That Night at the Laugh Factory

Monday, March 3, 2014

Let me tell you about last Friday night.


It's 9:50 p.m. and the Laugh Factory is filling up, I'm sitting upstairs in the green room with the other comedians and I'm as terrified as I have ever ever been in my life. All I can think about is that there is a crowd downstairs, a very large crowd I might add, who have paid money at one of the best comedy clubs in the city on a Friday night  to watch comedians make them laugh. And it makes me want to throw up.

But let's rewind to about 9:30 p.m. when I show up at The Laugh Factory with my parents and I proceed to wait in line with them until the general manager finds me and says "Taylor, you and your parents don't need to wait in line, what are you doing? You're a performer! You guys can hang out upstairs if you want or grab a drink at the bar." So I left my parents down at the bar while the manager led me upstairs to the green room, a room in which I imagine has held all of the greats before me, a room with probably more secrets than any other room, a room that is currently holding a few of my favorite comedians from around the city. They're drinking and chilling like it's no big deal, because to them it isn't. They do this every single night. But to me, it's a big deal. They look at me like, oh hey are you here to get us a drink?

"I'm Taylor" I say and I stick out my hand to shake theirs and I can barely hold it still. I've never felt more uncertain or nervous in my life. Before they even say hello I blurt, "I'm good, thanks." You know, because I imagined they just asked "how are you?" But they didn't. Don't mind me I just have tourettes, I like to blurt out responses to salutations that never happened.



"Wait, you're the other comedian?" One of the guy's asked, he happens to be someone who is really good and really big in the comedy scene in Chicago. I've caught his act numerous times and he always kills it.

"Uh yeah," I say and he smiles at me kindly. I'm sure he's thinking, "that's cute, this must be her make-a-wish."

When it's my turn to take the stage the house manager has warned me it's a bit of a rowdy crowd. I'm not necessarily worried about hecklers, I'm worried about being thrown off. My biggest fear before going on stage is that I will forget everything I want to say and will crumble in front of a real crowd, not just an open mic crowd, this is a real crowd. Right before I step on stage I take a deep breath and think to myself, you have no one to blame but yourself for being here right now, normal people don't torture themselves with situations like this. If I would have followed the "normal path" I could have been sitting at home on a cozy couch with a nice glass of wine and maybe a baby or something in my arms. Who am I kidding let's not get carried away, what I meant is I could have been at home with my two Vizsla pups by my side. But no, I choose to be at a comedy club with six other dudes telling dick jokes trying to hold my own to a crowd full of drunk people. And at that moment I was hating myself for it.

I grabbed the mic and looked into the first row faces and saw that look. That look of the audience that says make us laugh, circus monkey. So it was now or never. When I started talking and realized that my brain was indeed still working I started to relax just a tiny bit and begged myself to slow down. This is crazy I remember thinking as I looked out into a dark crowd of people and could actually hear laughter at the things I was saying. At one point I had a really surreal moment where it felt like I was watching myself and I couldn't help but think you are a total weirdo but this is so awesome. I need more of this.

And just like that my time was over. It was truly one of the best feelings I've ever had. (But I imagine making it to girls state high school basketball in 2004 would have been a close second.) I faked as much confidence on stage as I possibly could have at the moment, but obviously I've still got a very long way to go. I want what the other comedians had, that confidence that they own the stage. They own their jokes and you're going to laugh whether you like it or not. That's what I want.

I suppose if I want that I should probably stop taking photos of myself with the set list in the green room... But it's for the blog, I had to. Guess the other comedians don't have lifestyle blogs? This face right here you guys, this is the face of fear.


But I survived the night. And now I want to do it again. And again and again and again.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support me! I was able to meet a few blog readers after the show and that was so fun for me. The fact that you would come out on a cold Friday night to watch me tell jokes is just about the coolest thing ever, so thank you again to everyone.

Let's do this, March. I've got big expectations for you. Things are starting to get fun.


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51 comments:

  1. That's awesome! Way to have the balls to do it. You will own the stage before you know it!

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  2. Aahhh!! So exciting!!! Congrats Taylor!!!

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  3. Man you look like your dad in that picture.

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  4. I told my boyfriend about this and said the next time we are in Chicago we have to go to one of your shows!

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  5. Way to go Taylor! Such an awesome experience and YOU DO GET TO BLOG ABOUT IT!

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  6. That's so awesome! Congratulations!

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  7. I literally just burst out laughing "this must be her make a wish" you're so ridiculous, because if that's your fear face then you're faking it well. I know you killed it and I'm proud of you! is that weird- to be proud of someone you don't technically know? whatever it's happening.

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  8. you, girl. you & your aspirations & your go-getting attitude make me happy.

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  9. Well done Taylor! The make-a-wish bit made me giggle :)

    guesswhathollie.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. You are far braver than me to be up on that stage, kudos! I think I got stage fright just reading this. haha

    Congrats!

