Recently, there’s been an influx unlike any for quite some time of stand-up, improv, and sketch performers. This isn’t a bad thing (as it can be perceived by some more established local comedians) — in fact, it’s actually great. That is, it’s great until performers who haven’t really established themselves or won over multiple crowds get way ahead of themselves and take out their sociopathic or negative feelings on everyone around them. They expect — rather then respect — laughs.
First off, by established comedians, I mean they’re pounding the pavement and consistently doing decent work. When I say respect laughs, I’m talking about the comedians who blame themselves when they have a bad show instead of the crowd or other comedians. Yes, we all bomb sometimes. Yes, we all have audiences from time to time that are not feeling what you’re doing. But these comedians say afterwards they could have done better. They should have delivered something differently or used different material for this crowd. In 98% of the cases when you go up on stage, this is true. I’m also not saying that there aren’t vetted comedians that need this advice as well.
At this point, most of the comedians in our city have ambition that exceeds their current talent. In fact, that’s how it should be. Our ambition is what makes us sign up at Helium, get on stage at the Raven, try our sketches at Bedtime Stories or go to an Improv Incubator. Ambition also drives us to hone our jokes, expand them, tighten them or do whatever we need to do to make ourselves better, faster, and stronger at our calling. What worries me is when I see comedians who seem to think showing up is enough ambition, and any hiccup in their performances are always the fault of something other than themselves.
Continue reading OPINION: WE’RE GONNA START THIS SET WITH A POSITIVE JAM by Rob Baniewicz