3) The buildup, and finally the release
Say the opposite scenario from #2 happens. So far you've taken the audience on a journey. It's been a little shaky--a bit of a roller-coaster ride. You were a bit nervous at first. But you caught your stride, your rhythm, and now you can feel the moment at the horizon. You're at the brink. You've been waiting all night for that one joke that will send the audience. The single solitary moment that will make the whole night worthwhile. You've been having an okay night and you're waiting for the exact moment when you finally, uh, well, can climax. But remember to get the audience there first, before you do so! (It's only polite.) It's the highlight of the evening, so to speak. And audiences finally gets there, standing-O, perhaps. And now it's time for your release. Bliss! Absolute bliss!
4) One night stands do apply
(If I need to explain this one, then you might want to find another blog.)
Fine! Fine! I'll explain it, dammit!
Most comedians, mainly experienced ones, will do a show unexpectedly at the drop of hat--no warning, no precursor, no subtly dropped hints. They just walk into a club, hop on stage, do a set, and get off---stage, I mean. But it's just one show. No more. It was a random deviation from the set plan. It was a good night. It went well. And there are no regrets. The audience is satisfied. You're feeling good about it! And you may never see that audience again, despite things going so well. So yes, in comedy, one night stands apply and are in fact encouraged. (Unless, there's a baby conceived, and in that case, you should be responsible and speak to your audience about that.) I'm disappointed in you! I can't believe you didn't use protection!
5) Compensation for services
You can pay for it, but paying for it is lot less satisfying than if you get it for free.
In New York city, it's very common to walk into a restaurant or bar and find a comedy show going on almost any night of the week. Most of the time it's in a back room. My point is that it's not difficult at all to find open mics and amateur comedy shows that are free. Mainly because the need for audience--real audience--versus a comic audience, as discussed in a previous post, is strong.
And sometimes, albeit sometimes, you will attend one of these weak open mic nights (because even I'll admit, as an amateur, we're not experienced and hence, not funny) and a surprise big time/headliner comic will do a little stagetime to work on their set. What do I mean by "big time"? Oh, I don't know perhaps, Chris Rock, Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, oh, and I don't know perhaps... Grammy award winner, John Mayer! As of late, Chris Rock has been spotted at two of clubs I frequent, but unfortunately, due to my perfect timing, I am never there to witness his performance.
6) Sweaty palms, heavy panting, cries of ectsacy
Every time I take the stage, I'm a little bit nervous. And most comedians will admit to picking up the microphone and having it slip thorough their hands because of the sweaty buildup.
Believe it or not, every performer should be a bit nervous. (If you're not, you're on something and you might want to consider heading slowly back offstage before you hurt yourself or someone else.) If you do get the honor of playing a booked show in front of real paying audience, then you shouldn't feel so nervous that you're petrified. By then you should have worked out all your jokes and be comfortable with your routine.
Once you've gotten into the groove of things, that's when the magic happens. Ideally, the heavy panting and the cries of ectascy are a result of the delirious laughter from the audience members. The heavy panting is sometimes residual from a knee-slapper, post-a killer joke. And it's okay if the audience remains quiet, with heavy panting to break up the silence. (The audience sometimes need to recover from the last joke to prepare for another of its caliber. Trust me, in this case, silence is a good thing, for a comic. It means you've slayed and the audience isn't sure they can go for another round.) A good comic will notice this and bring the energy down a level, giving the audience a refractory period, if you get my double entendre. Thereby the recovery time can be shorter giving you more time for fun on stage.
Don't go! There's more Comedy and Sex, Part 3!
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Monday, August 20, 2007
3) The buildup, and finally the release
at 1:11 AM