Sunday, December 02, 2007

When Comedy Stops Being Funny...

And starts getting real,
Real World Comedy - NYC

At 6:30 I leave work on Friday evening and head into midtown Manhattan to host an open mic. It's in the basement of a Mexican Restaurant, owned by Koreans, that has a Hawaiian theme - "Maui Taco".

For the next five hours I register, and bring up almost 30 comedians to the make-shift stage where they "work out" their material.
They pay $5 for 8 minutes of stage time.
8 minutes might not seem very long to you.
8 minutes is a goddamn lifetime when you're in the basement of a taco joint at nine o'clock on a Friday.

The majority of the room were male comics, and by the luck of the draw they all went up before the females got to go up.
This worked out OK because females are supportive of each other and will actually wait to hear people's sets
- Unlike the testy males who sat on the other side of the room huffy that the regular host was not there.
You change things at an open mic, and you'd think you switched their coffees from regular to decaf the way they become so cranky.

The comics ranged in topics:
Some were one-liners,
Some were story tellers,
There were bi-lingual struggles,
and interpretative movement pieces,
and horrifically racist attempts at humor.

All in all, it turned out that the female comics stuck by my side to the hilarious end
where the funniest comic of the night was Mara Herron regaling us with romantic mishaps.

As I packed up the mic stand, and put away the speakers,
I was exhausted mentally and physically
but so freakin' grateful for the stage time.

See, comics are addicts.

It could be a good or bad batch of comedy,
but we need it,
endure and sacrifice anything to have it.
We need that high of one chuckle spawned from our turn of phrase-
and we can sleep a little bit better at night,
get through that arduous meeting,
sit through a painfully long train ride home,
it's all a little sweeter
just knowing that you got that laugh.

Many thanks to Hector Luis for taking the night off and letting me host the Maui Mic.
The Maui Mic is open Wednesday and Friday nights at 8pm.

For more information on my stand up performances please visit:

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