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Okay, so I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but to be fair, that night I was preluding to in the last blog was so tragic I had to get really drunk to blog again.  I even mis-typed my login name when signing in.  I’m hammered, eating pizza by the slice, listening to an “On-the-go” mix I made for the gym… another place I haven’t been recently.

That night… that show… I knew I didn’t want to do it.  And I know some of you have read that creepy book “The Secret,” but I haven’t.  Even if I had, I’m still sure that show would have gone the way it did.  As usual, I take public transportation there.  I check into the street car on “FourSquare.”  The points I get by doing so, might be the highlight of my night.  On the way there, I get a text saying “We’re running ahead of schedule-you’re going on earlier.”  Great.  Just what every comic wants to hear.  Everybody’s still sober.

I walk in the bar.  It’s my first time at this venue, and secretly I hope my name is not on the list.  Nope.  My name’s on the list.  And they’ve made me a name tag to wear around my neck.  I immediately hit the bar and buy something bottled.  I see another regular from my work.

“Hey!  I hear you’re doing comedy here tonight!  Can’t wait!”

I’m not going to lie.  I don’t know his name, but I know what beer he likes to drink, as well as his favourite menu item.  I force some enthusiasm, and shove the neck of the bottled beer safely into my mouth.  Then the regular that booked me for the show spots me.

“Hey, there you are!  You’re on next!”

Next?  I’ve been here for two minutes.  Thanks for the warning.  I follow him back stage.  He introduces me to the host, who has clearly ignored the intro I gave him, and downloaded something word for word off the internet.

“Now, remember to keep it clean,” he says.

“What?  I was going to do all blow job jokes.”  I say.  Everybody back stage laughs.  This is the best laugh I will get all night.

As I stand off to the side of the stage, I watch the host.

“And now it’s time for the comedy portion of the night!”

As he says that, every kid in the room runs to the front of the stage and sits cross legged.  They are excited.  I think they mistook me for a clown.  They’re highlights.  I’m no Carrot Top.  I take the stage.  I hope I can dig myself out of this…

I do the traditional thing of asking the crowd how they’re doing.  They seem to sound okay.  The children are excited… for now.  I start to hear noise behind me.  It’s the band.

“Oh, don’t mind us.  We’re just going to do our sound check while you’re on stage,” a bandmate says.  Ummm, excuse me?  You’re just going to fiddle your guitar while I’m in the middle of my act?  It’s bad enough I have to curb my act for the elementary school that’s just plopped itself in front of my stage, but now I have to speak over instruments?   How am I supposed to make fun of the Leafs like this?

And I did.  I had no choice.  Every time I was half way through doing a joke, I heard the bass, the guitarist, or even worse, the drummer.  No comedian wants to hear “Ba-dum-sshhhhhh!” after a joke.

Two minutes into my set, I adandon my act, thinking, “I’d rather eat shit talking to the ten year olds, rather than eat shit with my actual act.”  At one point, I believe the kids are digging me, but that was probably just good old fashion comedian’s delusionalism, keeping my ego in tact.  I leave the stage, at least five minutes before I had to.  I make no eye contact with anyone.  I head staight back to the bar.

Sometimes its hard to get a drink in a bar.  You know the feeling, “Am I invisible to the bartender?”  Not tonight.  She saw me, and came dashing over.

“Steam Whistle please.”  I say.  She turns away and grabs the beer.  As she pops it open, she shakes her head, and says, “Tough crowd.”  Oh great.  Just when I thought the people in the back of the room weren’t listening, it turns out they were.

“Well, I didn’t do what I normally do.  I couldn’t.  There was kids here.”  Oh God.  Does that sound like an excuse?  It’s not.  I really did NOT do my act.  Do children even know what a vibrator is?  Hopefully not.

“Sure… Six dollars.”

