My transition from being a "new comic" to a "beginning comic" might not seem like that big of a leap, but there are important milestones. One, I am no longer scared shitless of going on stage. I feel comfortable enough that I can look at myself more critically and begin to absorb what worked and what didn't onstage. That's good. But, the more I tell the same jokes with some regularity, the more that nagging voice that all comics eventually deal with starts to get louder.
"Write some new shit!"
[hit the jump!]
Listen, I barely have a set as it is. I feel like my jokes are good, but I want to continue to work on them. I want to get up there and try new stuff; try a different angle, try a character voice, riff on this element, etc. But, these are all excuses for me to continue telling the same jokes basically. So yeah, I have about 10 minutes of okay stuff, but after that it is like I've hit the edge of the world, like my jokes fall off the side of the planet. "oh..this voyage is fun. I wonder where we will go.....oh, are we are falling into...a gang bang joke!?! NOOOOOOOOoooooo!"
And I have to ask, is it harder for a comic to develop new material in D.C., than say...other city? I mean, I have friends here that have been doing it a lot longer than I have. They get sick of hearing the same jokes from each other. Is this a just a reality of writing that I am going to have to deal with?
What can ya do? There is only a handful of open mics in the city. If you go out to the majority of them you are bound to see the same folks. No escaping that.
So how do you strike the balance between trying out new material for the sake of being fresh and improving upon the jokes that you are telling now? Sometimes, I'll just have a shit-storm of new stuff to spout out for my entire set at an open-mic. I kinda like that approach. It gets me into a mentality where I don't care as much and I tend to hit ideas quicker that way. Other times, I might just have one joke to throw in a totally new joke in the middle of practiced set. That is always a fun lesson in how to recover.
I suppose that I will know when a joke is done when I get there. In the mean time, I'll see everyone @ Chief Ike's tonight! Where we can all fish for new material in a sea of complacency. I might try out a new lure or two. When I land one, I hope it is a keeper.
Lastly, please go out to Dr. Dremos this Wednesday night @ 8pm and support the last show of one of DC's best open mics.
P.S. For any comedy veterans who were bored by this newbish post, eat me! For my all my fellow upstarters, holla back!! Or contact Nick Turner. He loves NEWBS!!