Dispatches from a Wannabe Stand-up

Day 1: Okay, let’s do this. I love attention. I need it. Whenever I play the drums, I want to be in front of people, manipulating their energy, adding it to my own and enhancing it and throwing it back at them like the enhanced nuclear bomb in Stargate. But stand-up? That’s like drumming without the drums. It’s so pure, so raw, so… perfect. If I can stand on stage with nothing but a microphone and get a reaction from people? Without a band standing in the way? Without diminished 7 chords and 5/4 rhythms??? Bring it on.

Day 2: Homework. The best kind. I’m watching and rewatching some of my favorite stand-up comedians. There are ways to craft a joke so that people laugh at the punchline. Call-backs and misdirects and surprising twists and turns. What will my style be? Can I be a hipster like Demetri Martin? Will I be a little kid like Brian Regan? Can I be as honest as Louis C.K.? Watch and listen watch and listen watch and listen. Taking notes. Here we go.

Day 3: Notebook. I have a small notebook that I’m now carrying with myself everywhere. Anytime I think something is funny, something to work out, I scribble it down. As an added bonus, I’m using a notebook that served as a journal back in 2007 so I go through a huge emotional rollercoaster every time I open the thing. Yeah. Raw. I like it.

Day 4: Open mic scouting. I googled “Open mic stand up comedy nyc” and clicked the link at the top of the results page. Huge calendar opened up. Then the pop-up ads started. I didn’t know the internet still made those things. Chrome crashed hard. Good thing I didn’t have half-written emails and searches open while browsing in cognito which means I’ll never get any of it back. S’okay, I’m going to call this my first comedy hurdle. See that! I’m already bombing which means I’m on my way to fame and fortune. And at the ripe/young age of 28, I’m only ten years behind every other twenty eight year old currently trying to do stand-up.

Day 5: This post. I could continue working on jokes but it’s way easier to talk about doing something than it is to actually do it. Besides, my roommate discovered my notebook and freaked out because the rushed notes and scribbles upside-down naked men doing headstands make me look like a serial killer. Oh. That’s sort of funny. I should use that…

If you enjoy this, head over to dustonthedesk.blogspot.com for more of James Guimaraes’ writing. It’s not about stand-up but it does leave you feeling like an astronaut afterwards.

About: NuwayCleaner

James Guimaraes is a freelance writer living in New York City just like everyone else. Nothing special. Move along. Speaking of moving on, have you checked out his website?

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