So, I ate shit, and paid full price for beers.  The kicker?  The regular from my work who made me do this show, was in the band that followed me.  The second number they did was a cover of “Who Let The Dogs Out.”  And sadly, that got a better response than me.

xoxo
comedian girl

Night 4…sort of

So, I guess if you’re going to be a blogger, you should do it more than three times, right?  I swear, I’ve been writing for the last week, but the weather got nice and I really wanted to sit on a patio.  You can’t write on your computer outside, because the reflection from the sun will make it impossible to see your screen.  That, and the lack of electrical outlets.  I did write in my journal, though, while enjoying sunshine and pints of Keiths.  I can honestly tell you the shows ROCKED- amazing crowds.  As the other comic (yes, the dude I once bing banged) put it, “It was like the Apollo, without the black people.”  Oh, and in case your wondering, no, nothing kinky happened on the road.  The only thing I cheat on is my vegetarianism. (I did go for Lobster- I couldn’t resist.  And let me tell you, it took FOREVER to get the smell of it off my hands.  The plus side?  I enjoyed going up to guys asking them to “smell my fingers.”)

I meant to file all my Halifax stories over to this blog, but right now I’m too stressed.  I’m about to do a show I don’t want to do.  A show I KNOW I should have said “NO” to.   I’m such a sucker.  And now I’m terrified.  Ugh.

A regular of mine(at my bar job) is in a band.  I’ve been supportive, and seen them play.   I appreciate all artists, whether they’re actors, singers, painters, etc.  He’s seen my show too.  Before I left for the Maritimes(Oh, ya-I’m back in Toronto now,) he asked me for a favour.  He’s doing a fundraiser show amongst some other bands and was wondering if I would do the show too.  I explained I was going to the Maritimes to do a tour, so probably not.

“When do you get back?”  He says.
“When’s the show?”  I say.
“April 15th.”  He says.
“I think I’m still away.” I say.
“For sure?  Can you double check?”

Fuck.  I’m such a bad liar.  I agree to get back to him, knowing in my stomach I don’t want to do it.  Don’t ask me how I know… I just know.  I avoid him for as long as I can.  Then, one morning as I’m leaving the gym, he spots me on the street(see-going to the gym is not always good for you.)

“Hey, you haven’t go back to me.  Can you do the show?”

Ugh… endorphins.  All that Pink blasting on my ipod made me run for a long time, and now I feel feel good.

“Sure, I can do it.”

He’s super excited, and says he’ll email me the details.  It takes about a half hour for my workout high to fade.  Why did I just say “yes?”  Fuck.  Don’t think about it now.  Think about it later.

Now is later.  My first morning back in Toronto he came into my bar.

“You still set to do my show?”

Should I claim I got amnesia?  Use the new beer special at work as an excuse that I can’t get Thursday nights off work anymore?  Cry?

“Yep, can’t wait.”

Great, now I’m a good liar.

He smiles.  As he walks away from the bar, he has one more uplifting remark.

“Oh ya, and I forgot to tell you.  It’s all ages.  So it has to be squeaky clean.”

All ages?  All ages!!!  You’ve seen my act!  I talk about vibrators and end on a blow job joke.  And now you’re telling me I have to go write five new minutes on Hannah Montana and the Suite Life of Zack and Cody?  That’s like telling a stripper to keep her clothes on half way through Mambo #5.  Why did I agree to this?  There’s no money involved.  My self esteem is at stake here, people.  Yesterday, I got another email from him.  In it he writes,

“Don’t forget to keep it clean because the Secretary of Cabinet and other High Level  government officials and teenaged kids will be there.  See you tomorrow.”

Fuck.  Who’s the Secretary of Cabinet?  High Level government officials?   I haven’t filed my taxes in two years.  Though to be fair, I bet the teenaged kids will be bigger perverts than I am.

Fuck.  Fuck, I should probably practice not swearing for the rest of the night.  I better go now.  Must surrender myself to humiliation.  Ugh.

fuck, shit, fuck, shit,
comedy girl.

ps I swear I’m going to file taxes this year.

pps If this blog seemed all over the place, it’s cuz I was just drinking with my friend who is ten years younger than me.  I don’t know if she’s my enabler, or my muse.  Either way, I like her.

Night 3

Is it possible a pint of Keiths actually tastes better in Nova Scotia?  Or does beer just naturally taste better at three o’clock in the afternoon?  I’m in Halifax now, in case you didn’t guess.  I finally downloaded a new CD, to prevent Ke$ha from rotting my brain even more than it already has.  I’m in my gym clothes, cuz I thought my day would consist of coffee and a workout, but alas, a sunny day and a pub patio pulled me in another direction.

