Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Cleveland stand-up debut

Cleveland has long been an incubator for stand-up comics -- a species that thrives on self-loathing, alcohol, strip clubs and hipster irony, all of which can be found in abundance in this city -- and stand-up comedy is the latest of the many things I've chosen to try to break into.

I had been doing improv comedy for a good long while in DC prior to this, and while I will always love improv the strict instructions never to "pre-plan" jokes began to grate on me after a while, since nary a week goes by when I haven't developed a backlog of pre-planned jokes I'm aching to deploy at one inappropriate venue or another.

So I resolved when I came to Cleveland to take that step into the unknown, flying solo with only a script to guide me.

What I learned was that going out there with a script and no teammates is way, way scarier than going out there with teammates and no script. I could spin this into a moral about the Power of Friendship, but it's really just because if you have teammates then if you bomb it's not actually 100% your fault.

In any case, after I finished an excellent workshop with the excellent Dave Schwensen, I took a video of my prototype standup set to share with you all. I've been performing fairly regularly since then and fine-tuning things, but the basic setup of my routine focuses on the things most familiar to me: Voiceover work, overwhelming intellectual arrogance, and cancer jokes.
Let me know what you think!

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