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Wed, Apr. 11th, 2007, 09:47 am
An accidental comedy victory, and my struggle to be me onstage.

tags:comedy writing, standup comedy, IKEA

An accidental comedy victory, and my struggle to be me onstage.

I'm eating breakfast at IKEA. Full breakfast with coffee $1.85. I have to force myself to eat because my new medicine has killed my appetite for anything other than caffeine and nicotine.

I'm thinking about the open mic last Thursday. We had no crowd, so the host turned the open mic into a writing workshop. That workshop was the first time I've enjoyed comedy in any context since I bombed five months ago at my last professional appearance. I've felt helpless to change, and I needed a victory. Thursday I got one, thanks to lack of public interest. I felt like a kid playing a video game when I contributed to other people's jokes, improvised onstage from other people's ideas, and took other people's ideas for my jokes that will turn my ideas into developable material.

A guy I'd never met before told me I was funny and animated offstage while I was helping other comics, but uninterested and deliberate onstage. Comics, fans, friends and family have told me for years to bring the funny, spontaneous person they know from real life and bring that person onstage. I don't know how. I don't know what I do, feel, believe or think that makes the Basil White onstage less funny.

Driving home from IKEA I can't tell if the white fluff dropping onto the highway is cherry blossom petals or snow. Thurns out it's both. Welcome to April in Our Nation's Capital.

Tell me your ideas on how to bring the offstage me to the stage.

Basil White

Thu, Apr. 12th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
scornstar: I get that a lot...

People who know me offstage tell me I'm a lot different onstage. Most comics have a Jekyland Hyde thing going on inside them. Yours just happens a little in reverse.

Sometimes, if I'm not too jazzed about a gig going into it, the I-don't-give-a-fuck light switches on and it's a better show as a result. sometimes not.

The point is, everybody has a rough night. Even the A-list pros can have a show that goes horribly wrong (Bill Burr recently getting booed off the stage comes to mind). You have to hold out for the shows that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Thu, Apr. 12th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)

Not that I really know the first thing about this, but what if you just pretend you're talking to one or two people in the audience and tune everyone out? So for instance, next time me and Harvey come out, just pretend like you're talking to us and telling us stories, and ignore everyone else? Just a thought.