I tried dating. There is always this moment that you have to explain why I’m not working the main room at The Comedy Store or why everyone has a Netflix special except me. Why I drive 100 miles, sit in traffic for three hours, and wait for another two to do a total of 12 minutes of stage time. Or how she’ll always come in second. How do you explain you would rather dive bar hop every night because I want to know what it feels like to not call the suicide hotline. I dated a girl, her fake best friend got married on her birthday. Instead of going home and salvaging her birth-month-day, I did an open mic. If I thought I was useless and all about me, I know I had to dig deeper into the abyss to learn more about myself.
I don’t want to think I’m a glorified open mic'er, then, I’m not glorified. You’re suppose to find your comedy voice somewhere between year 7 and 10. Driving down with Pat Burtscher to Crow’s Nest, he said in year 11 he was beginning to hear himself. After hosting, and doing more time than I planned that night, I realized how bad it would suck to erase six years and start all over again.
Comedians @ Red Rock came from just wanting to be on a Saturday night show. Maybe have my name on a flier. Never thought it would be a producer’s dream. You see audience members come back again. And bring their friends. And their friends bring their friends, until it becomes a table of 27. It’s a comedian’s dream and a comedian’s nightmare. I didn’t want to do the same set or the same jokes. It’s cheating them or worse, not challenging myself. So I made some goals for 2017.
Every Comedians @ Red Rock show will be a new set. New jokes. It’s a month of working on jokes at dive bars and hippie coffee shops that could pass for under-the-table-pharmacies, to the show every third Saturday. It’s like farm to table. This comes from writing two new jokes a day. Fourteen new jokes by the end of the week. If five are good, I’ll expand and grow them. Or spend four weeks bombing.
I learned suffering is the best medicine. An ex had a sheet of paper that had 1-100. This “happiness program” sold this unhappy person the idea that happiness is the goal of being rejected 100 times. And when you hit 100, you’ll eventually stop caring. Since I am heartless, I knew I had 50 credits at birth. 300 spots (open mic and booked shows). The more spots I do, the stage begins to feel like my home. The late nights in front of two drunks that want to share. The more I know what rock bottom feels like. There are a few that have done 100 straight nights, and one that did 1,001 consecutive nights. Rejection will eventually turn to love. So far, 75 mics in three months. I did 140 last year. Half way to loving myself three times over!
Another goal is doing the road for two weeks. I’ve heard over and over how lonely and hard it is to be a bar-to-bar salesman that sells jokes to people that don’t want to listen. But it’s testing jokes and knowing if they’ll work. Jaime Foxx talked about doing 20 minutes of the blackest material in the whitest cities & 20 minutes of political stuff in the most chocolate cities, to piece together his 40 minutes.
Hate to admit this, but I found inspiration in LaLa Land. Someone that has to team up with a co-producer and bet on ourselves. It’s hard to find someone that has the same drive and dedication to not just put a good show together, but to go from 'So Long Boulder City' to Seb’s. Sometimes, you just want it more than the hundreds chasing. Maybe one day, I can look back and hope I find myself and be happy with the unwritten progress.
Who would date this guy?