More and more, I'm starting to realize what I love about comedy.
It's never the same show twice. No matter how carefully crafted your jokes, no matter how polished your set, the magical thing about live comedy is that you have very little control over a whole lot of big and little things that can completeley change the tenor of the show.
I'm starting to embrace that lack of control. In fact, I'm starting to love it.
I used to meticulously word my jokes and have a set list prepared for every show. The important thing to me was that those jokes got told. I was trying to "get my shit in," which is how the wrestlers describe a performer whose priority is cramming his moves into the match regardless of whether or not it makes sense in context of the match or whether the fans want to see them or not.
It's embarassing to admit it, but I almost want to do comedy like an old-school wrestler. I want to be a worker. I want to go up with an idea of how I might start and a finish in mind, but everything else I do up there is based off reading the crowd and seeing what they like.
And the only way to learn how to do that well, is to do it...sometimes badly.
I've already started. I'm loving it. It feels more like what comedy is. A show for these people at this moment. When that moment is gone, it's gone. You can't put it on a DVD. You can't rehearse it. It's what makes live comedy great...the chance of seeing something you can't see on a DVD or a tv special.
The jokes aren't important. I'm not that important.
The show, that's the important thing.
I don't know if this new approach will make me a star. Showcase and television sets are mostly about not wasting words, about sticking to the program. In fact, I'm worried this will actually HURT my chances.
But the more I think about it, the more it feels like the right approach. Because it's what I love, and finding something you love is a precious thing.
Friday, July 17 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Saturday, July 18 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Sunday, July 19 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Monday, July 20 - The Comic Strip - Edmonton
Tuesday, August 4 - New City - Edmonton
Upcoming Wrestling Appearances
Saturday, August 22 - OSCW August Action, Hazeldean Community Hall - Edmonton
Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at www.suicidegirls.com. Current article is here.
More of Dan's musings on dating and relationships can be found on his Hot Chicks & Strangers blog.