Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Politics of Open Mics in New York City

So, Yes, I have been slacking in the posting department. I know you all are so very expectant of what I've been doing over the past week/weekend--teeming with anticipation! And I'll have you know that I've been doing NOTHING, absolute zero-- as it relates to comedy.

...I don't want the money, I just want the stagetime...

I have been investigating getting a portable PA system to perform in the streets/subway, to up my comedy ante. Although, I heard you need to have a Tax ID # in order to perform underground or publicly for that matter. I don't want the money. I just want the stagetime!

Let me explain why I've come to this conclusion. I need to be onstage more, less to do with joke telling, and more to do with having a mic in my hand and speaking into it. Really, I just need to get comfortable walking and talking, formally!

These open mics cost money, which I'm not sure I've mentioned before. But I will do so now. Let's get behind the 'Politics of Open mics in NYC': Owners and GMs (general managers) are hip to the scene. They know these scrap comics are bad at what they do, but are desperate enough to perform anywhere. There's a joke about setting up a mic stand in an alley, and comics will flock (without any advertising.)

Let me tell you who's not doing a great job in advertising department: The Comedy Clubs. Well, maybe that's a bit farfetched. But the Comedy Boom of the 90s is long gone. Where's the next Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, or Dave Chappelle? (I think Dave Chappelle was an aberration/fluke. Comedy was dying and he gave it its last few breaths. He and John Mayer.) So comedy in general has been in a bear market, and hence comedy club owners feel they charge for open mics. Open mics are now at least $5 - $7 or a one to two drink minimum. I'm not a miser. I know these venues (comedy clubs, restaurants, etc.) need to remain afloat as a business. So why not take it out on some wanna-be comic, who's got nothing better to do with his money/time? Good rationale. But this "pay for stagetime" thing has only been a recent occurrence--within the last 2 - 4 years.

So I've decided to "take it to the streets." I'll let you know how this progresses. I'll try and record the audio. I have no idea how I'm going to do that. But where there's a will there's a way!

Law school stuff has been dominating the agenda, and much to my surprise it's actually fun to do. Yes, I said it. LSAT review is actually FUN! I know, I know. I shouldn't be writing that. But my mind is one that likes to take apart puzzles and figure out crazy clues and put them back together again.

And I'll have you know, lawyers and standup comedians have a lot in common. The assembling of an argument and the assembling of a joke is quite the same. There's a beat to it--a rhythm, if you will. Logic is well-represented in both media.

Cool occurrences in the past week:

I FINALLY got to see Demetri Martin perform at ITU last Wednesday. Super cool. I literally swooned. I didn't know swooning was something that occurred outside of cheesy 50s movies. (*In the voice of a high school teenager with heart throb-itis*) "He's so witty and so smart!"

Anyway, it's something I've been waiting to see for awhile--his standup set. It's the first time live since 2005! (I didn't mean for that to rhyme.) Anyway, it was well worth the wait!

I also saw Mr. Dave Attell hanging out yesterday. He wasn't actually hanging out. He was probably making some very important phone call to his manager. I happened to see him and wave hello. He sort of did the "I-have-no-idea-who-you-are" grimacing smile. But I couldn't resist! It was cool. I feel like all these random sightings are a sign that I should keep going and simultaneously, like I'm being invited into a cool community.

~ Lucy


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