I’m playing on Facebook right now.  Did you know I’m friends with 9 Jeffs?  That’s a lot of Jeffs.  And 7 Jasons, 4 Ians, 4 Davids….I’m bored, can you tell?  The new CD I’m listening to is great.  Her name is Anuhea, in case you want to play along.  “Charismatic SOB” is a great song.  The Bud Lite Lime umbrellas are up in full affect on this patio.  Oh, B.L.L… are you going to contaminate this summer again, like you did last?  Better question: are Fish n Chips in my future?  I hope so.  My dinner last night consisted of beer and nachos.  I would have done anything for a slice of pizza after the bar… I mean bars(plural.)  Speaking of yesterday…

I arrive in Halifax around 2pm.  I wait forever in the airport for my shuttle bus-don’t judge me.  I save 30 bucks this way.  After writing on at least a dozen people’s facebook walls(via iphone,) I finally board my bus.  Oh, I also polished off a bag of Tostitos, without salsa.   That’s how hungry I was.  The bus is running 15 minutes being schedule.  For a province full of Sydney Crosby fans, you’d think they could move a little faster.  I stop playing on my iphone, as I want to soak up my first trip ever to Halifax.  The further we move away from the airport, the happier I am not to be in a cab right now, watching the meter move up my bum hole, and deep into my wallet.  The first stop for the shuttle bus is the Holiday Inn, Dartmouth.  So this is Dartmouth.  I’ve heard of it.  One of my good comedian friends is from here.  We let off the nice couple, and hit the road again.  We cross a bridge.  I was hoping we’d cross the bridge.  It’s very Lions Gate-esque(for you Vancouverians.)  Three lanes.  Who builds a three-laned bridge?  I’ll never understand this.  Second stop is the Four Points Inn.  The solo backpacker guy gets off.  Next stop, The Westin.  That’s me.  Don’t be jealous.  Usually our accommodations are not this cool.  Remember the house by Boston Pizza in Newfoundland?

Now, there’s something I should tell you about this weekend of shows.  The line up has changed.  I’m still working with the headliner from last week, but the host is different.  Instead of the guy I know from Ottawa, with the stripper intros, I’m working with a Toronto comic… A Toronto I’ve slept with.

It’s not rocket science.  The whole world knows the repercussions of sleeping with someone you work with.  In comedy, it might seem less risky, since we don’t work with the same people every weekend.  You might get off scott-free, and always get booked with someone else.  Not this time.

The original scene of our one night stand(yes, it was a one night stand) was Toronto.  Roughly two years ago.  You might think two comedians picking each other up would be hilarious, and in this case, you’re definitely right.  We were at an after party for the Great Canadian Laugh Off.  He was in it.  I was there for support- or the open bar.  Most likely the latter.  There were a lot of industry people there.  When I say “industry people,” I’m talking about people that comedians are always trying to impress.   Me and “him” have been friends for years.  Nothing kinky, just comedy buddies.  I don’t hang out with him often, but given the right moment, we’ll always have some beers together, and shoot the shit.  So here we were, drinking for free, amongst “industry people.”  Good times.

“You guys look like brother and sister,” says some lady, who’s name I clearly don’t remember.  “Are you guys related?”  He answers, “Ya, she’s my sister.”  He’s got good improv skills- never “block-” always “yes and.”  Oh, but this isn’t improv, this is real life.  Does it matter?

The conversation keeps moving.  We manage to convince everybody in the room that we are brother and sister.  The more we drink, the sillier it gets… until…

We’re in a circle of people, talking about how great “our” family gets along.  “We just have a way, in our family.  You know…” then he starts giving me small kisses on the lips.  I have to do everything in my power not to burst out laughing, to keep the charade alive.  But fuck, I wanted to laugh so hard.  Before I knew it, we were full on, making out in front of people who truly believed we were siblings.  I think one woman spit out her drink.

Eventually we burst out laughing, and confess we’re not related.  Not even cousins.  Our fair complexions and blonde hair are totally a coincidence.  This calls for another drink.  Or was it drinks… it’s not clear.

