(Sunday Paper, Volume I, Issue 10)
I have to be honest, the creative juices were not flowing this week.
I came up with just one idea for a Sunday Paper all week, and I think it's better suited for next week.
Which feels good - I always like being a step ahead of the game - but the feeling was mitigated somewhat by the fact that I had nothing for this week.
The week was dominated by two things - being swamped with work (which is a very, very good thing these days), and a lot of comedy.
And I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell you about that.
I mentioned this in one of my comedy updates a couple of weeks ago - July 14, 2014 was the first night I went to an open mic.
And I've said this before: even though I had thought about doing stand-up comedy almost every day for a good 15 years leading up to that point, and even though I had done stand-up type things (like a few school auctions where I told some jokes), I didn't take that leap into doing stand-up until July 14, 2014.
So we just passed my two-year comedy birthday and I thought, since I haven't written about how I was feeling in the comedy world in more than a year, this was a good time to take stock.
I had no booked shows this week but I made it out to three open mics, which is not something I had done in a while. It felt good to work out and get a good response to some new material and to perform in some different rooms...two of which had legit audiences, which is unusual for the open mics I've been to. And it was really, really fun, telling jokes on stage and making people laugh. (Well, at two of the three, if we're being honest.) It's always fun to see which of my thoughts aren't just funny to me but also to a wider audience.
And although for the most part things are going well, I am reminded every time I watch someone better than me, or hear a comedian talk about the craft, or pretty much any time a joke doesn't get the laugh I expected how much more work I have to do to be as good at this as I want to be.
I feel good about where I am after two years. (And acknowledge that none of this would be possible without the support I get at home from my wife, who works with me on scheduling and doesn't complain that I'm leaving when she's coming home and that the comedy has cut into our time together.) I feel good about my writing - this year I've been working on writing at least a joke a day, which has been a great comedy-writing exercise for me (and also for my brain...which I'll tell you about when I get around to writing the second installment of 'Silly Mind Games').
I feel great about the connections I have made - there are some really good people in the comedy world and so many of them have been great to me - offering me advice, putting me on their shows even though alI I have to offer at this point is my comedy and I can't reciprocate because I am not producing a show of my own - but I am not at a level yet that I want to be.
I have goals that maybe I should publicize to hold myself accountable, but I'm insecure about whether or not I can attain them yet so maybe for now I'll keep to myself.
I will acknowledge, which you'll realize if you clicked that first link above, that I spent a lot of time in my first year in comedy worrying about getting to the point where I would get paid to perform comedy. I still think a lot about that (and am thrilled when it happens), but I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with the thought right now. Let me be clear: I would love to make my living as a stand-up comedian. But I'm not hanging every stand-up hope I have on that happening.
In doing stand-up I've found something I'm really good at and that I love doing as much as I thought I would, and I'm just going to keep going out and doing the best job I can do at it and hope it will keep leading to bigger and better opportunities.
Because so far, after two years, that strategy has worked out pretty well for me.
What I've Been Enjoying
I'm going to skip the writing and comedy updates this week, for obvious reasons, and skip straight to this section, and - surprise - I'm plugging another comedian: Anthony Scibelli is a comedian from the Boston area who I always enjoy getting a chance to watch perform. (For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I first met him on July 16, 2014 at my second open mic, and he was nice to me, which meant a lot to me when I was super nervous early on [as opposed to less super-nervous these days].) He's put together a web series - three episodes so far - and it's really funny and well done. I honestly don't know if I enjoy it so much because I know so many of the primary players that are involved, but I'm willing to stake my reputation as a tastemaker and recommend it. It's a lot of work to put something like this together and I admire the fact that he did it - I find myself especially thinking about and appreciating the writing part of the process. I'll link to the web site where you can watch the shows here. Episode three was just released this week - it's my favorite so far and, I think, also the funniest of the three.
*I guess I should put my comedy plugs here: My last month as Comic Sit In at the Stand Up Break In begins with Thursday night's show - August 4th - at The Riot Theater. Turns out this show is a character show - all of the comedians on the show will be performing as characters that they've created. I don't do characters...but I have an idea that I might trot out for this show because when will I ever be in a safer environment to try something like this out? So we'll see. I'll be performing there on August 11th and 18th (where I'll be doing a longer set) as well.
*And a week from today (August 7th) is round one of Last Comix Standing at Mohegan Sun. Show details for both of these are in the link to the calendar I put in the note above.
*This week's Mets update: It's not been a great week. The Mets are having severe trouble scoring runs, the bullpen is tired...they are losing ground in the division. It doesn't look great....but it also looks exactly like late July a year ago. And then things changed for the better. So I'm not ready to give up on the season. But a year ago they made improvements to the team...that needs to happen this year too.
*Thanks to everyone for reading and for the support. You know the deal - "Like" on Facebook, Follow on Twitter...I have some thoughts on how to be a little more interactive with the Sunday Paper in coming weeks, so please feel free to participate either in the comments section here or on the Facebook page.