November 16, 2015
Tonight I went to Kickin’ It! an inviting mic at The Grisly Pear on Macdougal Street.
It started at 4:40pm, but I was able to make it there in time to get on the list. Two rounds (WHAT?!) The first round is a straight up five minute set. For the second round, our host Tuval Mor presented two options: “Traditional Set” or “Questions.” For the ‘Questions’ portion, the audience (that night, mostly comics and a mother and her teen from Canada) can ask you anything.
I’m not sure what it is about Tuval (A spicy Israli with a saucy French accent) that gives him that sort of Oprah-like truth serum power. All I know is, I felt relaxed and found myself saying things I’d never intended to say on stage. “What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?” Tuval inquired. I talked about my experiences working in the nursing home, and I talked about Mercy Machine. I actually got a little verklempt.
Hey, what does this have to do with comedy?
Though the things I said weren’t exceptionally funny (ok, some of them produced giggles), I learned a lot. I got to feel what it was like to get up on stage without a desire to project any sort of persona. Going from set to unabashed honesty, I got to watch myself (and the other comics) switch gears. Was it possible to have more of this conversational, down to earth, blurring the boundary between performer and person? Can I trust that it would still be funny?
Still trying to figure that one out.
Apart from my own experience on stage, it was interesting and educational (ugh. this sounds sooooo left brain intellectual) to watch the other comics, to see what happened to them between the first and second round (when they weren’t “Doing” their set). A vulnerability came out that made them magnetic. One of the guys who, in his first round, had this whole “I like to ball women,” etc etc etc macho schtick. However, for the second round, he became much more interesting (Granted, I was a little bit of a dick to keep asking him probing questions about his mother and sex), but you probably know what I’m saying.
SO it goes…..