So, you know how the story goes.  I already told you.  The making out was supposed to be a joke, but it was still kind of sexy.   We drunkenly sleep together, and life goes on.

Now back to the present.  I’m going to be sharing accommodations with this guy for the next five days.  I know nothing’s going to happen.  I have a boyfriend.  He has a girlfriend.  But I will be very surprised if that night doesn’t somehow come up in conversation.

We sit on the couch, enjoying a bottle of local beer-Propeller IPA.  It’s tasty.  He flicks the remote for the T.V, and lands on the Discovery Channel.  “Mayday” is on.  It’s a documentary show about plane crashes.  It’s also the same show he watched the night we… you know… “hooked up.”  I know what you’re thinking.  What kind of a girl seduces a guy with plane crash documentaries?  I have a vagina.  I can get away with anything.

He leaves the T.V. on this channel, acknowledging that I like this show.  He might as well say, “Hey, remember the night we slept together?  Haha!”  It’s a repeat.  For all I know, it’s the same episode we bing banged to.  I’m getting hungry.  It’s my first time in Halifax.  I also want to see the city.   He agrees we should go out.  We invite the other comic to come with us, but he declines.

The first bar we hit is the Economy Shoe Shop.  What a great name for a bar you want women to frequent.  We enjoy a quality dinner of beer and nachos, me eating all the jalapenos he’s picked off his chips.  After “dinner” we decide to move to another bar.  The Carleton.  A guy who looks like Smith from Sex and the City, approaches us at the door.

“Are you guys here for the show?”
“What show?” We respond.  The Smith guy explains there’s a band from the UK here, and there’s a $35 dollar cover.  For some reason, he lets us in, free of charge.  Must be our brother and sister look.

The band is good.  So is the wine.  There’s an older man beside me.  He keeps looking at us, smiling.  Finally, he breaks the ice.

“They’re a lot like the Moody Blues, eh?  But you’re probably too young to know who the Moody Blues are!”  I smile, enjoying the fact I look young tonight.  He pipes up again(I’m pretty sure he’s on his fourth glass of wine.)

“Is that your husband?”  Oh, God.  Here it comes.   “If he’s not, you’re headed in that direction, aren’t you?  I can tell these things.  I’m very intuitive.”  I try not to burst out laughing.  This guys intuitions need a tune up.  I can’t tell whether we’re going to play the “yes and” improv game again.  It’s been a few years.  The drunk man gets closer, wedging himself right in the middle of us.  We try to convince him that we’re just buddies, but he doesn’t believe us.  “Oh I know how that goes, you start off friends then blah, blah, blah…”  Okay, he didn’t really say “blah blah blah,” but I got distracted by the fact he’s wearing his university ring on his wedding finger.  Decoy?  Or is he in love with his university?  Finally I try to shut him up.

“Listen!  Here’s the deal.  We slept together two years ago, but we’re just friends.  We’ve known each other forever.  We’re just two stand up comics working here for the weekend.”  See, I knew we couldn’t work together for a whole weekend without bringing up the one night stand.  I hope we don’t end up mentioning it on stage.

“Oh!  I knew there was something different about you guys!  Stand up comics, eh?!”  Oh God.  I forgot.  Never tell drunk people you’re a stand up comic.  They eat that shit up.  We let him babble on for a bit, but then politely escape-or try to escape.  He follows us to the door, then makes us re-enact an Inspector Clousseau joke.  Luckily, I don’t get a big part.  But Bing Bang(no names, sorry) did.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been forced to re-enact an Inspector Clousseau joke in the front door of a bar before, but it’s quite awkward.  I can’t decide whether to laugh, or run.

Crap, I have to go.  I have a show in two hours and I’m still in my gym clothes.  I should probably shower too.  I know I didn’t actually work out, but I need to shower the smell of beer off me.

LOL,
Comedy Girl.

Night 2

Okay, so at least this time I know I have to write directly on the blog site- no writing on Microsoft Works Processor(don’t ask what year my computer is from) then deciding whether or not to cut and paste it onto the web.  This is it.  I’m writing my thoughts on “blogger.com,” then hitting “publish.”  Scary, isn’t it?

