a priori/a posteriori

Monday, March 28, 2011

2 Months Later, 7 Total Sets

The following review of my first two months here is really more for comics who are considering moving to New York City. That is my intended audience, as I write this. I don't suggest anyone else waste their time reading about my life in this much detail. Also, note that I wrote this review before I left for South by Southwest in Austin, during which I got in 11 sets. I'll probably get up more now that I'm back. But the first few months...
"Too much this..."

In these past two months, since January 4, I have gotten onstage a grand total of.....seven times.

The list:

1) Jan 19, 2011 - On my birthday, at a bringer show hosted by a friend of mine at a crappy club in town, as the last of 20-some comics on a Wednesday night. I went up somewhere around 1 in the morning, and I did about four minutes.

2, 3, and 4) Feb 3-7, 2011 - At The Creek and The Cave, all three of which were for shows that started at 6 p.m., with a total of maybe five non-comics at the three shows combined. This was the first week Lucas was in town, and before I got really sick, so I was trying to get out some. Each set was somewhere between one and three minutes, and each show had somewhere between 20-30 comics. The first set I somehow managed
"....not enough this..."
to have a great 90-second set, and the other two were forgettable.

5) Feb 7, 2011 - A show in Astoria, which is a neighborhood in Queens. We went to this show after the open-mic earlier that night. This show was actually a blast, as there was a crowd of seven people, but they were in a good mood and were all engaged in the show. A friend runs the show, and so - knowing I'm not much of a drinker - he let me get a meal instead of the two drinks that usually come free to performers. It was a great time.

6) Feb 14, 2011 - This was a Monday open-mic that started at 6. There were I think nine of us - all comics. I actually ended up becoming the "weird new guy" that everyone makes fun of and loves to hate, because I saw the audience-free room as a great chance to workshop ideas and try to delve deeper into our thoughts to see what truth we could find in them. But, without any of the other comics agreeing that that's what we would use the time for, I understandably came off as a huge dick when I kept interrupting the host to ask him questions about his motivations for why he was making stupid decisions in his life. I went up late in the show, and had kind of a tense mini-confrontation with another comic when I kept repeatedly asking why comics seem to take pride in being miserable. It was a really interesting night for me, though probably more disheartening than I'm letting on. I'll probably reference this show again sometime soon.

7) March 1, 2011 - This was a show I did this past week, again at The Creek and The Cave (the location of all but two sets I've done since moving here). It was a 9:30 show, and I was invited to do it because the co-hosts are both people I crossed paths with while doing stand-up in DC. I closed out the show, and it was actually a really fun set. There was a crowd of five non-comics when I went up, and I really got to talk out some ideas I'd had for a while, and I think everyone had a good time. I did about 15 minutes, and it felt great to be able to connect.


So those are the seven sets I've done in two months of living in New York City. Not exactly a rock-star's welcome. Granted, I've been sick for the entire two months, but I think a big part of me has been avoiding the inevitably frustrating climb up the New York stand-up ladder. That has been at least part of my rational these first two months in town.

I figured I'd review because I am about to go back to Austin for the next two weeks, and I bet I get onstage 7 times the first week that I'm there. I'm not sure what that says about me, about New York, or about my future here as a performer. Or maybe that says nothing at all. Time will tell. But I wanted to document where I'm at in this moment. I've probably grown since I moved up here, but I definitely haven't been getting onstage much.

The past two months, fewer than 30 non-comics have seen me perform live.

Welcome to New York.

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