Nine is the number of completion...
Before I set off on my travels in June I did one more stand up show at M-Bar in Hollywood. This was my ninth time being up on stage doing stand up...ever. I know, I know.
Why am I not dedicating more time to it? Why am I not hitting the clubs every night, working jokes every night, meeting new comics and trying to pack the houses every night?
Well...a few reasons, or excuses to be honest. First, last winter/spring was busy and great, and it's not like you can afford to make mistakes in acting auditions. EVER. I needed to commit the time to acting first.
Secondly, I don't like doing the same set over and over again. I like coming up with new material, so at least half my set is new each time; but, this means longer time in between shows...for now.
And the process of the open mic, where comics fine tune their set, feels like rehearsing in front of an audience; which, for someone who is trained as an actor, is weird and very vulnerable.
Thirdly, I have and have always had the HIGHEST respect for comics. I think they are the true seers of the world. And I don't have the guts to call myself one yet. But since nine is the number of completion, maybe my incubating stage is over...?
I think I even had another nightmare about it a couple nights before. But I'm the one creating the fear! What have I got to lose? Not being good? Who cares?! I'm just doing this for fun anyway.
So this ninth time around I didn't pace. I forced myself to be grounded and I took my time and adjusted my energy and my rhythm to the laugh-beat of the audience.
Afterwards, I felt a lot more confident in general. I think I'm getting the difference in performance mode between being an actor and doing comedy.
See! I still can't say it! I can't say 'being a comic', because I'm not. I'm still just an actor who will do anything to get on stage, even if it means trying to make people laugh.
(video courtesy of yours truly, the fabulous Josiah Black and M Bar in Hollywood)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu