It’s been a shitty two months. After losing my job with Generimart and having a really rough start with SaberSave my brain has been in survival mode and that leaves little room for doing things I want to do. No, the Internet doesn’t count. At the end of the day, sitting on my ass in front of a computer all day is the 21st century’s answer to sitting on my ass in front of the TV all day. Nothing productive is happening that I would my mom late at night to tell her about anyway.
So my supervisor informs me that I’ll have to take Saturday off and there I am facing a long weekend of wondering how I’m going to make ends meet of these hours keep getting cut. Getting a second job isn’t an option right now and even if it was, no company is required to accommodate another. That means in this highly competitive field where every second counts, no one’s going to hire you to work for them if you’re committed to another job with similar hours. It would be one thing if I could swing the night shift for a couple of weeks to make ends meet, but sleeplessness would get to me and I’d likely be living the American dream in a psychiatric unit.
But a glimmer of hope came yesterday. I had to go the town office to get my performer’s license so that I could stand on Essex Street and basically do what I can to make people laugh for the money they’ll throw. It was real early, so as I was sitting in the coffee shop reading the paper and waiting for the town of Salem to take another ten dollars out of my pocket, I noticed an ad in the paper for a comedy open mike. This one was located in Salem at a place called Fran’s.
So I called ahead, asked if I could get on the list and it was so smooth. Apparently this was only the second time they had something like this and they were trying to make it a regular thing.
What really set this apart from the open mike in Charlestown was that I discovered this one on my own, for starters. But I think the fact that there some actual good comedians up there set the tone for the room, so it was easy to laugh and have a good time.
I quickly forced my nerves aside, as I was the second performer to get up there. And oh my god, I did it again. I made people genuinely laugh. There was no script, I didn’t rehearse anything, I just told the jokes I had in my arsenal. I even did a bit of successful crowd working as I adlibbed a joke that went like this:
I pointed out that the audience could watch Star Trek on their credit card sized screens. But I can flip my phone open and shout “Khaaaaaan!” At which point, I pointed to the guy whose “Trek” ringtone had been playing all night and I said, “I know at least you got that one.” Then laughter.
After two months of dead silence, it was great to get back on stage. Like falling off a bicycle it all comes back to you. I could almost taste the paid gigs.