So a couple weeks ago I performed my 5th and 6th ever public shows, back-to-back nights, and they weren’t the best ones yet. In fact I bombed pretty badly… but I think I know why.
The first venue has my favorite little stage setup in the whole area: LimeLight Studios. They have a 5-foot stage with a great sound system.
So why did I bomb? I got mad.. and it showed. I also wasn’t particuliarly well-rehearsed: I was forgetting punchlines and having to look them up. In all, I think I was just derailed by the audience not reacting exactly the way I thought they were going to – the way I was used to from my first four performances.
The second night was at O’Brien’s Bar in Sommerville. This time I only had two minutes, and I think I was just trying to fit too much in, I started rushing it, and wasn’t paying attention to presentation as much as the content. Again, it was a no-laugher.
In both venues, the setting was mostly other comedians and a smaller crowd. I tend to do better with larger crowds, I think.. because there’s a much larger chance that then at least somebody will be laughing, and I can latch on to that and feel somewhat supported emotionally.
So my lesson is, I need to be down with my material, and I need to love it. I need to be enjoying myself on stage so that if the audience isn’t at least laughing, they’re not cringing, either.
I haven’t been back on stage yet. I’m actually taking the Rich Gustus class in Harvard Square and seeing standup every Wednesday night in The Comedy Studio. I’m beginning to get a sense of my own little comedy community with my “contemporaries”: the people I took a standup class with earlier this year. One of my friends Howie was tapped by host Rick Jenkins to do an impromtu set. He had no idea that Howie was so polished and killer with his material – though still within his one-year mark like me. So we cheered for him like he was a super star and it was really fun.
Next time I perform I will bring the camera again. I’ll also have a lot better material because of this class.