“I have never done this before in my life.”
I told myself I wasn’t going to say that. I sure as hell wasn’t going to lead with it…
The darkness had clearly thrown me. The audience was lost in the black. A sharp light pointed down at me, causing me to pace restlessly back and forth in front of the iconic brick wall backdrop. I was trying frantically to connect emotionally with the shadow people. First through a confession or two then with impressions, all the while clutching the mic stand like a safety rail. I thought it might stabilize my nerves and keep me funny till it was safe to depart the stage, but I couldn’t seem to stop manhandling it. I have held a mic in my hand a thousand times for more musical reasons and never been so attached to the stand itself.
I quickly introduced my go to characters Texas Dance Mom , Ukraine Mom and Delores before being gently nudged off stage by a little musical number they use if you are oblivious to the giant red light, “time is up” signal. I guess I was too busy feeling up the microphone stand to notice.
I have been told there was much laughter, but I could hardly hear it over my howling insecurity. All I could do in the aftermath, was pick myself apart.
Why did I declare myself a novice? Why was I so nervously mobile? Why did I treat the mic stand like a Latin dance partner? Why did I use the pork chops at a bar mitzvah joke? It’s not good and it’s not even mine.
The head of Four Square Youth Ministry in the 90’s was a man with a penchant for the theatrical with a scant cache of go to jokes. My favorite being the one he used whenever he wasn’t getting laughs from the Christian teens he wanted to win over, which was often…
“Well, that went over like pork chops at a Bar Mitzva!” The youth leaders would howl in an effort to declare their knowledge of contemporary Jewish customs. The kids never really got it.
It is a solid joke though when used correctly. Sort of like the Crane.
I did not use it correctly. I used it like a place holder. A go to that gave me time to think. It was more like when Daniel Larusso used the crane a second time. It might work in a regional tournament against Johnny but don’t even think about it if you are fighting someone protecting their honor in Okinawa.
In spite of my uninteresting opening line, the unintended youth pastor plagiarism, the inappropriate touching of the mic stand, the time management problem, and the part where I had too many glasses of wine at the end of the night and ended up crying in the car , I think I would still call it a success. I made some people laugh, mostly family, and I didn’t die trying. Guess I can knock that one off the bucket list.
Next Challenge: Date night with Sparky
Fun Fact: I think I enjoy improv more than stand up. It was much lonelier than I thought it would be up there. Any ideas on where I can test my improv chops?
Question of the Day? What is something you have always wanted to try? No seriously, I want to know! Tell me all about it.
8 thoughts on “Truth or Blog Part 1 — Stand up at the Comedy Underground.”
Nice work, oh fun, fearless friend!!! I’ve wanted to do stand up as well! But I too have a more off the cuff humor. Next up for me though? Skydiving with vertigo! ❤
I heart you Denise! You should do it! Off the cuff or on said cuff. I would go and support you with howling laughter!
Heather i LOVE you. I can relate and personally felt like i carved up the proverbial stage pavement with my stand up set a two years ago inspired by the 3 day layover in LA when staying next door to the comedy store….your advice to learn something new every year continues to rocks on in this part of the globe. Tic stand up done – boy it was hard but i never have laughed so hard in the writing process with craig and still have my lucky tampon i found as i put on my tap shoes back stage to shimmy my way to that sexy mic you referred too.
ROW I LOVE YOU! That is so amazing. I wish I could have been there. Also desperately wish I could see you all again! Miss you terribly and the incredibly place you inhabit. Love you so.
I LOVE YOU HEATHER!! Wish we could have been there to cheer you on!! Let us know next time K ❤
You’re like some sort of superhero to brave that mic.
Have you checked out the movie “Don’t Think Twice”? It’s about an improv group. Funny and fantastic and heartbreaking all at once.
I’ve always wanted to write a book. Been working on that dude for going on a decade now. Writing a novel requires a lot of headspace, and that’s in shrinking supply for me these days.
I will purchase the heck out that novel! Get it done. That’s an order!
I have a friend who works at unexpected Productions at the Market Theater and their shows are so much fun! I would LOVE to take an improve class there with you, if you’re interested!! 😊