Tonight is my last night in St. John’s, before I go to Halifax.  I know I said I’d give you highlights from my Friday and Saturday night shows, but since I know I only have three followers, I will just write whatever I want(a bonus of being unpopular- no expectations to fill.)  Last night I decided to go out, and cheat on vegetarianism.  I am on the Atlantic, after all.  I even showered and dressed up for the salmon, not that anyone noticed.  I went to a nice restaurant on Water Street, called “Merlo’s Press & Bean.”  I may have chosen the place based on the name, as I was craving red wine.   I actually walked by this place the other day, but I thought it was a coffee shop.  (Seriously?  “Press & Bean?”  Wouldn’t you think they were selling coffee?)  I walk in, and grab a seat at the bar.  I’m the ONLY one at the bar.  It’s fine.  It’s a Monday.  I brought a book.  The menu is amazing.  I want everything on it(easy for a vegetarian to say- we have restrictions, and want everything we can’t have.)  The bartender walks over.  “What are you reading?”

“The menu,” I respond.
“No, Maam.  I was talking about the book beside you.”

Oh shit.  Don’t be cheeky unless you’re absolutely sure you’re the smart one in the conversation.

“Oh, it’s called, ‘I Heart New York.’  I love chic-lit,” I say.  He responds.
“I used to live in Manhatten- I just moved here three weeks ago.”

WTF?  Are you guys thinking what I’m thinking?  Who moves from NYC to Newfoundland?  As great as Nfld is, New York is my dream.  I constantly fantasize about being a stand up comic in New York.  Newfoundland… well, it’s just a base I’ve been posted at.

“Wow… why?”  I ask.

He takes my half litre of wine, and tops up my glass.

“I lived there for 18 years.  I’m an actor.  I’ve worked on Broadway, worked as a model for Ford… But the past couple years I’ve been working as a personal assistant to a woman who runs a gallery… She was a crackhead…not pleasant.”  Up until that sentence, I was picturing Charlotte York.  “I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I decided to come home… re-evaluate things… find myself again…”

Craziness.  I always think I need to go to New York to find my “self.”  I guess others need Canada to do the same.  Though, 18 years in Manhattan might do a number on someone.  I was already noting that his service as a bartender was impeccable.

“And I didn’t tell a sole,” he says.  “I just left.”

This shocks me even more.  I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, MySpace(though I rarely check that account anymore.)  How does anyone just vanish these days?  It seems nearly impossible, unless the unthinkable happens.    I’ve made a lot of big moves in my life, but none as bold as this man’s.  He’s genuine, so deserving.  How did he end up back here?  I get my “pipe dream” on.  I should write a script, and cast him as the lead!  (I may be 30, but I still dream like a kid. )  Then, he could be back in New York, and he woudn’t have to work for that Amy Winehouse Art Gallery lady anymore!  (To be fair, I love Amy Winehouse, but I think we all understand she has some serious vices.)  I would love to help this man succeed in big ways, but sadly, I’m no screenwriter.  I don’t even have connections past getting him another restaurant job.  Who knows if I’ll even be back here in St. John’s again?  Hopefully, yes.  The coconut shrimp is delicious.  That’s the tricky part about travelling.  You meet a lot of people, and it’s not clear whether you’ll see them again.

The restaurant is closing early.  It is Monday night, after all.  Ten o’clock is super early for a Toronto girl like myself, especially one who still works in a bar.  He reassures me there’s no rush to leave.  I think he knows I’m intrigued with his story.  He’s how I picture the waiter in the book, “Waiter Rant,” by Steve Dublanica.  When I mention this to him, the other girl working lights up.  She loves that book.

I get my bill.  I tip like an American, as I always do.  Before I leave, he mentions how he’s a big believer that everything happens for a reason.  This is ironic to me.  I would do anything to live in New York.  He’s been there, and given it all up.  I’m jealous, yet I know he’s done it all for the right reasons.

It’s funny.  I think most stand up comics would be out tonight, re-watching sets they taped on the weekend, trying to punch up their acts.  I don’t know what I accompish on my nights off.  Sometimes I go out in hopes of finding my next great joke.  And sometimes, I go out and just meet great people.  Nothing wrong with that.  And just so you know, you’re not the ones I chose to make fun of.

xoxo
Gossip Girl.

