My first Interview with a Comedian!
If a comic gets a laugh at a mic, but he doesn't record it on his phone, does it still get a laugh?
I'm not sure, but mark it on your calendars folks! Last night, the 6th of June in the year 2017, I got a laugh on purpose!
Two, in fact! (I think)
At my first mic, I opened with an absurd, mostly wordplay bit about almost joining the military that played really well for some reason. And at both mics, I ended the set with a joke about ghosts. And at both mics, the ghost joke got a laugh!
Cannot overstate how ecstatic I am. Something that most achievement- or creativity-driven types such as myself can tell you is that we rarely take time to pause and appreciate victories. This can make the slog to improvement seem a little more rough than it actually is, as the daily failures are more common and more present than the intermittent successes.
So chalk one up to victory! We told a stupid joke about ghosts and it got a pop of laughter! I should also note that the accompanying act-out got some chuckles as well, so, with more work, this could actually be a decent bit.
At the second open mic, I got the chance to watch and interview comedian Sam Bourne! He had performed a newer bit that did well, and I wanted to know how he would go about working the joke going forward.
I didn't want to include references to the joke itself, seeing as how it's still WIP for him, but I wanted to highlight a couple exchanges we had:
JON: So that was an awesome bit. You had the idea: how do you work on it? improve it?
SAM: This. Just on stage.
SAM: I mean, you saw, I was just working it out-
JON: Through improvisation? Will you go up and just riff on it?
SAM: Kind of. That's how I write most of my shit. I have bullet points. I've been doing it for four-and-a-half, five years. And, you know, you can write out jokes forever. But then you start to feel like you get too married to the words. So just get up there, you know what you're talking about. Trust yourself and have fun with it.
Sam Bourne, dropping some god damn truth bombs on me here. Really gave me a lot to think about in regards to what my writing process looks like. I know right now, I'm sitting and writing a lot of jokes, word for word. But the sense of rhythm, build, pacing, and emotion is definitely harder to build working that way.
If you're in New York or thinking of coming to New York, check out Sam's show! It's called "Press Conference", and it's at QED the second Thursday of every month!
See you tomorrow!