My Second Year in Comedy

My second year began 11 months into my first year. It's kind of like the walking stage of an infant. I found a direction I wanted to go and saw walking is faster than crawling. Being a clean comic felt right. Anyone can bring their parents or friends and know they don't have to cringe. I tried vulgar and dirty but the only person that thought it was funny was me. Being clean and cleaver got me a lot of breaks in the comedy, life, and with a girl. 

I didn't know how to write a joke. The laughs I was getting peaked a certain level and I thought maybe this was as good as it gets. I never explored or challenged it. I also didn't want to change anything because it was getting laughs. I did what I thought Stand-up comedians portray; bring up a thoughtful or funny premise, play with it and hope there is magic. I learned my writing voice and my verbal voice didn't sync. My unconfident prepared lines came off as weak. This made a comic call me a hack in private. He was right. So I started writing every night. I'd rant write every day for a week, picked out the nuggets out of the pages of trash, and tried to connect them. Then I'd bounce parts of it on friends. 

At this time I got to date this girl I really liked. She was a birthday month girl. Meaning her birthday weekend was to be celebrated with her friends in Santa Cruz and her birthday week was in Hawaii. When I cleared that week, she dumped me. I didn't want to stay at home and sulk for seven days. Just like the movies, I skipped town. Ever wonder how far you have to go to qualify as "out of town"? I felt Monterey was good enough. 

This happened to be a big week. There was a Porche Reunion, Laguna Secca had their Grand Prix, Carmel hosted their Annual Film Festival, and Jerry Seinfeld was in town. I didn't think much of this because I never saw the show, never got into the hype, and he was expensive. $120. Every day I would walk by, I would think why is he here? I had a few friends flake or wanted me to drive to So Cal. If they couldn't afford the trip up, why would they pay to see Seinfeld? Much like a bit, it fermented in my head. I decided if something didn't happened, I would go see Seinfeld. And it didn't happened. When I walked past the poster again, I noticed a red "sold out" tag hanging across the "one night only". I checked Stubhub, Craigslist, and ebay. It was like the show didn't exist. So I prayed, "Dear God. If you had me infatuated with this girl and had her break my heart just so you could get me down to Monterey to see a comic genius work, I need a ticket. This show is sold out." On October 15, I got to Golden Gate Theater early and camped by the Greek restaurant next door and stayed positive. When the doors open, I walked right up and asked if there is any tickets available, the theater said "we only have two tickets left." 

I became a fan that night. This is the difference between a comedy club comic and a theater comic. A club comic is someone like my father. He would say give me 10 minutes with the Rubix cube and saw all six sides mysteriously color coordinate. A theater comic will color coordinate the Rubix cube in front of your face and when he's done, you'll want to give him a standing ovation. It made me sharper and paid more attention to details to the wording and economy of words in my joke. I understood work ethic. I never told anyone this, but I believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes you don't see it. When you do, it makes sense. Just like how a joke works out in the end. 

ComedyKevin Wong