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  11. That nervous feeling is just a sign that something amazing is about to happen for you. I hope it never goes away, even if it makes you want to hurl.

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  12. CONGRATS!! You did it!! GOOD FOR YOU!! An inspiration, you came, you saw, you conquered!!

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  13. how awesome!! seriously i love following you on this journey. i get excited when you announce big shows! keep it up funny lady!

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  14. so funny! I'd love to see you live! I bet it was so awesome! Way to follow your dreams!

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  15. hahaha "this must be her make a wish"!!!

    ahhh....kudos to you! I'm sure you were awesome.

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  16. It was so fun reading this, I was nervous for you but I have a feeling you rocked it!

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  17. you are so brave! i will be in chicago in April...hopefully you will have a show that weekend. I would love to see you in action.

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  18. Yayyy! So exciting! You are seriously just so awesome!

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  19. I love coming to your blog and reading about you making your dreams come true!! I've never been so excited for a complete stranger before!! So proud :)

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  20. I'm a new reader, but that doesn't make this any less exciting and inspiring for me to read! Congratulations on a great night!

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  21. Congrats that is definitly one thing I could never ever do. I really think there are a rare few who can actually stand in front of people and do that!

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  22. Congrats girl! I love that you are blogging about all this it will be such a great reminder along the way of all that you have done.

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  23. Congrats this sounds like it went great! How exciting for you:)

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  24. I can't even try to make a witty comment at this. I am so impressed! Congratulations - this is freaking fantastic and I am SO glad it went well!

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  25. I am so excited for you! Seriously- next stop is SNL. :)

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  26. So exciting! I could totally relate to comparing the feeling to what it would have felt like to make it to the state championship in basketball, and it made me feel all anxious just now! PS. I just saw a commercial for the Great Wolf lodge while I was typing this. Weird. Anyway, I'm sure you were great, Wolfe! See what I did there? yep, not as a funny as you. ;)
    Eva Marie Taylor

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  27. YES! I love so much about this. The fact that you waited in line. And answered a supposed salutation. and the Make a wish. And the scared crapless face. But mostly that you did it. And that you will do it again!

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  28. I knew you'd kill it. :) Congrats!

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  29. I think it's kind of amazing that you put yourself out there even though you feel uncertain at times. Stepping out of my comfort zone is something I really suck at and people like you seriously inspire me! So happy it went well!

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  30. So proud of you!! That's awesome!! I'd love to hear some jokes from you lol. I live too far away though, maybe one day!

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  31. So cool! I read this post out loud to my husband. He was fixing a heater.. (such a guy thing to do. It's almost like I made it up, just for the sake of my comment!) and I had to share because I find it so exciting that I 'read' a blog of an actual female comedian. One that performs at The Laugh Factory. So impressive. I mean, you have to be funny to make it there. I wish I could see some of your stuff! And by stuff I mean your material, jokes.. not that other stuff.. lol!?!

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  32. You are awesome!! I can only imagine that being the most nervewracking thing ever!

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  33. You're insanely brave, girl. I could NEVER do that!! Go you!!

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  34. Way to go Taylor! I live in LA and know a fairly big group of comedians who all came from Chicago. I would totally come see a set if yours if I lived there. But one thing I do know, some of the best comedians seem to come out of Chi-town so I can imagine you're on the right track ;)

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  35. So exciting!!!!! I wish I could have been there to see you kick ass! Congrats on a successful night :)

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  36. Way to go, you are so bloody brave there is no way I would have the guts to do that...................lol

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  37. Congrats- so freaking proud of you!

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  38. Fantastic! I knew you'd do well.

    So proud that you didn't throw up on the people in the first row. That's what I'd have done.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  39. Ah I wish I still lived in Chicago so I could see you! Congrats on this GREAT accomplishment!

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  40. congrats! that's pretty dang awesome. :)

    xo. jenn @ hello, rigby!

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  41. I used to do theatre so I totally know the nerves you get right before going on stage but once you get out there and start it's truly exhilarating and worth it. Kudos to you for being a true pro!

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  42. You are a beast and I am jealous! I can't even speak in front of my accounting class. On top of that, I have been to many comedy shows and I have seen my share of people bombing. I think it is amazing that you never know what can happen, or if people will get you, and you still take that shit on.

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  43. I'm sure you did awesome and I wish I could have been there! I will next time.

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  44. Just found your blog and super happy I did! just followed =] congrats on the show too! did anyone record it? would love to hear it!

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  45. I'm sure that you rocked the house and it's great that you realize it.. I almost feel like I know kind of what you are speaking of.. when I did public speaking and when I was on Oprah-- speaking about things important to me or my history. You're bound to be a star. Don't forget us little people because I will need an autograph!

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  46. This is so awesome, congrats!! That is huge!

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  47. That is incredible, congratulations!! I cant even imagine :)

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