The life and times of an ethnically ambiguous little lady.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Last Comic Left Without Hypothermia

There are some things I think are important to experience once. I did New Year's in Times Square. Sure, I got impaled on a police blockade on the way out, but escaped without any internal damage. I sunbathed topless in France and even managed to stop covering my rack with my hands for five minutes and sport them with pride. And as I apparently have no dignity, I have now done the cattlecall line-up for a reality show.

That's right. I spent from Monday night at 9 PM until Tuesday morning at 11:30 AM waiting in a very long line in front of Caroline's for Last Comic Standing. Around 5 AM I almost gave up. I guess my threshold is right around when you can no longer feel any of your extremities. I talked smack with other comedians and chatted about their respective comedy situations in other cities. I attempted to get a few hours sleep unsuccessfully in my father's old army sleeping bag. I watched the Duane Reade clock as the temperature continued to drop. And of course, I contemplated just freaking going home. It seems the show is called Last Comic Standing because if you can wait in the cold for that long, you very well may be the last comic left in the line that hasn't been struck by hypothermia.

I never expected to get picked, but I figured at the very least I could get some criticism from those in the business. There were some people in the line who seemed pretty confident. They'd done work on the road and have a dick joke that always manages to take down the house. There were a couple guys who hadn't really done comedy before, but had some "skits" they thought were funny. Why they thought it would make sense to try it out after waiting in line for 12 hours instead of at an open mic escapes me. And there were those who had been at comedy for years and really deserved the chance.

In the end, I got up (I had delusions of tripping Jennifer Garner-style) to the stage, smiled, and delivered a solid couple of jokes. I got a few laughs from the judges and was told I have a "great presence" and "funny jokes" but "I'm not quite ready." And the sound guy tapped me on my way out and said he liked one of my jokes but couldn't laugh outloud or it would be picked up on his mic.

I can accept not being ready. I wish I knew when I would be. And it's not that it's easy, but sometimes I wish I wanted to be a laywer or a doctor, because at least that way I knew the route. Eventually, I could look at the diploma on the wall and know that I'd paid my dues. Here I am, a few years into comedy and I realize just how far I have to go. And even better, it's not like there's a little comedy fairy that pops up after you've done your ten years of comedy honing to let you know you've arrived.

I also realized that homelessness may not be something I'm very good at. Looking at the people all lined up for the audition from across the street, Caroline's looked more like a soup kitchen then a comedy capital. All in all, it was an experience. Once in a while it's probably good to remind myself just how retardedly difficult a career I've chosen to try and pursue. But then again, nothing's really fun if it's easy, is it?



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