Tomorrow night I’m going to an open mike comedy night, largely because I said I would, but also because it’s kind of fun, even though I don’t have anything prepared. I feel a bit guilty about that. I had the whole weekend to come up with something, and today I had the whole afternoon free, but of course I took advantage of that to smoke a joint and, waddya know, no getting anything written.
I’m torn. Do I try to write something new, do I go rifling through my old work and dust something off and present that, or maybe I just get up there and wing it. After all, that’s where the real skill is – in being funny impromptu, in making a joke out of the moment, the surroundings, the audience. Also, people do occasionally find me funny, but not always when I’m intending to be, so I couldwork with that.
It’s the “Gone in 60 Seconds’ comedy event, which happens every month or so, maybe it’s every other month, it’s been a while since I’ve been to one, but it’s at the Tchaiovna where sometimes poetry readings are, and the chess club is there (actually that’s Tuesday night as well – a conflict, or an opportunity?) so I like the venue and will undoubtedly see many people I know so it will be a good evening no matter what.
The reason I’m trying stand-up comedy – well, one of the reasons – is the same reason that I enjoy karaoke, and participate in poetry open mikes, and teach English. I get to stand on a stage – doesn’t have to be a literal stage, as long as it’s in front of people and within their focal point, and talk, more or less uninterrupted. I don’t get that at home. Even if I’m trying out a new poem and ask Helena to listen to it, she’s telling me after the first couple of lines not to read so fast, or not to read so loud, or something. I guess I should take that as constructive criticasm, or positive feedback, but I don’t.
I’d love to have the stage for 45 minutes, so I could talk about all that’s wrong with the world and how we could fix it, so it’s probably a good thing that each act is limited to 60 seconds. Which is long enough, if you use it right.