Sunday, November 25, 2007

next stop: frustration station

I'm so frustrated with comedy right now.

I have been busting my ass for weeks now trying to nail down a new five minute set for a class I'm taking in Chicago. I really was hoping this would be a point where I could really hunker down and come up with some new material and solidify who I thought I was as a comic, but it's turned out to be the opposite.

Each week I have left class more frustrated than the week before. Each week I don't just show up, I really believe I've come prepared, acting on the feedback previously given, and really trying to turn on a new persona - and get away from resting on fat jokes. And each week I walk away feeling like I've accomplished NOTHING.

Last week I wrote and wrote and wrote and sent some stuff to a couple of my old comedy buddies in Texas for some feedback - and Dondo was right - it was ALL crap. It wasn't me. It wasn't funny. So I spent nearly 8 hours straight refining my premises, going over line by line - making sure my setups/punches/tags proved my premise. And I felt really good about 2 of the 3 of my bits, only to get another night of relentless unconstructive criticism.

And I *know* I hear more negatives than positives, I'm like that. And life's hard, princess - not everyone's going to like me. And comedy's hard. And I don't need my ego stroked ALL the time. But when you cough up a few hundred dollars, you'd hope there'd be something constructive there.

I've found this class harder to deal with than some of the toughest open mic nights I've ever been to. Should a class I've paid for and put so much into make me feel worse than getting heckled by drunk, unemployed men in a dark Irish pub when I haven't really prepared?

I'm not enjoying myself. I'm not having fun. And yes, I know comedy is HARD work, but it should also be fun, shouldn't it? And worse is that my instructor really isn't enjoying himself, either - which makes me feel like I'm not trying hard enough as a student.

So "graduation" is a little over a week away - on stage in front of a good number of folks I'd invited a few weeks ago when I believe I would have something worth seeing. Now I want to uninvite them. And I don't want the club booker to see what I've got - cause I don't feel like it's me.

I don't believe in my material. I don't believe in my new persona and I don't believe I've much of anything good to preform. And sadly, I don't believe I got a good value for what I've spent.

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