Stand-up comedy is lonely and difficult. You practice in front of people, but those people are usually other comics waiting for their spot. It’s even tougher with a family. You sacrifice dinners and bedtime stories to spend the night waiting for five minutes of stage time at an open mic.
About a month ago, I was frustrated with the process and unhappy with the material I’d been working on, so I took a break. Stepping away can be a good thing, but it can also cause you to wake up the morning of your first headlining gig full of regret and diarrhea.
On August 22, I had a sold out show and a set list of stories and untested material. If people were going to pay for a show, I wanted to give them a good one. Especially since it was in my hometown.
It’s helpful to know two things in life: what you’re good at and what you’re not. I’m a pretty good storyteller. I am not a very good joke writer.
It’s also helpful to have good friends. I got to do a show with my buddies. We set up the venue and I bounced my ideas off them. They laughed and we were good.
Stepping away from testing material at open mic forced me to play to my strengths. I went out and told stories. And it worked.
There are good nights and there are great ones. I haven’t had many better than last Saturday night at the Brick Arch Winery in West Branch. I hope the audience enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed them.