Thursday, June 22, 2017

Open Mic: workin' my way back to you . . .

Working it back to where I’m getting some laughs. Yay!
The last couple of months I’ve been off my game at Open Mic. Obsessing over next week’s hearing has consumed all my funny is what it feels like. It’s not like the judge will decide if I live or sink into the abyss of being a homeless disabled guy or something. Wait, yes that’s exactly what it’s like. 

At one point I did have half of a plan for developing “my act”, to use the jargon. This week I managed to get back to the plan and start to take it to the next level. Months ago it started with corny old bits and odd things found on the internet then on to; topical and sex jokes then to; character work (Sugar, B.M. Parks, the old geezer, the Ozzy/Scots/Cockney guy etc). Finally yesterday was time to take the next step*; being a sweet but crankier version of myself that resents having to tell dick jokes at my age. The honesty thing. It’s an off-the-cuff/riffing kind of approach. I was on a roll initially, it petered out after about 3 minutes but the formula seem to work. With brain power returning having confidence helps a lot.  I’ll work this angle for a while and see where it leads. Beats trying to memorize stuff or read from notes.
* did do something like this in the fall but had some sick day and lost it.

I didn’t want to do the first person narrative that is so common these days (like I’m doing now).  Most of the comedians on Netflix do that stlye. I have always chafed at doing what everyone else does in other parts of life. It is too often a trap of banality. For one thing my real life is, tedious and scary right now but overall, pretty boring. I’m not an angry person, my upbringing had it’s strife but all within middle class norms. The stuff I'm going through now might be humorous once I get some distance from it. Not now. Sex at my age can be deep and meaningful and hot, or so I am told, but the tabooness that makes for punchlines and nervous laughter, not really a thing these days.  (caveat; if I get proper sleep and other things that let my testosterone level rise; everything female starts to have that old sparkle, but it has to get inline with all the other bodily functions. It's a visceral kind of joy but not funny or not not funny, just kind of is).

Another thing about the latest stage of act development. I was not as funny as my pal Curtis was in high school. He ended up in a mental institution then a series of groups homes and has had a nightmare life. I haven't heard from him in years. He's probably dead. I don’t need to be that funny. I did have some chops back in the day. Stream of consciousness, voices and sound effects flowed when I was on a roll. I still soundtrack my life with sound effects but I am not aware of it sometimes. Jet airplane sounds as I walk through a crowd or doing vocally the Wah Wah when I see irony. All this stuff is to bring back my comedy chops. The years of theatre 1972-2009,  the hypnosis show since 2010,  months of workshopping improv 2014-15, then open mics since November of 2015, working corny old jokey jokes and strengthening the alternate personas so I can bring Sugar or one of the dialects up at will. I don't expect it will ever be like it was 30-40 years ago but I'm a different person now. It has a lot to do with ADHD.  I have learned a great deal more about my flavor of ADHD since my last post on the topic here. I should do an update.