Friday, July 6, 2012

On the stage

Standing on a stage and attempting to make people in an audience laugh with things you’re making up on the spot is super fun.

Sometimes the things you make up does make them laugh, sometimes it doesn't make them laugh, and sometimes you even get to stand there shaking with nerves while simultaneously convincing yourself that your ideas suck, that the other people you’re performing with will all hate you because of how much your ideas suck and how you've stolen their chance to make funny choices by forcing your sucky ideas on them, resulting in their show sucking and making people think that it's not just you who sucks but everyone in that show and ‘how dare you make choices that suck so bad that you’re fucking up my career too’ and that your sucky ideas will have the audience hating you, while they are thinking ‘man that guy sucks, his ideas suck, his comedy coming from those ideas sucks and frankly I have a lot of choices for my entertainment sources but only a limited amount of time on earth and this shithead has just wasted some of that precious time, which I will never get back to be able to use for a better source of entertainment that doesn’t suck as much, plus his mustache may sort of cover that huge zit next to his mouth but it's still fucking gross!’ And when your onstage thinking these things it's hard to come up with better ideas than the sucky ones you've just discarded which actually probably didn’t suck at all but in this moment you just hate yourself and your life choices so much that there is no idea you could have you wouldn't think would suck, and the whole attempting to make people laugh with things you’re making up suddenly doesn’t seem like so much fun’.

I have just moved back to Los Angeles, for the most part because of how much I love making people laugh with stuff I am making up on the spot. Only problem is that after a couple of years out of the game my skills are not where they used to be, and last Tuesday, I got up to perform improv for the first time in Los Angeles in a long, long time, unfortunately I found myself in the third of the options from above.

It was an improv jam, as part of the wonderful English Speaking Moose’s One Hour Improv festival, and there were about ten of us on stage. It is up to each individual as to when they go to the front of the stage and perform, or when to stand on the back wall thinking about how much your ideas suck, and how stupid you are for moving back to LA to pursue this stupid dream, and I am feeling fucking miserable.

But I'm also thinking 'everyone in the audience and everyone on the stage knows that I'm the only one who hasn't done anything and now everyone is going to stare at me to see if I freak the fuck out or shit my pants and frankly they probably want me to shit my pants, because that would be much more interesting that to watch my nervous face and lack of good ideas as they are ruining the show’ so I did what I had to do, and I force myself to hit the stage, where I ended up doing a pretty average scene, before  slumping back to wings and deciding to give up comedy for good.

As I am standing up the back of the stage making new plans for a life as far away from the stage as possible the show continues without me, when suddenly I have an idea and without thinking I jump on stage and improvise my line and it gets a huge laugh. The show ends moments later and the host praises me for my last move.

Then I go outside and a cute girl who was in the show also grabs me and says ‘you’re hilarious’ and tells me she remembers seeing me perform a couple of years ago and that I was super funny.

Now I am on top of the world.  Oh man, I really am a funny guy, my ideas are great, I have really got to stick with this comedy game. Standing on a stage and attempting to make people in an audience laugh with things you’re making up on the spot really is super fun, plus my zit is starting to die, so life in LA is great!

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