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  1. Comics Watching Comics

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016

    Sunday, June 26th had lots going on.  In my Bronx, the Bronx Museum of the Arts hosted “Boogie on the Boulevard” which takes place on the last Sunday of each summer month on the Grand Concourse.  There’s music and games, dancing and art-making, and all sorts of things.  I want to get to one, but I couldn’t get to it this time.

    Sunday, June 26th was also the Gay Pride March in Manhattan.  Years ago, I went regularly to support my gay friends and the gay community and humanity in general.  But this year wasn’t going to be one when I could go.


    Sunday, June 26, 2016 was the day I was going to be at the New York Comedy Club most of the day for a taping of 50 comics for upcoming episodes 3 and 4 of Comics Watching Comics.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, here are former episodes that I enjoyed watching before deciding to do it.

    Before I reached the train to head downtown, a man who lives in my neighborhood saw me and told me, “Ever since your dog passed away, you’ve put on weight.  You look good.”  He affectionately touched my shoulder.  I believed him that he thought I looked good.  No black man ever told me I was too fat.  One once told me to put some weight on. 

    I sat through 50 comics.  I am super grateful that I was #9 on the list.  I actually went up 8th because the person before me hadn’t arrived yet.

    The show is one where the panelists are going to talk about the set of each comic.  A year ago, I might not have taken the chance.  I am also aware that my work quality and my confidence do not match.  That’s true for many people.  Many seem to have more confidence than their work merits (NOT talking exclusively about comics regarding this phenomenon – I’ve seen it across the board, teachers, writers, poets, etc.)  Then there are those who don’t feel as confident as they should.  My confidence fluctuates and sometimes may have little to do with the actual quality of my work.  

    As it got closer to the day of the taping, I questioned again if this was a good thing for me to be doing.  I’d be performing to a roomful of comics.  Those of you readers not in comedy, I will tell you that performing to comics is not typically the most responsive audience/ rewarding experience.

    Fast-forward.  The roomful of comics turned out to be a wonderful audience!  My set went quite well.  I was able then to relax and enjoy the others.  Between my set and sitting down, I was greeted by Rhonda Hansome, our Thursday “She,” who was also going to be taped performing a set.  It felt so good to see a familiar face and supportive person.  I gave her a big hug.  She hugged back.  That was a nice plus.  And even better yet, I don’t think she and I are competing with each other.  I believe I am in the episode 3 batch, and she is in the episode 4 batch. 

    I left feeling good that I did this.  I can only do my current best.  I am braced for whatever the panelists might say.  I am okay with it being aired.  I’m proud that I feel that okay with it all.  I just hope the cameras (that supposedly add pounds to the look of a person) help people see me through the lens of that man in my neighborhood.  J

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