Our stand-up teacher tells us our careers as comics began in our first class, about a month ago. But right now, I feel my career started last night with my first performance on stage at Yuk Yuk’s… Not that I got paid or anything. Well, paid in laughter. That’s a start. I guess.
Anyway, physiologically, the adrenaline started kicking in in my Communications class at around 1:30 pm. The performance at Yuk’s began at 7:30 pm, and I didn’t go on until well past 8:30 pm. That’s a LONG time to be shaking, sweating and hardly in control of your bowels. I have this thing when I’m anxious, and I don’t know how long it’s been like this, but it feels like the memory part of my brain shuts down and I can’t think about anything beyond the here and now, which means all chances of revisiting and practicing my set were killed the moment I walked into the comedy club.
I went over to the club with my roommate, who so graciously agreed to shoot some photos of me while I was doing my set. (To come.) She has a fancy digital SLR that I would love to play with if ever I earn her trust. She’s also a comic, in her second year of Humber’s Comedy program. She helped simultaneously pump me up and calm me down for my set, which was well needed and certainly appreciated.
I was also very pleased to see my neighbour and her boyfriend out to encourage local talent. They had very high expectations of me, and it appears I met them to some degree. Mission accomplished.
I was the most surprised to have a great friend, the nicest man in Canada and his ladyfriend & brother, come from out of town, which was totally unexpected but very much appreciated.
There were three other comics from my class performing that evening and I am pleased to say that each of their performances went super well. We all did what we had to do, got some great laughs, and made it off stage alive to tell the tale. What more can you ask for on your first night, am I right? Many thanks to our fellow colleagues who were out to support us as well!
OK, enough of the gratefulness crap. Let’s talk about how awesome I was! (It is MY blog after all!)
I was very pleased with my set. With the exception of the one joke I forgot to tell, everything ran smoothly. I don’t have much recollection of actually being up there, apart from bright lights, and one girl’s disgusted facial expression, at the precise moment I wanted the crowd to have a disgusted reaction to what I was saying. The timing was JUST right! I felt very much in control, which is a pretty sensational feeling…like, driving a car or shooting a gun! It’s not like at all like tour guiding or like any presentation I ever had to make at university. I think the last time I felt like that was when I did this one particular improv performance at a Public Speaking competition back in the day, which I didn’t win. (and am totally not still bitter about…)
A few drinks, some awkward discomfort during the the non-Humber amateur show afterward, and a hot dog later, we went home, where I lay awake for several hours before finally being able to sleep.
To sum up, the set as a whole was very cathartic and the overall experience was empowering.
I could really get used to this.