Whew! It has been a long time! I have had an odd couple of months.
I did my first open mic – in nearly 6 years – back in August at Side Splitters in Tampa. It’s a great club, close to home and they offer a lot of opportunities to new comics to get on a stage and work out their material.
That could be the biggest understatement of the year – well, there are some others but this is not a political blog.
I was so bummed out. I still have not listened to the audio from that night. Partially because I KNOW it is terrible and partially because it reminds me of the next day.
11 AUG 2014 is a day I will not soon forget. As I write this, I am actually fighting back a few tears, it was the day Robin Williams died.
I didn’t know Robin but, like so many, I felt like I did. I had grown up watching him move from being the odd ball alien Mork to an Oscar winning actor that never forgot his roots in stand –up.
It was hard not just because he was a comedy hero but because I began to wonder about his eternity. Did he know Christ? Had ANYONE ever shared the gospel with him? Would I see my hero again?
I am not going to turn this into a treatise on mental health or even the need for Christ followers, everywhere, to realize tomorrow is not promised and if there is someone you know that needs to hear the Gospel the time to do that is NOW! OK, well, I got that one in. No, I mention Robin because his death did not help the funk I was already in and would stay there until last Thursday night.
The more time I put between myself that awful set at Side Splitters the more I was convinced I might never do comedy again. I mean, if I could not get my “act” together with over a month to prepare maybe, just maybe, I had misread God and comedy was not what he wanted me to do with my life.
I did not want to go back to the drawing board and start over. Plus I am getting too old to re, re, re-invent myself.
Fortunately, that, awful performance, seems to have been a part of God’s plan because today I see comedy clearly again and I am excited about it and the possibilities.
So, what changed? Glad you asked.
I did a comedy class, a boot-camp really, and it help with my confidence but I think it served a purpose God intended that I did not see previously.
To me, it was about getting in front of a small group of like-minded folks and working on a 3-5 routine and performing that set. Which is exactly what it was but to God it was so much more.
The class was down in Sarasota at a club called McCurdy’s, which meant that I had to really WANT to do this because it is an hour drive – one way! If I signed up and PAID for this class I had no choice but to see it through.
What never occurred to me was that the teachers of the class are 30 year professional comics that OWN the club. God was putting me on a collision course with two guys that can positively shape the start – restart – of my career in comedy.
All I had to do was show up and do what I KNEW/KNOW God gifted me to do be myself and – tell jokes.
The class was fun and informative. I made some new friends and – I think I knocked it out of the park during the performance – I will try to put some, if not all the audio here or post the video when I get it in my hot little hands. I also think I made a good impression on the owners and that is where God was planning on this heading that I never even thought about.
Now, don’t misunderstand, I am not under the impression that because I THINK I did well that there is not more work to be done or that Les and Ken are going to hand the keys to the comedy kingdom – no, I KNOW that I have to work for it – perhaps harder than other because of my willingness to profess my faith in Christ and only do “material that is funny enough for a club but clean enough for a church.” But I am OK with that because I know that God rewards the effort – when we make it for HIS glory.