...get a tape recorder...
A lot happened this past Wednesday night. And it all happened within a span of 5 hours. The best thing about these unplanned nights is that, well, they're unplanned. Everything is spontaneous and everything falls into place, as if the universe was playing dominoes with events in my life.
I think the proper term is: Serendipity!
Yes! I got to meet Mike Birbiglia1 (nickname: Birbigs) as I popped out of the "L" Train on my way to Invite them Up [ITU], which I attended back in '05. I originally went to see Demetri Martin2 whom I had only caught a brief glimpse of on Conan O'Brien. That night was also serendipitous. I had gotten home late night and saw Demetri's set on Conan, then quickly did Google/MySpace search. I then found that he was performing at this ITU gala at Bowery Ballroom. A ticket was purchased! Bonus! And that's the story of how I got to ask Demetri Martin, "How do you get started in comedy?" He said, "Get a tape recorder and record your voice. Practice listening to your voice." That's probably not an exact quote, but he definitely said "get a tape recorder."
Let's start at the beginning:
6:30 pm - "C" and I met up at Starbux. And then we headed over to the original open mic, which C was signed up to perform. Again, very eventful and educational. [See post on Comedy Run #1]
8:30pm - C mentions ITU, a more established stand up night.
Instantly, I'm game!
So then we head over to the venue.
9:05pm - and it's a packed house.
Rififi's is a relatively small venue. And when we the get there the staff (usually interns for the club) are greet us and mention that the show kinda already started and that we should hang back before we pay. (i.e. we might not get in.) Yes, it's that popular.
Louis CK is on stage. (We, C and I, have the ability to peak through the French doors, dividing the non-paying from the paying guests.) By now, I'm salivating on the post-modern French doors. By the way, did I tell you that it was only $5 to enter?3
Why am I salivating? Because I have a pseudo-crush on Louis CK, and if he's anything like the persona he presents on stage/in his specials, then like Linda Richman "I'm buttah!" I definitely have a thing for assholes, but assholes from a distance. I'm not sub or anything. But maybe there's something to women mistaking assholishness for confidence. If you watch his standup Louis isn't confident either. He's just frustrated and he lets it rip on stage.
I'm not really supposed to have a crush on him, because he's married and has a kid. So that's why I say pseudo-crush, because it's there, but I could end it anytime and be brought back to the world of adulthood and maturity as I see fit.
I also have a mild crush on Demetri Martin, which I can go in to later.4
Okay, so how did this night end up?
C had gone out late the night drinking with some friends from work and she began to get weary and hungry. So we opted for pizza, nearby pizza. I paid, because, she had paid for the entrance to her performance earlier on?
Confused? Well, most beginning comics have to pay for their time on stage. Consider it "paying your dues," literally. To me that's a lot easier and less frustrating than kissing actual ass.
So typically, the bar/venue asks that you not only bring an audience member but to also have either you or that audience member pay for a drink (i.e. 1 drink or 2 drink minimum). Understandable. It's a business and it's gotta survive!
Back to the pizzeria: We sat, and ate, and chatted up the counter-people. It was all well an good. C wanted to go home still, and there was no way I was going to miss out on Birbigs performance.
11:15pm - Back to Rififi's - Birbigs was already on stage. I got to catch the last 5 jokes. He was good! He's a pro! Of course, he is.
So the he was the last performance. And Mr. Eugene Mirman closed out the night as emcee. He mentioned we should hang and there would be music. There was cool indie rocker music and I did hang. I ended up chatting Eugene's girlfriend[gf]. She was kind to listen me rattle off my law school woes. And she also encouraged my pursuit in my comedy career. She was super congenial. I also met her filmmaker friend. Also very kind. Kind enough to listen to me rant/complain/whine about what I should do in my law school/comedy crossroad.
And then I chatted up an intern/staff member at Rififi's. He described the usual clientèle and what takes place throughout the week. Very Informative.
As I prepped to leave, because I knew I was wearing out my welcome,
"Are you going to be coming often?" he asked.
I'm pretty sure he just wanted to ensure he could bet on good company that evening. No prob. I will be back.
At 11:55pm, I stepped out into the pavement, in 40 degree weather. The streets wet from the off-and-on drizzling rain and a very conscious thought occurred to me. I acknowledged that it was a perfect night. One of those nights that you want to preserve and place in a glass bottle, like a firefly. But you know you have no way of holding on to it to relive it. Eventually, the firefly will die.
You just have to let it be--a perfect, fulfilling moment. No photograph or blog entry can bring it back. Just let it be. Just try and remember as it was--a perfect NY night. My fear was that I would forget, that feeling, that moment, that perfect high. And I'm sorry to say, it has faded. The only way, as I see it, to bring it back, is to get on stage, and create it again and again.
1Mike Birbiglia [Official Site|MySpace|Wikipedia] [Return to Entry]
2Demetri Martin [Official Site|MySpace|Wikipedia] [Return to Entry]
3 People if you aren't catching my drift, comedy shows are waaayy cheaper than any movie, concert, or theatre show and just as entertaining! And sometimes, that admission gets you a free drink! Double-bonus! I don't even drink and I know that's a a good deal![Return to Entry]
4This crush would not classify as pseudo. This crush is quite real. But again, I reserve the right to renege on my crushes, mainly because once reality sets in, crushes tend to fade.
"Why even have crushes?" you ask. "They pose a function of disuse/misuse."
Oh, so true, dear blog reader. I agree. They're sort of a waste of time. In fact, they almost never lead to anything. (This could perhaps be fodder for a comic routine.)
Having crushes on people I would deem fellow comics could be detrimental to my career. Oh, this could prove difficult.[Return to Entry]