Seinfeld, Leno, Martin, and even Carrot Top make it look so easy.
I felt confident I could at least deliver within my time limit and that I could get a laugh or two.
Then 12:15 am rolled around.
The next to last comic to get on stage.
Slotted after the 60 something year old guy with Parkinson’s who told some of the best shaken not stirred jokes I had ever heard.
I got through my five minutes.
It didn’t suck. It just wasn’t good either.
Thankfully three friends were there and they did laugh a time or two.
My dreams of being the next Carrot Top were shattered.
But at least I did it.
Rewind to the beginning of the evening – when I showed up at Asheville Music Hall (I thought that was where it was supposed to be) at about 8:30 knowing I had to get signed up for the open mic by 9pm.
The actual location was on the next street over in about the same spot but in Mojo Lounge. The Disclaimer Open Mic night.
I hurried over there in a light misty rain, trying not to get my dress wet since I wanted to look nice on stage.
When I wandered into that room about 8:40 I felt triumphant to get my name on the list and it didn’t seem like there were too many names in front of it.
I didn’t ask anyone how it worked because the crowd there was in the middle of something.
I soon realized that up until 9pm in the lounge the REAL comedians can get up and do a minute or two for a critique from the rest of the REAL comedians. Perhaps real is me being jealous since none of them were getting paid to perform and some of them have only been going to open mic for a few months.
I realized all that from the comments and dialogue between comics.
While I sat at the bar, I drank a rum and coke. The only one of the night because I was determined I was going to keep a clear head and remember all of my routine.
I could’ve drank a few and still be have been sober THREE hours later.
The place was standing room only at times – probably a crowd of 150 at the peak.
It was at least good that Merit, Marykent, and Laresa had arrived soon after nine so we were able to get a table.
Some of the comics were hilarious. Some were a little awkward but I still found something that made me laugh.
I laughed a lot. My face felt almost numb from smiling and laughing.
I kept thinking, I hope I can be that funny.
I kept thinking, I just don’t want to bomb.
In reality when I did get my 5 minutes in the spotlight I wasn’t near funny enough.
I know I was tired, disappointed in performing to an almost empty room, and had basically lost my verve.
However I didn’t lose my nerve.
I learned that I can give a speech in front of any crowd, even after midnight in a bar.
It just doesn’t make me a comedienne.
That’s ok. I can leave that to the REAL comedians who are putting in the time and who at some point ALSO went next to last at 12:15 on a Thursday morning.
Instead I am content to leave the comic aspirations behind and continue learning more new things on my #50for50.
Thanks to Ryan Hanley for suggesting stand up comedy on my #50for50. And a special thank you to Merit Wolff, Marykent Wolff, and Laresa Griffin for sticking with me those 3hrs on the night before 4th of July – it meant more than you know.