Sunday, July 1, 2007

Drama Geeks and Hecklers

And now it's on -Jason Lytle

Last night was really, really redeeming as an aspiring comedian.

I met some awesome folks with a lot of knowledge of "how to go about this comedy thing."

I meet some incredibly cool folks (comedians, up-and-comers with 2+ years experience-- which in comedy terms means you're simply a guppie.)

There's virtually no difference between a comic who's been at it for 2 years than one who's been at it for 1 or 3 years.

I'm starting to learn/understand/comprehend the comedy timeline.

10 years on average to acquire "a comedic voice"

5 years to gain full confidence on stage.

and I'm also learning more about the dirty nasty politics involved.

  • sticking your neck out

  • paying your dues

  • burning bridges

  • owing/paying back favors

  • you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours

  • bringer shows

  • barking

  • crowd work

  • callback

  • the infamous "heckler"

  • With regards to the "Heckler," Key rule - You, as the comedian, have a microphone which makes you "da man." You are louder and therefore "always win." Period. If you don't win, it's like you coming to a knife fight with a gun and still miraculously losing the fight. If you're a smart, witty, intelligent comic that thinks on your feet (which by the time you're good/professional, you should be) then, the gun turns into a laser and annihilates that uproarious audience member and destroys anyone else's burgeoning ideas about interrupting your set. Nobody wants to be made a fool of, especially if they got front row seats to what was an one-sided battle of wits and a brutal tongue-lashing.

    Oh, and if you haven't seen the preview for the Jamie Kennedy documentary on the crowd Heckler, click here. Heckler the movie

    Recently, I've enrolled in this awesome acting school which allows you to "pay as you go." I'm the only stand-up comedian in the class, but I now have to get a monologue. Ugh! Theatrical stuff! The very stuff I hated and stayed away from in middle and high school, I'm volunteering myself for a painful reliving of.

    My story behind acting and performing:

    I've always hated the drama geeks. Everybody knows of or shared their school hallways with these kids. These are the kids that felt they needed to be onstage 24/7/365. (Who knows? Perhaps they never got enough attention from daddy and mommy.) These were the kids that couldn't leave the role on stage or at rehearsal and had to bring it with them to the cafeteria in the lunch line, during recess, or on the bus ride home. They learned of method acting at age 5 and have been die hard followers ever since. (You can see I have a lot of bottled up resentment.)

    But the most tragic incident was where I was "brutally rebuffed" (to use Cher Horowitz's words) by the drama geeks, after spending countless life changing adolescent hours (forgoing other responsibilities such as homework and studying) writing what was to be an awesome script for the class play, depicting every member of our graduating class' personalities perfectly. The drama geeks decided to scrap my script and re-write a much lamer one, which we all ended up performing with less than mediocre reception by the parents and staff.

    [For a little more history, each graduating class tries to out due the prior graduating class' performance, and I was primed to beat the class before us. And as you can see, our class play didn't make the history books let alone the graduation brunch later on that day.]

    Anyway, I ended up completely repressing any and all penchant I had for the stage and crammed all my energy into academics and the three S's: student government, sports, and studying, irrespective of order.

    So now that I've entered this underworld for standup comedy, it has become my new school, albeit, highly educational. I am insanely, happenstance-ly, extremely fortunate to run into these well-informed men. They welcome me with open arms and hospitably invite me into their world. I'm learning from other people's experiences and ultimately, their mistakes. Again, I am grateful.

    I just feel warm and fuzzy now, with regards to comedy.

    As you can see, it can be a roller coaster ride of nerves. (It makes for early sprouts of gray hair, which I have found on my scalp!)

    Getting on stage is supposed to help with the standup (stage presence and all.)

    It's a bit daunting that people even have 2 years on me. I'm truly, truly, truly a newbie. I'm a green thumb fish out of water.

    A lot of these comics are big fish from small towns, but in NYC, it's a bunch of big fish in a big town. And so, to quote Grandaddy's, Jason Lytle, "Now it's on."


    Did you enjoy this post? Buy me a warm cup of joe.

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