The journey into performing actual comedy is long and hard. But the one person I considered a mentor has kind of burned me so the comments and critiques of the forums I’ve posted on will suffice. For the record, I don’t mind criticism from people who actually have worked in comedy and have been on stage because they can at least help me sharpen the performance aspect of my comedy.
The main criticism is of my weak opening. To be fair, the first half of the joke I opened with was cut off because my camera person didn’t hit the button sooner and that did get a fair amount of laughter. The other big critique is that some of my jokes are a bit complex and that I would need to form some kind of character presence to explain them. Possibly focusing on my “embittered cart jockey” persona, which I know is the main theme of my blog, but I’m not sure if I want that to be the theme of my comedy as well. I don’t want to be identified by what I do for a paycheck, at least not right now.
But so far this has been my fifth appearance on the stage. I am taking the advice and going over my sets and deciding what is and is not going to work. The previous sets were mostly successful, with one joke that definitely killed. I know that some crowds simply aren’t right for certain types of humor. For example, Jimmy Carr’s sexually audacious comedy would not go over well at a sexual assault awareness rally. Similarly, Ellen Degenerous would get crickets at a Southern Baptist’s KKK mixer.
Of course I do need a strong opening, I just don’t know how to decide what people will instantly laugh at. It’s really a matter of trial and error and I think finding my audience is the next big thing to focus on. I’m also attempting to build my pool of support locally, by reaching out to people that have an interest in comedy. I’m meeting with someone today at a coffee shop to see what we can do to help each other out.