Or should I say,
LOL,
Comedy Girl.

Night 1

I’m a stand up comedian. I tour around English speaking cities making fun of life-usually my own. I like the sound of laughter. I especially like the sound of applause breaks. I’ve performed in clubs all across North America. I’ve even performed in stranger places, like night clubs, community centres, amusement parks, schools, racetracks, casinos, coffee shops, laundromats, barns- I even performed in a church once(I don’t think I’m going to Heaven.)

So why did I decide to start this blog? Honestly? I’m not here to brag or bitch. I don’t care if anyone reads this. I’m definitely not here to try out new jokes. I’m just bored. It’s Easter Sunday, and I’m by myself in St. John’s Newfoundland. I’m enjoying a modest dinner of pizza(not pizza by the slice-pizza off a menu, in a restaurant with good beers on tap. Now that’s moving up in the world.) I wasn’t sure Easter weekend would be the best for comedy shows. I did a show in Thedford, Ontario once. If you don’t know it, it’s the Onion Capital of Ontario. You can imagine my excitement. At the exact minute the show was supposed to start, there were no people in the crowd. Not a soul. Apparently our competition was a craft fair down the road, and we were losing. If I could lose to paper mache and glue, I figured I could lose to the Easter Bunny. But lucky for us, I was wrong. Thursday and Saturday were sold out. Good Friday was a smaller crowd, but still a good one.

When a comedian sets out for the road, it’s a lot like going on vacation. I pack a suitcase with all the essentials: clothes, shower crap, a bathing suit-I don’t know why I packed a bathing suit. There’s still snow on the ground here. I packed flip flops too. Hopeful thinking. The night before my flight, I have a shit sleep cuz my paranoia of missing my flight keeps me awake. In the morning, I get to the airport the same way most comedians travel- public transit. In the subway, a business type dude helps carry my suitcase down the stairs. “Thanks,” I say. “Chicks, eh? We love to over pack, but then we can’t lift our bags.” He laughs. It’s a lot easier to make someone laugh, when they don’t expect you to be funny. On the subway ride, I can’t decide whether to read, or write, so I opt to do the ‘space out and look at people’ thing. I have Ke$ha playing on my headphones(no one has to know that.) I examine the upholstery. How come the Bloor Line has the ugliest seats on their trains? Do the people travelling north and south deserve more style than the people going east and west?

I get to the airport early enough for my traveller’s anxiety to leave my system.  As per usual, I forget what terminal I’m supposed to go to.  Doesn’t matter how many times I go to Pearson International, I always forget.  I check my ticket.  Terminal 1.  Of course.  It’s always Terminal 1.  I use the express kiosk to check in.  For the first time in my life, the machine spits out my boarding pass with no problems.  I don’t have to ask a single human being for assistance.  Air Canada would be proud- or relieved.  I walk over to security.  One of the things that did not get checked off my To-Do list this week was “clean out purse.”  There’s always something in there that gets confiscated at the airport.  The security guy looking in the X-Ray machine looks up at me.  “Do you have a corkscrew in your purse?”  Fuck.  Of course I have a corkscrew in my purse.  I work in a bar.  Yes, that’s right.  Comedy is not my sole job.  I still have to wait tables to “live the dream” sort of speak.  I think some comics are embarrassed to admit they still have day jobs, but I don’t really care.  At least this way you can rest assure I’m not starving.  Plus I just read an article on Yahoo about jobs that “surprisingly under pay.”  Stand up comedy was third on the list.  So I lose another corkscrew.  This is not the first time.

Next I browse through the bookstore by my gate, hoping to buy a new notebook.  I’m unimpressed with what I can get for $16, so I decide to buy a book instead.  I contemplate buying the new Lauren Conrad book, since nobody is around to witness me doing so.  I still can’t do it.  I decide on another piece of “Chic Lit.”  It’s pink, and about a writer.  Perfect.  Next I decide to eat.  I just became a vegetarian a few months ago, and the road is not the place for meatless goodies.  My gig in Forest, Ontario lead me to a cheap affair with a pepperoni pizza.  It meant nothing.  I swear.

