Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stand up what

Those who know me well are familiar with my principle that you must pursue any idea that persists with you; if you have even a wink of an inkling that presses at you over time and just will not go away, then this your heart's way of saying 'hey, let's give that a go'.  I've felt a nudging towards stand up comedy since I read an article about how you can take classes on it years ago, so in a bid to stick with my own advice, this is what I've been doing for the last few weeks (with holidays in between).
There are worse places to be on a Tuesday night.
The beginners class went for four weeks, we formed a little band of newbies who after class would go for (far too many) drinks and perform for a few minutes each, in the basement of an Irish bar in North Beach.  These were off-the-cuff three minute slots at a time, on a Wednesday close to midnight, so we often made up half the audience ourselves.

Having wrapped that up late last year, tonight was my first week of 'advanced' class - these evening sessions are run by giving each member 7-8 minutes each, standing up in front of a group of other aspiring comics, trying your stuff out and getting critiqued.  Coming fresh out of the holidays I was wildly underprepared and just threw some brain fluff out there.  As always, I got more laughs than I expected, in all of the parts I didn't expect them, but it was still the roughest 8 minutes I'd had in awhile.  I'll spare you the details (largely because I can't bring myself to relive them by typing them), but there is something about standing up and trying to connect with a group of people you don't know very well, and telling them stories which you ruin by trying to be too clever and then having these strangers say you're still funny and you are still enough that is very emotional.  Anyway, this is how I ended up eating a tuna melt downtown, close to midnight on a Tuesday.

I wanted to stretch out a reflective journey home, so I opted out of calling an Uber and hopped on the muni instead.  The bus driver who happened to pick me up was quite amazingly the same driver who first taught me how to flag a bus down (i.e. you don't have to), buy a ticket and use the 3 line to get home when I first moved here two years ago and kept forgetting my cross streets.  He remembered me, and I told him all about how I've settled into San Francisco, including my latest comedic trials.  There has been a lot of growing up between bus rides.


Kate said...

LOVE this. And love that the bus driver was a nice, circular moment to prompt reflection. Here's to lots of growing up, for all of us xxxx

Unknown said...

That's so cool that you are doing stand up! I would totally come and watch. :)

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