With my stand-up debut looming tomorrow, I decided I would spend the entire day, gathering and putting together all my random notes and material, for my 5 minute act. It was going to be a productive day. Until I started to realize a few key aspects. First one, and I think this could be crucial to my success as a stand-up comedian, is that I am fairly brutal at telling jokes. As in horrific. This is what my usual two line joke turns into… I start off telling my great joke. Which is then greeted by silence, a lack of laughter. So, I presume that the person did not hear me the first time around, or wasn’t paying attention. So I tell it again. They actually did hear me first time, I am told, they just didn’t get it/didn’t think it is funny. I plough on, determined to get a laugh, so I explain out the joke, why it actually is funny, highlighting the important words, catch phrases and key aspects of the two line joke. And the whole thing ends with just me laughing at the joke, on my own. I personally think all my jokes are brilliant. Then again, every mother also thinks their baby is beautiful, no matter what.
Another stumbling block is the time frame. The above scenario usually lasts 5 minutes, so time wise it is spot on. However, I am looking for laughs, so I must make sure I move swiftly on and have enough material to cover myself if and when the first signs of bombing occurs. Thankfully, I now have a back-up plan – singing the Irish national anthem, should kill a few minutes at least, and how many people in the crowd will actually know Irish anyways. Actually, with my luck, it’ll be Irish night so they all will.
I decided to test out two potential opening lines on my roommates. At least I got a consistent response. First time around, I could see that they did not understand one word I had just wasted on them. Apparently my comedic accent descends into complete gibberish to the untrained ear. Secondly, after I re-told them the jokes, I could see them still actively listening, waiting for me to tell them the punch lines. The ones I had already delivered. Oh Jesus. So, to finish off the three stages of my joke telling process, I explained why they were actually funny, only to be told “Oh God, don’t use them, try something else”. Oh yeah, I have a cupboard full of great opening lines, let me just fish one out! Looks like I’ll be opening with my line about having sex with a pig on Spring Break in Mexico. That snippet reads far funnier than the joke actually sounds. Actually, that’s it, that is the whole joke. Oh Jesus.
If only I could bring situations, and daily encounters with people, up onto the stage with me, at least they provide some humour. Earlier this morning, while making some coffee, I realized I had ran out of sugar. Luckily for me, my ridiculously hot neighbour, the Neighbour girl, was walking by my window with her laundry. Superb, I’ll ask her for some sugar, she’ll invite me over, sparks will fly and Bob’s your uncle. Out I rush, hi, sorry, excuse me, can I ask you for a favour? Going well so far, I hadn’t mentioned s**t or rubbish yet, unlike the last time I tried my luck. At this point, I should perhaps mention that I am a weird old ape when it comes to eating healthy, so I in fact don’t use sugar, but the healthier, more womanly sugar substitute known as Splenda. This was to be my downfall… Any chance I could borrow some sugar from you please? I’ll pay you straight back, I swear, haha, I’m so witty… “Yeah, sure, no problem, just come over to my hous…” Actually, I meant Splenda if you have that, I don’t actually use sugar, do you have Splenda? “Splenda? Haha, no, sorry, try the two guys in there” and nods towards where two gay guys live. The job. The haha was not with me either, it was more down and at me, with a shake of her head, and a look of “What kind of woman are you?” I’ll be the one laughing in the long run with my no calorie sweetener! And yes, the answer to your look is that I do have womanly attributes.
Needing to get out of the house after that, and away from my little hub of stagnant comedy, I hit the gym. Started off well in there. In the bathroom beforehand, seeing as all the stalls were taken, I knocked on one of the cubicle doors to see if someone was actually in there. I was greeted by the reply of “Occ-u-pied” not by one, but two guy’s voices, lovely. At least I figured out why I like to DJ/Genius in there too even though I don’t get paid. 5% of the reason would be that I actually like playing the music to an audience, of some sort. 95% of it though, is down to the fact I love compliments! Who doesn’t? Even if I get heckled off the stage tomorrow, I’ll take it as a compliment that they at least understood my accent well enough to decide that the jokes were horrific.
So, when a girl (makes a pleasant change) came up to me in the gym today saying that she loved the music I played the other day, what was the name of the Spanish song I played (I didn’t play any Spanish song but we’ll ignore that minor detail), and I was way better than the DJ playing right now, my head swelled up nicely enough for me to want to go back this week and play a few more gems I am after finding. I had not even realized there was a DJ playing at the time, bland enough if I do say so myself. However, he did have a mountain of equipment set up in front of him, as opposed to my all-in-one equipment of my laptop, so he did look the part. Dodgy remixes over bland any day of the week though!
Enough of that side-tracking so I can tell you how I think I am better than DJ Bland, I presume he is getting paid to play gigs elsewhere. It was on the way home where the fun happened. As I am coming up to the major intersection between my house and the gym, I saw my buddy, the homeless dude who makes more money than I do, with his back to me, shouting and ranting at the traffic. Seeing as we were now buddies, I presumed he would find it funny if I played the old school boy trick of tapping his right shoulder, while standing behind him to his left. He would turn and look to his right, only to have been fooled by me! Silly him! No, silly me.
I tap his right shoulder, and stand to his left. How he knows, I don’t know, but he instinctively swings to his left and clocks me in the right ear. I was not expecting this to say the least, so stumble back a bit, reeling from the shock. Full on belt too, painful enough. Although, the sheer embarrassment far outweighed any pain. When he realizes he is not being attacked, he stops the ranting and shouting he had continued on from the cars. He starts to apologize(ish), thought he was being attacked. I start to apologize for scaring him, meant to be a joke, nice right hook you have, sort of thing. I blame the blow to the head for my next action, as when he rattles his tin bucket at me, I end up giving him the only bit of money I had on me, trying to buy his forgiveness? Either way, it was a $5 note I could’ve done with, thats $6 he owes me now! Not sure if I’ll get it back though, here was his reply when I broached the subject…
Hopefully the audience tomorrow won’t give me the same response during my debut! Stand-up on!!!
Here’s a song to get me pumped for it before I go on!!! Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis