That time I did standup comedy

Everyone wants a crack at that sign when the show's over

This is how you make yourself do something daring — you tell people you're going to do it, rendering backing out impossible.

A few months ago, Eric and I went to an open mic night at the Pittsburgh Improv. Having never been to an open mic night, we expected something shabbier than what we got. You know, just a few sporadic and awkward people stepping up in some rinky dink hole in the wall. Which is not at all what we found.

Instead, Stand-Up Pittsburgh is a well-organized event in a swanky location. You eat dinner, you down cocktails, you laugh your ass off. It's awesome. And the whole time I was there, on the verge of peeing my pants and splitting my face, I thought, I want to do this. I want to do this I want to do this I want to do this.

So I did, not at the next open mic but the one after that. I wrote jokes, I scratched jokes out. I mined every exasperating situation for humor. I made weird connections, like between sexual harassment and dinosaurs. I binged on standup specials on Netflix and studied Amy Schumer's delivery like it was my second job.

I invoked all my favorite female comedians on Twitter and was stunned and fangirling when they actually responded.

I mean COME ON. It was surreal and cool and when I realized that I kind of hated my Twitter handle, which I've since changed to @whatisliz.

So there was no backing out. The priestesses of comedy had spoken, plus girls from my knitting group had already bought their tickets. You have to have four people there to see you to be allowed to perform. And I had seven! Seven awesome people showed up to support me and I felt like such a lucky girl.

Some of my cheering section
When I was just a spectator, it was on a light night during which only six or eight comics performed, two of them women.

This time, there were well over a dozen performers, and I was the only chick. No pressure to prove women are funny or anything. Add to that my already intense nerves and the fact that while waiting I'd accidentally already had a G&T and some lemony shooter thing on an empty stomach.

I got up there in my too-tight purple velvet pants and mercifully sturdy heels and I honestly couldn't tell if I was funny or not while I was up there. I saw smiles, I heard laughs here and there, but I couldn't really see many people from the stage and I was really in the zone. It wasn't until people were coming up to me after my performance that I started to feel really good about what I did up there.

Getting up in front of a crowd of strangers and friends and saying ridiculous, obscene things like a filthy little troll was liberating. (I mean, saying "vagina" into a microphone is basically a feminist act.) I put myself on blast and people responded to it. Being a broad and not a lady, the version of me that's all Id and moxie and wit, devoid of a filter, was my everything. A soaring high I intend to repeat.

Now I'm not just going about my day. I'm searching for material.

1 comment :

  1. I am happy it went so great, it couldn't be any other way because you are just that awesome sweetheart. Now, i'm not sure I'd go see you saying not so lady like jokes, i'm still very happy you got to do something you enjoyed. Mom loves you ♡