I finish my veggie stir-fry just as my flight is about to board.  The stewardess announces they are boarding rows 20 and higher.  That’s me.  I’m in row 32.  I walk on the plane.  I see people in rows 12, 14, 15… Dumbasses.   Remember Grade two math?  Is 12 <> than 20?  That’s right.  It’s <.  The couple in row 12 are excited about the flight.  “Look!  There’s a TV on the back of the chair!”  Newfies for sure.  I find my seat(much nicer than the Bloor Line,) buckle up and contemplate writing.  I can’t write jokes here.  We’ve all heard jokes about airplanes.  Jokes about the food, jokes about the pilot talking over the intercom, jokes about the comfort of the seats… They’re funny jokes, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve been done.  I’m no copy cat.  I decide to check out the “in flight” entertainment.  I opt for some music first.  I go with Channel 6-XM En Route Hits.  I don’t know if these are “Hits” per se.  The first song I hear is Ashlee Simpson.  That Ke$ha CD is sounding pretty good now, isn’t it?  The little girl beside me finally stops crying.  I’m not sure what did the trick.  It might have been those little cheddar flavoured Goldfish crackers her mom gave her.  At this moment, I might have found her cute.  But later in the flight she will nail her “Silly Suzy Book” at me.

When I land in St. John’s, I spot the headliner I’m working with(I’m what they call, “The Middle.”)  Turns out we were on the same flight.  We’ve worked together before.  He’s a great guy.  Sometimes as a comic, you have to go on the road with creeps.  Big, fat, scary, spooky, haunting, gassy, creeps.  Thank God my two weeks in the Maritimes won’t be with one of those.  We walk to the Taxi Stand.  “We’re going to some area called “Kenmount Terrace,” I say.  The cabby responds, “Oh, are you’s guys going to the comedians howse?” (Sorry if I don’t know how to write Newfie accent in text.)  Sweet.  He knows where we’re going.  I certainly don’t.  We get in the cab.  The driver knows we’re comics, so he immediately starts telling us jokes(funny how that works, eh?)  The first joke, I can’t understand at all.  His accent is way too thick.  The second joke I sort of understand, but I’m pretty sure it’s racist.  I look over at the headliner.  He’s a black dude.  At least the cabby went with another race, otherwise the ride would be way more uncomfortable.  The last joke he tells makes absolutely no sense at all, but that’s because he pronounces the carrier company UPS improperly.  Instead of saying “U-P-S,” he says “ups,” a non-existent word that rhymes with “cups.”

We pull up to the house-our house for the next four days.  It’s in the middle of a newly developed sub division.  It’s a little out of the way.  Actually, it’s a lot out of the way.  The nearest bar is a Boston Pizza and even that looks like a 25 minute walk.  We have a few hours before our first show, so we decide to go grocery shopping.  If I’m going to be under paid, at least I can save some money by cooking at home.  After dinner, we call a cab(I’m going to spend a lot of money of cabs, this trip, aren’t I?)  We pull up to the comedy club exactly 30 minutes before show time, proper industry standard.  The early show is still going on.  On Thursdays they do a “Local Talent” night.  Some comedy clubs might refer to this type of show as “Amateur Night,” but here in Canada we have a way with encouragement… I guess.  I know the guy who manages the club.  He was a comic when I first started in Ottawa(I live in Toronto now.  Can you tell?)  He’s talking to someone else when he spots me.  “Hold on a sec,” he says.  “I have to go molest someone.”  I hope he’s joking.  He comes over and gives me a big hug.  Sweet.  No molestation.  I haven’t seen this guy in years.  We go into the Green Room where the other comics are hanging out.  The headliner knows one of the younger local comics.  The room fills with soft conversations, as we hear laughter from the club in the background.  I decide to get a beer(Coors Lite, of course.  I don’t want to get drunk before my set.)  As I walk over to the bar, I watch the comic on stage.  He’s killing.  Destroying.  When comics say “kill” or “destroy” it means the audience is laughing their asses off.  It’s a good thing.  I don’t know exactly what he’s talking about, but now I want to watch.  A few sips into my beer, I realize he’s telling a joke similar to one of mine.  Very similar.  Crap.  I can’t go on stage and do my jokes on the topic now.  The crowd will think I’m stealing from him.  Ugh.  This has never happened to me before.  Now I have to reorganize my twenty minute set in my head, and quick.  Fuck.  I want to rock this crowd.  First impressions are key.  All the staff and local comics will judge me off this performance.  I drink a little faster.

