Open Mic Curse
Is there such thing as an open mic curse?
If not....then I created it...the last 4 open mics I went to in Los Angeles either didn't pull my name from the bucket or I performed in front of a room of 2 people, an hour and forty minutes after the open mic started.
At one open mic the idea was the booker would be there. At 12:34am (it started at 9:30pm) I hadn't been plucked from the bucket. The host said "And we're done after the guy coming to stage." It wasn't me.
I yelled out. "I can't believe I quit my job for this!" That got a laugh.
At this point in my life...I'm just hoping God doesn't have a lotto bucket to decide heaven.
Live Stream Fun At the Dugout!
Watch this! It's a live stream from my Facebook!
Funny or Die Open Mic-In: Bombing isn't really bombing or how I learned to stop worrying and love being on live feed
On 6/21 at 5:30pm my buddy LC posted on Facebook that Will Ferrell's production company Funny or Die was starting a live feed as a counter to the DNC sit in taking place in Congress.
I showed up at 7:30pm. At 9:00pmish I got to perform in front of a thousand or more people through the live feed. The room, on the other hand, was down to 7-10 iPhones with people attached to them. They were about as interested as listening to me as some of my students during last block of the day. And who can blame them? I was probably the 30th comedian of the night at that point. And I'm not that good looking enough to rip one's eyes away from one's iPhone.
I did my 8 minute set and sat down. Not. One. Laugh. Just cold cold silence. It was like a Los Angeles open mic. But as I'm facing the camera I'm wondering if anyone in America cared. Then I got a bunch of texts and positive Facebook messages. Wait? What?
I checked the video and comments that were live streaming.
In the end, I like the feedback. There are more comments, but I'll let you check out the video.
So maybe bombing isn't bombing. Maybe, like in life, when you think the world is against you, there are really supportive people just quietly approving on Facebook like the millennials we/they are.
In November of 2007 I made my TV debut. I was working on iCarly as an assistant for the executive producer and he wanted to put me on a green screen. After teaching the past five years I found out I'm part of every 14-25 year old's pop culture subconscious. Enjoy my 3 seconds of fame eating lettuce.
Comedy & Horror Part 2
I saw The Conjuring 2 again. Long story. There was a girl involved. It was still great by the way.
The second viewing inspired two new perspectives on the connection between stand up comedy and horror films.
1. Both have "the turn" for effect.
In comedy the joke has to have a turn to be funny.
Example: I just flew in from the South. Boy are my arms tired.
You've all heard that one. It's not a great joke, but there's a "turn" stemming from the setup. The flying in from the south makes you think about plane trips. Then the jokester says he did it with his arms like a bird. Hence, the turn.
Horroe or does this all the time with animals, shadows, music cue. The camera or plot goes one way and then makes a turn to scare you.
We love a good turn.
Interstingly, heckling happens in both stand up and horror films.
In stand up an audience member will talk, interrupt, or trash talk the comedian. Sometime the audience member gets made fun of, told to be quiet, or asked to leave. Many times it can create a great opportunity for the comedian. And it can be really annoying.
But horror films have hecklers too. Please screaming, "Noooooo!" or awkward laughing or screaming or "Oh my god!" The Conjuring 2 offers plenty of those moments. and just like in comedy, this can be annoying as well.
I suppose my obsession with this theme of connecting the two is because they are both taboo as well. If comedy is seen as dirty and horror as evil, they both have their fans and detractors. Not the same for other film genres. Most people will see a drama, comedy, or sports film in a theater. But there are some who would see a horror film. Comedy is similar in that many would never go to s club, but would watch Jim Gaffigan on YouTube.
The main argument is that clubs have dirty comics. Well, they also have clean ones.
I suppose my real obsession in this topic is because they are both outcast art forms. And that I appreciate.
The Social Media Matrix
So I have started a Facebook fan page. So far 96 people "like" me. I have 1,000 friends. Basically 10% of my followers accepted my invite to like my second Facebook page.
