Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stand-uppity

I went back to the open mic. I told you I would.
Since I want to do it in order to get better at writing, I had all new stuff. As far as I can tell, this isn’t the usual approach. People usually go up with something and then come back with the same routine, tweaked a little.
But, like I said, I don’t want to learn to perform as much as I want to learn to write – not that they’re necessarily that different – so I had new stuff.
What seemed to work well the first time was being off-the-cuff (or appearing to be), so I tried to aim for that.
But
I had the previous audience in mind and let some of my things depend on a sort of familiarity and continuity. The previous audience didn’t have me in mind, though, and decided not to be there.
Fair enough. So I went back to my usual apologetic stammer. At least that’s how it felt to me. I’ll listen to the recording and I think it won’t come through as such, but more as a rushed feeling. I’ll see.
In general, it was much more like what I expected the first time: people who are there only to perform or to hear the friend who dragged them there. Therefore, the attention level, openness, or sympathy isn’t very high.
Lest you misunderstand me: this is a good thing. This is how I expect to learn.

And I also tried to push myself by weaning myself from any notes. Even as a musician (back in the day) I always had this weird need to hang on to (and hide behind) a music stand with a paper guide on it. So it felt natural to do so last week, too, with a note card of things to say. But since the bigger laughs came from the items not on the card - largely, I think, because the audience thought they weren't prepared comments - I think I need to work on getting more natural on stage in general.
This, combined with writing new material all the time, might be more than I can chew, but that's the plan.
Finally, the reason I didn’t write about it last night is that, as far as drinking is concerned, I’m a lightweight (eating is another matter entirely). Since it’s a bar, I figure it’s only right to order something (how else do they make money).
I know I’m a lightweight, so I only have a few sips before I go on. Then I finish the rest after I’m done. Sounds like a good system. But last night the audience exposed a little loophole. I was the last one on because there weren’t many performers there. This meant that I downed most of a beer right before going home.
And, by the time I had the computer fired up, I didn’t feel too focused or logical, so I just wrote down some pre-existing thoughts.
I hope they made sense.

3 comments:

Yai Yai said...

Keep it up........... they've got to discover how funny/fun you are! If you need an "enforcer", I'm up for it............

Anonymous said...

Hey, come on you can't be nervous, think back to your Barbershop quartet days you were a natural. Even today we oldies say that your group was the best and you are the one who -made the group- with your antics. Just enjoy what you are doing and keep it up.

Goedi said...

I can be nervous if I want to.
Singing and playing music is much "easier" because you can hide behind the work of other people - the music is hopefully good on its own. The stand-up thing is all you, in a sense.
Ah, yes, the barbershop quartet. I'm glad you "oldies" remember it fondly.