You’re funny as fuck my big sister tells me. That is glowing endorsement especially from someone who seems to find most of the things I do annoying. But aren’t a lot of funny people annoying? Aren’t funny people chasing the laughs because of a gaping hole in their self- esteem? Or are these just the cliques attached to comedians?
Professional comedians need to be, resilient enough to take the risk of not being liked by audiences, tough enough to take on that drunk heckler, sensitive enough to to cultivate ideas, organised enough to write a routine and brave enough to perform under pressure. That is a lot of competing needs to juggle and the risk that they’ll drop one or all of their comedy balls (so to speak) in front of an audience.
While I enjoy being funny and making people laugh does that mean I am cut out for stand up? I have never tried it, so I have signed up for ‘Beat the Frog’, an open Mic night at Manchester’s famous comedy club, Frog and Bucket. I was signed up for May but then Corona hit and all joyful, scary, thrilling activity is suspended. The scariest thing that has happened to me so far is an old lady came within three feet of me and a man in a car sneezed with his window open as I walked past.
Next up is finding your comedy ‘style’ well I’d say my humour is very dry, sarcastic you might say, bordering on rude. Of course, another bit of received wisdom about comedy is that sarcasm is the lowest form of humour and while I tend to believe that; I do think something genuinely funny can grow from the seeds of sarcasm.
Also, what is the writing process? I love writing but generally about tangible things like, music where the challenge of cataloguing my thoughts about a thing doesn’t feel hard. But writing for performance that HAS to be funny? Committing words to paper which will then be recreated on stage and open for scrutiny? That certainly raises the stakes. The lingering doubt of: is this actually funny seems to linger around my laptop disrupting my flow. Whether my reviews are liked is entirely subjective but it seems far more achievable.
That is why a second opinion from someone who knows, someone who has stood at the coal face of comedy and brought their humour to an audience would be really beneficial. I fancy myself as funny in fact, I know I am. But being funny in the comfort of my corona pit is one thing, being a funny stand- up is another.