Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wow, almost three weeks since my last blog post. That's probably the longest I've ever gone between posts. It's nice that I'm still setting personal records at my advanced age. Go me!

So, two weeks ago my wife and daughter left to go visit some in-laws in Colorado. For the first time ever, I skipped this trip. I did so for 3 reasons:

1) Work was going to be really busy around that time
2) Really? More in-laws? Seriously?
3) I'm a prick.

The first two reasons didn't really sell my wife, but upon contemplating the third one, she agreed that this trip would be best made without me. So, for the very first time EVUH, I had the house alone to myself for a week. It was going to be debauchapolooza, except with more hookers. There were only two flaws with that plan:

1) It really was a super busy time at work.
2) My step-mother-in-law was coming in to town and was going to be staying with me.

Note that my stepmominlaw is a really nice lady and an easy house guest to have, but it goes without further explanation that having one's wife's step-mom around really cuts down on the drunken whoring. Nobody wants to have this conversation:

Me: Hi step mom, this is my, uh, friend, Trixie.
Trixie: It'll cost another $100 for the old broad.

Nobody.

Anyway, so I've been working a bunch because at work we just launched a new website. After years of giving away our flagship product away to millions of people for free, and then just kind of hoping for a magical visit from the money elves, we decided to try and make something that customers might actually buy. This is being referred to in various industry publications as a "revenue model". That is only amusing in that apparently we went so many years without one.

Oh, and I did one other thing during my blog time off. This one is, perhaps, more interesting.

I got up on stage at a local comedy club and did 3 minutes of stand-up comedy at an open-mike night.

Let's be clear here. Although I think I'm probably funnier than the average person on the planet, I harbor NO illusions about actually being a real comic. There's a world of difference between firing off a timely quip at the lunch table or (putting together an amusing phrase in a blog) and doing good standup comedy. The former is right up my alley. The latter is WAY out of my comfort zone.

Comedy is something that I've wanted to do for around 25 years though. It finally occurred to me a couple of months ago that I could dismiss two of the major reasons that had kept me off the stage all this time:

1) I'm 41 freaking years old and no longer fear sucking at this. Of course I'll suck at it! Big deal! I'll walk off that stage and still have my job, wife, and kid. If people laugh, that's great. If they don't, then I still have a good life.

2) I've written about 1000 posts in this blog over the last 6 years. Most of it is utter crap, but about 1% of the material is pretty good. Seems like I ought to be able to find a few minutes of good stand-up material by mining the 1% out of the crap.

Then, I found the San Francisco Comedy College. I've been taking a class there once a week for the last month, doing the assignments, and trying to put together a few minutes of material. The school also has a comedy club where they have nightly shows of one kind or another. Our instructor has been strongly encouraging us to get up on stage and just try it because it's the only way to figure out what material works and what doesn't.

So, last week I did it. Well, first I walked around the block repeatedly, reciting my material aloud as I walked, like some sort of mental patient. Then, I stopped in at a bar and asked for a shot of tequila. Then I did my crazy person rehearsal again.

Then I got up on the freaking stage for 3 minutes and ranted about how much I hate babies. The audience that night consisted of about 25-30 people, most of whom were other comedians. They generously laughed at all the right times.

(Incidentally, if I know you and you're wondering why I kept this stupid project a secret, it's because I although I don't mind failing in front of a bunch of strangers, I DO mind failing in front of my friends and family. I didn't want support. I wanted anonymity.)

Will I ever do it again? That remains to be seen. Am I damn pleased with myself for finally doing something that I've been thinking about for 25 years?

Yes.

8 comments:

LabMom said...

Congrats! Cross that one off your bucket list!
FWIW, I think you are funny more than 1% of the time! :)

Lola said...

I'd say at least 3%. Go you!

[Sometimes the WV is funnier than me. Today, it's 'finge' and it made me laugh out loud. Oh dear.]

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Hombre!

--Pablo

Mike Duffy said...

Yay you!

Sue said...

You just did one of the scariest things in the world. Congrats - you are brave!

The 4th Sister said...

OMG someone, somewhere must have a video of this.....put it on you tube....I am dying to see it...

Janelle Renee said...

Way to go, Mike!

Mike said...

Thanks, all!