Girl Walks Into a Stand-Up Set

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let me tell you about last night.


I walked into the bar I was doing stand-up at around 8:00 p.m. The list wasn't supposed to go out until around 9:00 so I figured I was early enough. I was wrong. The entire back area of Merkles was packed, there was about twenty-five other guys already sitting there waiting to put their name on the list.

And here's the thing about the comedy scene in Chicago (at least from my point of view) everyone knows everyone. Unless you're me, nobody really knows me. So every time I walk into a comedy night and see the big group of guys all sitting together shooting the shit just being bros, a little part of me always feels like the creepy new kid at school. I do that terrible "I'm looking around the room pretending to see if the fake person I'm meeting is here, but oh shoot they're not because they're fake" look around the room for a minute or two feeling like a real ass hat. But then a bigger part of me reminds me to stop being such a pansy and just order a beer. It's just those first three minutes of walking in somewhere alone that are always the worst. Thank God for iphones.

But luckily last night I didn't have to pretend to play on my phone all by my lonesome for too long because eventually I had some female reinforcement thanks to my pals Alison, Megan and Emily for coming out to watch. I can't wait to watch them next!

Anyway, the thing I like about Merkles is that you get a chance to see some of the best up and coming comics around Chicago. I saw a lot of guys there last night that I recognized from other venues around Chicago where they host their own gigs, which is something every newbie aspires to do. I think anyway, all this stuff is so foreign to me. But it's time I learn, I'm tired of being on the outside.

I usually practice my set quite a few times before going on stage and make sure I have my routine down. But for some reason last night I wanted to wing it a bit. I've got a list of jokes/things I like to talk about it in my head, but I wasn't sure the order or how I was going to say it for sure. I figured I'd let the crowd dictate what was and wasn't working. Turns out I'm not quite ready to wing it yet.

I didn't forget what I was saying when I got up there, but I did blackout just a wee bit. And when I say "blackout" I don't mean I just stand up there with a blank face not speaking, it's more like I go into autopilot and I'm just up there talking and moving but I don't quite know what's going on and I can't tell if people are laughing at me because they think I'm funny or because they feel bad for me. It's a pretty weird feeling, but it's pretty great too. If you've ever been tempted to try stand-up before, and I know there's a lot of you out there who have been, you just gotta do it. At least once in your life, you owe it to yourself.

Long story short, when the host came to find me at the end of the night to tell me I should stay close because they were announcing the finalists I thought he was joking. And when he called me on stage with two other comedians who are well known on the scene for being really good I still thought he was joking. In fact I think I looked to the ceiling for the bucket of pigs blood that was about to be dropped on my head.  When the three of us finalists had to answer questions from the crowd the only thing I could muster was "I'm just so thrilled to be up here is all," and that was the truth. It's still the truth.

In all honesty I'm probably the only person who cared that I was a "finalist" last night. It's really not a big deal to any of the other comedians there because they're all really good, doing cool stuff all of the time and the contest at Merkles is more or less a big joke. But screw it. I'm letting myself be excited, whether it was a big old joke or not. I was a finalist in my first comedy contest, I'm going to ride that one out all week.

So take that old Talent Lady McGee, 2014 is the year of Wolfe.


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41 comments:

  1. You are so brave! I would literally pee my pants. My last "acting gig" was lip syncing to Aretha Franklin at theatre camp in the 4th grade. Hahaha

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  2. HELLS F-ING YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALIST MUH FUGGAHS!!!!! NICE NICE NICE!!!! Wish we all cld see you! What do you mean, you're not ready to wing it!! You're nuts!

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  3. Congratulations that is totally badass! I absolutely do the same thing if I get somewhere first....oh I'm just looking around for my "friends" they said they would "meet" me here....never mind give me a beer and I'll look at Instagram :-)

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  4. Congrats on being a finalist!!!!!!

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  5. That is awesome!!! You are brave...I need to be more like that!

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  6. that is awesome - seriously girl - you are funny!! so proud of you!!

