We missed our flight yesterday due to duncery and had to re-book for today, but I will make all of the shows. Worried that I won’t have time to make changes to help translate jokes properly, but I guess that could be the fun part – long, sincere explanations of every unknown reference. Oh boy.
I’ll commit to the blogsquare that I’ll verbally rehearse my set on the flight and let you know how that goes. I listened to the set from Salt Lake City and I’m not sure if it’s an accurate representation of how strong the material is – I feel like I get a lot of slack and laughs which may or may not be earned. And, of course, who cares.
next day: struggling with depression from jet lag. Everything seems pretty dark. Did podcast last night and though everyone was kind, I felt off. Talked with pal Jackie about pre-show irritability (fear, I think). It’s like everything pinches and it’s embarrassing that I’m not more relaxed, cool-casual.
I asked my pal Ivans to listen to me rehearse on the phone and feel hopeful that that will help. She’s an actor and coach and is ultra-positive.
We don’t leave til Sunday, but I’ve started to get a little anxsh for the shows. I’ll try to get some guest sets once I get there – to try out stuff and get comfortable. I know they review shows there and so feel a little scared of that, but criticism – so far- has only been helpful in life. And if it’s not- like I got a 1 pint out of 5 pints review at the Edinburgh festival one year and guy said he thought the show was “boring”. That didn’t give me a ton to work with unless I was going to add horses and explosives. but other crit has been more interesting like “not political enough” and then that’s something I can genuinely ask myself “do I want to be more straightforward in my political beliefs, make a clearer stance, call people (and myself) to real action?”
Anyhobnobs, I’ll be checking in to prepare. Did a short set (5 min) last night just telling story of reality show experience on Worst Cooks of America and have recording from Salt Lake City first show to listen to- bummer that I forgot to hit record on second show that went better performance-wise.
Hoping that second show will be tighter. I got a little rambly and lost confidence in the very long joke about Competing religiously with my mother. I have it recorded and I hope that will help me edit it. Will check in after second show -the goal being- do all of the new material, but maybe in a different order so that it doesn’t poop out at the end.
Second show did go better!
I rewrote the set list to put the weaker stuff in the beginning so I could feel more confident as the set progressed. And as I do here, I bookended it with my buddy Alex- just to not feel so alone in the process. It is so uncomfortable (for me) – though OF COURSE it’s the reality that I’m just ok at my job most nights. Unlike the hyperbolic descriptions of artistry happening in reviews or horrible slurs posted on YouTube, I’m just in the middle and sometimes ok, sometimes not that great at my job. In my mind- it can seem more admirable to be either the best or the worst rather than just amongst.
I was able to listen and transcribe material into my notebook for an hour with help from my pal, Alex, as a bookending support. I told him I’d just do 20 minutes and then, was able to do 2 more twenties and feel really excited about the material I wrote out and whispered to myself on the LAX to DTW Delta flight row 20 middle seat. So, victory!
Now, the fun part! Researching notes I’ve had about jokes- googling and learning about references I’m wondering about: open book accounting, gentrification, human trafficking – to name a few topics.
I’ll write more tomorrow once in the GR!
Did an hour of rehearsing with Jackie Kashian and opener Hayden Krystal (very funny comic currently in Detroit). That was helpful.
My thoughts at a little speedy as a result of going down on a medication in order to stop gaining weight and that may end up not working. I love words but when they start tangling up into ever-changing “better” versions of the same sentence, I think it may be time to stop writing and just make a face.
Well, two shows were a good but second show was a little scattered and I felt embarrassed. I got a little distracted and my mind went blank at one point. I had to ask the audience where I was in a bit. Agh. There had been a drunk lady yelling out a little bit, but I felt like I could have handled it better. I just used an old heckling line that I’ve used for years, but I did add a new tag. Jackie and Hayden did great. Oh well. Now, sleep and two more shows in Salt Lake City. I was talking to a friend in text about how it’s just hard for my ego that I’m not the worst and I’m not the best (if anyone is) and it’s ok to be just ok at a job- that I just be a part of the world and don’t have to be a genius or superhuman to participate. Participating- at any level of skill- is a victory.
Shows in Vancouver went ok. Felt jumbled again with new “Beat the Christians” premise and feel like I lost the crowd completely for 10 minutes, but I tried.
Had a lovely talk in the hotel lobby of Vancouver with another comic who happens to be a lady about stage fright getting worse with age. That I now put more pressure on myself because I have some people who have said they liked my stuff and I want to please those same people again. And there is no guarantee that will happen. I can love someone’s paintings of dogs and then, I stop being interested in their new robot series. Anyhoo, it was really nice to hear a younger, hipper comedian than myself talk about the same concerns. I’m sorry about this occasional font bolding- I keep hitting the wrong buttons on my phone. Or, I am experimenting with emphasis.
Today, I made the mistake of running a joke by comic I didn’t know well (the massive, unwieldy “Beat the Christians” chunk. Ugh. They asked me what I did to run new material and I said, “well, I just do it for people. Do you want to hear something I’m working on?” And unfortunately, it did not go over as I’d hoped. The witness seemed completely confused and bored by it and then, had comments. Whoops. It was good to get it out and rehearse it, but if it the rehearsal just brings shame- maybe better to keep to myself. If I may quote my mother quoting the Bible (it’s not all murderous misogyny?), “Listen, kiddo, don’t throw pearls before swine.” That’s a little harsh, but I have to remember some people aren’t prepared for my gorgeous baubles that I’m throwing in their face and it might be best to showcase the oyster rocks in a well-lighted place where they might be better appreciated.
It’s been a few days since my last show on Saturday (8 am cruise shows were very successful- for me anyways- as a way to get myself to rehearse and edit material. I’m not sure how small morning crowd felt, but I was very grateful).
Jackie Kashian and I headed to Vancouver tonight via WestJet and I’m feeling nervous about tomorrow’s set. I’ll have time on the plane and will write more then.