There’s a 15 minute break between the first show and ours.  I go back to the Green Room.  Mr. “I’ve-got-the-same-joke-as-you” walks in.   Everyone congratulates him on having a great set.  Even I do.  He sits down beside me.  Eeeeeeeeeek!  Now I have to make small talk.  I decide there’s only one thing to do.  I should tell him we have a similar joke, otherwise someday in the future he will see me do my jokes and always wonder if I stole from him.  Though to be fair, if you knew me, you’d sooooooooooo know this joke is about me.  I softly say, “Hey, we have a similar joke.”  I tell him the bit.  “But you have the guy perspective, and I have the girl perspective.”  Good way to put it, right?  “I just thought I’d throw it out there, so you don’t think I ran backstage after your act, and wrote my act.”  Now that’s just funny right there.  Some comics don’t write new jokes for years, let alone do it in the back of the club right before their set.  He smiles and defers any big reaction to what I’m telling him.  Most people think women aren’t funny, so if a girl comic(whom you’ve never seen before,) comes up to you and says she has the same joke as you, you might be a little embarrassed.  Confidence is a precious thing.  It can slip away at any moment-especially as a stand up comic.

The second show begins.  The manager(who is my old pal) is hosting.  He’ll do 15 or 20 minutes off the top, before bringing me up.  I’m a little nervous.  I’ve never played this club, or this town for that matter.  Will they like me?  Do they like chick comics?  Are there any chick comics in Newfoundland?  Can I do my act without stepping on the material the last local guy did?  Ugh…so much going through my head right now.  I have another Coors Lite(don’t judge me.)  The crowd seems really good.  The host gets ready to bring me up.

“The next girl I saw the first time she ever got on stage.”  It’s true.  Amateur night in Ottawa, years ago.  Then he made some joke about me being a stripper.  I’m only half paying attention to him cuz I’m thinking about my own set.  Then he confesses I was never really a stripper.  Thank God.  I’m definitely no stripper.  Why do guys always think they have to give chick comics sassy intros?  Or talk about their looks?  It’s not about looks.  It’s about the funny.  Finally he gives me a normal intro, explaining where I’ve performed, and where I live now.  I hit the stage.

I open with a hockey joke.  I’m not sure they’ll appreciate it, since Newfoundland doesn’t even have a hockey team, but they love it.  The crowd is deluxe… At 18 minutes, the red light flashes.  That’s how I know I have two minutes left in my set.  This is where I usually go into my bit that Mr. “I-have-the-same-joke-as-you” already did.  I have to somehow dance around it.  The crowd has loved me so far, and they loved him, so I make a reference back to him.  I figure that’s the best way to do it.  “Hey, So & So(that’s not his real name, but I’m keeping this blog semi-annonymous) was talking about ______ earlier…”  Then I go into my jokes on the topic.  It works.  It almost sounds as though I’m coming up with the jokes right off the top of my head.  Thank the F’ing Lord.  I was scared for nothing.  I do my usual closing bit and return to the line up of comics standing against the back wall.  I get hi-fives and smiles, even from Mr. “I-have-the-same-joke-as-you.”  Now I can relax and watch the headliner’s set.  That’s the best part about being “The Middle.”  Once you’re done, you can just relax, have a drink, and enjoy the main act, especially when he’s a good one.  My work for tonight is done.

And my work for the real tonight is done too.  This is my first blog ever and I fear I’ve made it too long.  Like I said, I’m bored.  And I don’t go to Halifax for my next weekend of shows until Wednesday.  I can blog about Friday and Saturday over the next couple of days.  This was fun for me.  I hope I didn’t bore you.  If I did, go read something else.  If you want to read more, I’ll be back tomorrow.

xoxo
Gossip Girl
(Just kidding-but I really do like that show)

ps I wrote this whole piece on my laptop, thinking I could just cut and paste it onto the blog site.   I was wrong.  Had to re-write the entire thing.  Ugh.