Friday, November 03, 2006

A Lesson in Comic-dy

There are many types of people in this world.*
There are some of us who fancy ourselves as comedians.

What a lot of people don't know is, there are a lot of levels of comics.
To help those of you not on the "scene" understand I have laid them out below, in no particular order:

1.Die Hards - These are the comics that haven't made it, but are going out pretty much 7 days a week to live the dream. They have non-committal day jobs like waiting tables, bar tending, bar backs, or are completely unemployed. Not only are they on stage a ton, but they're constantly writing and talking to other comics.
They can practically taste their big break once a week, and then fall into deep misery over realizing that there's a chance it will never be their time.

2.Old Timers- They've been on the scene forever. They have seen people come and go, and may even know a famous comic who "did their room" a decade or two ago. They probably get paid to host some shows or even have steady gigs around town, but they've never reached the goal, don't expect to but still do it for the love, or because of the fact that they still keep a glimmer of cynical hope alive that they'll break through.

3.Almost Famous - "You may have seen me on {{insert Viacom owned channel here}} for five minutes." This comic has a manager or a steady gig at several clubs. They are going to open mics but there's a definite air of "I won't have to do this much longer" in their gate.

4. Snobs - They've got their toe in the door and they immediately forget how they used to struggle to. They put down the struggling and their open mics. They only go to three clubs, and all the others are the fucking joke. This comic is 8 times out of 10 hilarious on stage, and about a 90% chance of being so self obsessed that you can reach out and feel their insecurity as they drone on about how awesome they are.

5. I think I cans - Maybe their therapist told them to try comedy, maybe they have a friend who finds them funny, but some how this person got the comedy calling - but it was really a wrong number. They find themselves hilarious, and it can be brutal at times to watch, but they are usually "nice people" with "big ideas".

6.Working Class - This type gets up as much as possible, whenever possible, but has either a full time day job that most likely requires a degree or a full time family that makes it pretty impossible to get to a mic most nights. They try their best for their five minutes and pray that people remember them when they come back next week and that maybe by some stroke of luck they'll get to make something of this some day.

I'm number 6.
It's hard to get respect as a 6 in the comedy world.
To 1-4 it's a little insulting, like you're making their career a hobby.
No one really cares what 5 thinks.

Do I have other comics respect?
I'd like to think so, but a lot of times I feel like they look at me like:
"Oh you and your attempts, go back to work corporate girl."

My hope is as a 6 is that I'll be able to take my comedy to TV and write a sitcom, probably not based on me, most likely not showing my face on TV.
I've really just always wanted my name in the credits.

My reality is it is going to take time.
So, my hope is editor with a side struggle of comedian today -
head writer on a great show in ten years or less.

If I could do stand up everyday, would I?
I don't know.

I guess that's why I'm a number 6.

*This is contradictory to many statements I've made in the past, including a credos such as: "There are only two types of people in this world, those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't"
"There are only two types of people in this world, those who like Opie and Anthony and those who listen to Stern, all others are just conservative automatons."

I apologize for my blatant hypocrisy.

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