So so I asked my buddy what should I do to build the awareness.
He suggests I advertise my new fan page on my old friend page as well as on my Instagram page by directing people to my website to read my blog to find my fan page and my snapchat page . Now that's a social media matrix.
I started doing comedy in August of 2015. As a bucket list "thing" at an open mic at 6:00pm in Burbank at Flappers Comedy Club. I had never told a joke as "a comedian" before in my life. It went well enough that I got booked for a mid-August show at Flappers in the YooHoo Room for 3 minutes. I was hooked after that.
I am so hooked that I decided to find new work to accommodate my open mic/booked show/bar show schedule and feel free to be me on stage. Since August of 2015 I've gotten A LOT of support from friends, family, and fellow rookie and veteran comedians. I've also heard these EXACT quotes:
"Oh, you're a comedian? Tell me a joke"
"Do you know ________? He's much funnier than you!"
"That guy right before you was really funny. You should do his jokes."
"I'd love to come, but can't I just sneak in when you perform and sneak out?"
"People think you're funny?"
"I don't think you should talk about _______!"
And so on and so on. While I don't think people mean to be condescending, what I think is a revelation of people's opinion that comedy is not really a "career" unless you're Louis CK or Jim Gaffigan, and since we have them, why would you try to compete with them? Some people don't understand that artists need to be artists. It's the three I's: It's innate. It's flattery through imitation. It's based in inspiration.
Also, I think people are shocked that someone thinks I'm "funny" because why would I be funny with everyone I meet? When I worked at ITT Tech and Nickelodeon I was funny with a few people, serious and professional with everyone else. I had a bartender recently question my sense of humor as a comedian, and I realized he and I talk sports and politics, not dating and my mother, which is the basis of my comedy.
The only reason I ever thought I was funny was because my students laughed at my stupid commentaries on life and them. Ironically, my students since 2003 have convinced me to leave them.
As for knowing other comedians or talking about other comedians? I will talk about my favorite jokes, but I get why many don't want to talk shop with others. I think most models don't like talking about prettier people, most millionaires don't like talking about billionaires, and Karl Malone doesn't want to talk about Michael Jordan. I'll let you talk about me and Louis CK, and if you connect us, then I'll take that as a compliment.
So the next time you support a friend doing the "comedy thing" as my mother likes to call it, just support them and let them do their thing. Just like they let others do their job or hobby without questioning it.
Would anyone want to hear these phrases?
"Oh you're a mechanic, fix my car for free!"
"Oh you're a secretary, can you show me how you file and staple things?"
"You're a chef? You don't look like you can cook. Now my grandma! That woman can cook!"
See ya from the stage! Happy trails!
Since August of 2015 I've made it goal to perform at least twice a week on any stage I could find. Having a full time job outside of L.A. makes weeknight outings hard. Starting out, I had no idea what I was doing and what the comedy scene entailed. I felt like one of those girls from Kansas who just got off the bus in a Hollywood cliche film. But I was born in Los Angeles, so ironically I felt like a stranger in my own neighborhood.
Too much noise in already a loud situation. Why must every tragedy become the springboard for a political movement?
Tragedy and comedy
For me as I almost enter my first year in comedy, I realize that my "jokes" are becoming less jokey and more cathartic in helping me release anger, frustration, and other complex emotions.
Looking back at my first set I ever did, I joked about friends who don't follow politics and Kermit and Miss Piggy breaking up.
Then I took a couple fantastic classes at Flappers and talked about my height, my faith, my teaching career, and frustrations with being single.
Then in January I took a one day workshop and opened up about my weight, my diabetes, and my frustrations with my mother who is upset I'm single at 34.
Now I'm starting to open up about the disillusionment of teaching and my lack of success at all with women.
What I'm finding is a richer experience. For both me and the audience.
Here is a quote paraphrased by a very funny comedian originally attributed to Steve Allen:
And here is a video all comedians should watch of Louis CK explaining the same process.
Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.