“I should end with a joke, but why ruin the mood?”
I recorded an EP last November. You've probably never heard of it. You should have, because you can download it for free from this very website, but chances are you still haven’t. One problem I ran into last year is that I did 40 minutes and up until that point, I don’t think I had ever done 40 minutes before. The night of the recording was the first time I had tried the whole thing together.
And it showed.
The first half of the show was great. Everything hit. It went as well as I could have hoped.
The second half was a mess. I had some dry spots in the middle and was not able to maintain the crowd energy. The closing bits didn’t hit as strong as they should have.
I ended up cutting about ten minutes out in the final edit.
I really didn’t want to run into that same issue this time around, so I booked headlining spots every night that I could leading up to this one. Last night was the first of the homestretch: headlining ten shows in eleven days, plus a couple of others.
The Ivy Room is a bar in Albany on San Pablo just north of Berkeley and Oakland. There has been comedy on and off there for a while. Currently there’s a weekly Monday open mic and bi-weekly Sunday Showcases run by Johan Miranda. I’ve been there several times. I’ve headlined the Sunday show before and done well.
It didn’t quite work out like that last night. Everyone struggled from the start. That happens. It’s a common problem with free shows. You don’t necessarily get audiences of comedy fans.
Sometimes you can still get them. You always think you’ll be the one who can turn the show around. It does happen on occasion, but generally not.
I opened up with a couple of established jokes to get them before going into the newer stuff I’m still trying to nail down.
First joke: nothing.
Second joke: more nothing.
This was followed by a whole bunch of nothing occasionally punctuated with laughter whenever I acknowledged how poorly it was going. There was a group that wanted sports jokes. Another that wanted to hear about occupy. I did a fine job of navigating that tricky middle ground and focusing on material that was entirely uninteresting to everyone involved.
I’m feeling pretty good.
Next stop is tonight in San Francisco headlining Misery Index at the Rite Spot Café.