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  7. That's awesome!!! I wish I could see one of your sets sometime!! Congrats, I think that is DEFINITELY something to be excited about! :)

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  8. Yes! You totally can be the next Tina/Amy! I'm pretty sure if I tried stand up I'd have to just make up a bunch of Asian jokes about myself, but that can only go so far. If I were you I would totally ride out being a finalist as long as you want. Cheers to putting Talent Lady McGee to shame! ;)
    Eva

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  9. I think it is a big deal and you're only brushing it off to us. but it is a big deal and i say cheers to the year of the Wolfe.

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  10. Thats Great!!! Congrats on being a finalist (: you have more guts than I do, half the time I write out a prompt for talking on the phone (important calls not ones with friends and family lol)

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  11. Big deal or not to others, that's awesome! Congrats! Now go put Year of the Wolfe on a t-shirt! :)

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  12. See, told you that lady was going to regret being a megabitch. Rock on girl!

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

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  13. in the most uncreepy way this can be, I want to see you do stand-up for real! your blog makes me laugh out loud sometimes... it'd be nice to do it in a room full of other people doing the same instead of by myself on the el...

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  14. You're my hero; I would probably throw up or poop myself if I had to get up on stage and be funny. I can do it in a small setting of friends and family and on my blog but in real life, I'd lose my shit. Kudos girlfriend.

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  15. That's so great!!! I could never do stand up. I have some witty comebacks now and then, but I'm not funny enough for a large crowd and it terrifies me! That talent lady doesn't know what she missed out on!!

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  16. That's amazing congrats gurlie!! Keep doing your thing :)

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  17. You go girl!! This is awesome! Ride that wave, ride it.

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  18. I think you're pretty amazing and you're definitely hilarious in writing, so I don't doubt it doesn't carry over in to your stand up routines.

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  19. That is awesome - congrats! Now post the video because its a boring ass Tuesday in Cincinnati and I need some laughs!!

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  20. Congrats!! I am going to need to see this "finalist worthy" gig of yours!

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  21. That's awesome that you were a finalist! Yay!

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  22. Ok you have more guts than me, as there is no bloody way I would do that, so high five to that

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  23. Love your blog and always get a laugh out of your writing......that is fantastic! Congrats!!!!

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  24. CONGRATS!! Even if it's no big deal to them because they are already hot stuff it's huge because you were up there with them. You were one of the people that were really good that night so that's great.

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  25. Congrats on being a finalist!! That's so awesome! I'm just amazed that you get up there and do it...I could never do it. Basically because I'm not funny. I just like watching people be funny :)

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  26. Be excited. Be excited! You should be excited because finalist is exciting. Soon you'll be a winner. OK. That sounds mean. Soon you'll be a winner at stand up comedy stuff and you can add that medal to your winner at life medal pile. Way to go!

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  27. I'll say it once again - I admire you so, so much for chasing this crazy dream. That is all.

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  28. You are so freaking brave! The walking in alone part and not knowing anyone would have sent me home before we got started,

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  29. Congrats lady, but it doesn't surprise me that you were a finalist! Cheers to many more nights of you up on stage!
    - Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

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  30. So so awesome- CONGRATS! More videos of your stuff, please!

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  31. I seriously cannot even IMAGINE the rush you get, or how nervous you must feel! I'd straight up die...GO YOU!!!! :)

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  32. YESSSS. Congratulations, woman! That IS exciting. You're awesome.

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  33. Congrats! I have a comic friend and we made a deal that he was going to get me on a stage this year. He said to wait for a few months because everyone and their mom is doing stand up right now, New Years Resolutions, ugh.

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  34. Get it girl! Stand-up is no joke and I have no plans to ever try it, but fully support my friends who are out there doing it and trying to get their name known and you are no exception to that. (Yeah, I think I just called us friends, just go with it haha) Good for you for doing so well and being excited! Congrats!

    -Chelsea
    chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

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  35. SO. FREAKING. AWESOME. I still don't think I could ever ever do that. I would be SO NERVOUS.

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  36. Hooray for you!

    If I ever had to do that I would just spew.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  37. That's awesome, congratulations on being a finalist! Joke or not, I'd be excited too!

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  38. A friend of mine is a stand up comedian and he just moved to Chicago! Such a cool thing that you can do it. definitely takes guts!

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  39. That's so awesome! Congrats!!

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