

    I did a LOT of bringers in the first year of performing and told a few close friends at work (school).  Apparently, one of my friends, unbeknown to me, notified our department supervisor of my new hobby and told him where I was going to be performing.

    I was at Piano's in Bloomfield.  My invited guests had been seated. I was in the back of the club looking over my set:
    Kids, Air Whacking Off Motion, Dirty Whore, Sex with Boobs, Supreme Court, Real Father.

    All of a sudden, a familiar, yet out of place voice calls out, "Samantha!  This is my wife, Rosemarie."

    My blood drained from my face.  My supervisor. 

    I was 3rd in a line-up of 8.  I quickly rewrote a crappy set that I did at one of my first open mics and I sputtered my way through my performance.

    I watched the rest of the show from the back, seeing my boss and his wife guffaw at the countless dick jokes.

    The following Monday, he said that he and his wife had a good time, but his wife thought that his presence may have made me nervous.  YA THINK?

    Did I make the right decision?

    You know what?  I did.  While he's still my boss, I'd rather have him think of me as a new comic with a weak set than a funny comic reflecting on her saggy funbags.

    PS.  I had a similar circumstance last night, but it wasn't him and I didn't edit myself.  More on that, but I'm extremely late with my blentry and I haven't done my lesson plans yet.
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  2. 2 comments:

    1. my favorite line in here that made me laugh was your original set list before you knew he was there. personally, i wish he would've said hello after the show so you could've really done your stuff. but things went the way they did for a reason, and you preferred it this way for now. i do understand. my students are adults which makes it a different scene altogether.

    2. She So Funny said...

      Yeah, I just don't need some people from my teacher life having certain visuals. :/ ~ Samantha

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