I've been doing stand-up comedy since 2000. In many ways it's a very solitary pursuit. You're up on stage by yourself. You are solely responsible for the success or failure with which you meet. I love that aspect of stand-up comedy... Forging onward… me against my own limitations. Attaining momentary ownership of something as elusive as a stranger's laughter is a worthy challenge, isn't it? Well, it is and it isn't because, strangely, the pursuit of laughter can turn many people hollow and mean.
Maybe that happens to people who remain as solitary offstage as you have to be on stage. Yikes, this is starting to sound very dull and preachy when really what I'm trying to say is that during the past five years, I have gotten a huge kick out of watching my friends progress along side me.
As solitary as the act itself is, watching my friends grow and develop and emerge as performers has been a huge treat and I don't think I'd be doing this were it not for the friendships.
Of course that sounds corny. I don't know how else to say it. A lot of us started at Jennifer's together. Fini Goodman, Deb Cox, Bret Gilbert, James Painter, Nick Yousef, Bret Williams, Brian Dowell, Laura Swisher and just a bunch of people who if you watch us perform today, you'll gather no hint of how badly we sucked five years ago.
And I think that no matter how lonely the act of standing on a naked stage, by yourself and talking can be, like anything else, finding a way to share the experience is what makes it worth doing.
I am very proud of my stand-up friends who have come so far in five years. We're only partly there but I can feel my progress and I can feel theirs and this, just like everything else, is about the journey. You've been a terrific crowd. That's my time. Thanks.
P.S. I never say that at the end of my set because I think it's hack. But what's hack on stage can be funny in a blog… or not. I’ll leave that up to you.