Sunday. The Improv Space. 10 o’clock.
I was sick as a dog. I had called in sick that same day. Coughing. Mucous. A little less sneezing still stifled breathing. Chills. Overall ick.
I called in for work but didn’t think twice about cancelling a show. I had a cup of hot chamomile and a cigarette that I pulled from my hair. I was as ready as I was ever going to be.
The crowd was good to me and after the show a friend mentioned to me that my presentation was what sold it. They said I looked like I could care less which was couldn’t have been more opposite but the point was my jokes were recieved like a good connecting combination of jabs in a boxing round.
I treated that show more like a job than I can care to separate it from others.
A strange thing has happened in recent weeks, something along with this summer, that has taken hold of my way for delivery. I don’t know if it’s something that comes along at the point of a comedian’s path to the point where I find myself now but recently I’ve found myself easily writing in the voice of my peers, separate from my own and not on stage, but just at home and in my head; and I’m wondering if this is just a natural intersection.
Like my brain is bored with my own habit of formulating so it’s created these challenges to supplement my own work.
In a breakdown, if I like a comic, I watch their material. Familiarize. And when the tone sticks, I use it and push the same tone as far as I can until I understand it then I discard it and move on. It’s not so much emulation as it is a tool that my mind seems fixated on utilizing. It’s like I’m absorbing they’re tactics. Like playing a video game and only using Ryu or Chun Li. Knowing when to pause, use cadence, dig deeper or strattle that line that makes people call you a devil’s advocate. Catching whatever it is that draws me to like that comic. In the end of the video game, there’s always a character that unlocks that hosts the greatest pieces of every character seen before. Cammy’s cannon drill, Guy’s sonic boom. The Apocalypse of X-men if we can jump to Marvel vs Capcom.
The strangest thing is the comics my brain involuntarily chooses to put under the scope are folks who have yet to make a name for themselves on a more mainstream platform. If they had, I don’t think my brain would allow it. It’s like why dismantle a machine that works? First understand how and why certain parts function on their own. How does the battery stay charged? Where does the fuel come from? Am I comparing comics to cars? Yes. Am I saying comics on this mainstream platform are products of the process for which I’m going through? Maybe. Does any this matter to explain?
All I’m learning is that I like structure. I don’t mind missing a belly laugh out the gate, but I also know that’s important in a set overall. Pay attention is what you want to tell the crowd. But once you’ve got it then what? Being yourself and guiding the listeners to thoughts I have is what I want, no matter how far disconnected that may be. The challenge here is relating.
This post was brought to you by Nyquil.