Night one of my preliminary week of the Seattle International Comedy Competition is done. And I must say, I get it. The point of having an audience and really the point of stand-up in general is to be judged. The judgment usually only coming in the form of laughter (or lack of laughter). Now in this competition there are 3-5 judges every night, giving us scores based on their opinions. Last night at Laughs Comedy Spot, one of my favorite places, the audience was huge and they were great. I went up 5th out of 16 so pretty early in the show. I was very nervous, more nervous than I think I have ever been for a show. I did my set, surely tighter than usual because I was trying not to throw up. One little stumble of the words but other than that I felt great about the set, felt like the audience responded well, good feedback from people after I left the stage but I shortly learned a few things.
1. The audience doesn’t necessarily matter to your score. If we went solely off of audience response last night I think the scores would have looked a bit differently. So really, at least last night, that is no indication of how you did. I’m sure in every audience I perform for, for every 3 people who love me there is 1 that absolutely hates me. Comedy is art, art is subjective.
2. I really appreciate all the veteran comics that talked to me after, trying to give advice or say good job, they are awesome and I am so lucky that they care to take the time to try and help or encourage us. However, I’m pretty sure each one of them told me something different. One, that I greatly respect and admire, said my set was perfect (I’m sure I blushed). One said it seemed like it was more of a performance than my usual relaxed set, which is understandable. A couple gave me some advice on which jokes to change, move or add. At this point I am fully trying to absorb everything they are saying because I do respect these people, but now my head is going insane. Who do I listen to? What is going to help me the most? How do I feel about the set? Head now spinning.
3. One judge can hate you. Last night I came in 10th place and I am going to be completely honest, I didn’t see it coming. I did not see myself in the top 5 but I did think I would be higher than that. I wanted an explanation so I looked at the scores and one of the judges was the one out of four that hated me. The other three gave me similar scores but one scored me 11 points lower than any other score. Very subjective, this person did not like me. So I fell all the way to 10th, which is maybe where I should have been but the part that is frustrating is if all the judges were consistent I would not have been that far down. Would I have been that much farther up on the ranking? no but still farther up. Two feelings come from having this information 1. why did this judge dislike me so much more than the others? and 2. I’m a little relieved to know that it was just one that scored me that low and not all of them.
Last night was industry night, where network executives and talent managers and agents are there, which is the perfect night to have on the first night when we don’t know what we are doing and are terribly nervous. Also, the perfect night for a judge to dislike me more than the others. Ha!
Here is what I have taken away from this, I suck and I should quit comedy forever.
Just kidding, as much as I told myself this before I really didn’t feel it until after last night “all I can do is go up, relax and do the set I want to do and have fun with it. As soon as I am off stage it is out of my hands.” Whatever they think of me is what is reflected in those scores and after I’m done I can’t do anything to change that. Which is how it is all the time except the laughing usually tells me how they feel and not numbers two hours after I have gone on stage.
There are positives.
1. The first night is over, I have done it now I know what I’m doing and it’s not fucking industry night.
2. Every comedian in this thing is amazing, so funny which not only makes for a good competition but a great show to watch after or before you perform.
3. So far everyone has been really nice, meeting hilarious awesome people from all over the world and getting to hang and bond with some of the other local talent has been fun and I didn’t even hear half the things they said last night because I was so nervous so I’m hoping it gets even better!
4. Even though I am upset, expecting more from myself and a bit frustrated with the results last night, I still hate my day job more than that and I get time off from it this week! Going back this morning to those assholes was rough… Yes, all children are assholes.
Tonight we are in Bellingham, let’s see how it goes! All the judges could hate me this time!
On another note due to the crazy schedule of this week Mitch and I have chosen to go on a short hiatus from the Daily Dabble return 11/18 so take this opportunity to catch up, share and subscribe to the show! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChoy-BGh9cF34xr2fEOcMeQ