I suck and that’s a good time. A lot of comedians will disagree. You always want to do your best whether it is at an open mic, a showcase, a competition, or at a benefit, but how does one get to that? Telling jokes is a process of trial and error, more on the error side and everyone will go through a period of time where they just suck. No jokes will work, you can’t seem to write the right ending to that premise, and no tags are coming to mind.
You just….suck. But that’s OK.
A lot of comics will go through this period and become depressed over their lack of progression, some depressed on top of their already present depression, and feel like there is the end of their career, they’ve hit that brick wall.
But what’s the point of a brick wall? To separate those who want to take the easy route and those who want it so bad that they will look for any way around that brick wall.
It’s OK to suck.
Just like I stated in my previous post, when you suck or bomb, that’s not the point where you should be demotivated and go drink alone in a corner. That is when a goal is presented to you and it is your choice to pursue it. Before you were just writing new material and reworking old material to make it perfect…but for what? Think of it this way. You are in high school and work a crap cashier job somewhere. You make ok money, enough so you can go to the movies when you want and buy pizza with your friends when you all go out on the weekends, not really saving. But then you get your license and want a car. Now that crap job has meaning because all this hard work is actually going towards something. That is what happens you bomb or suck one night. You have now been presented with a goal to work towards. Maybe you need reorganize your jokes, maybe those sexual jokes don’t work with an older crowd, and maybe you need more energy because you were first. Something can be taken away from that experience and worked towards.
Sucking may be helpful.
With my showcase I like to put people in positions that they normally would not do. If i see you do multiple shows where you are only doing 10 to 15 minute sets, I will put you in a 20 minute headliner spot for two reasons: 1) sometimes these people need that room to breathe. That 10 to 15 minute playpen is nice, they have gotten comfortable with it and made good use to it, and now I have added an addition to that playpen. You may have possibly outgrown it. I don’t think you should be so amazing in 10 to 15 minutes and if you are, you need more time, because eventually it comes to the point where you want to do this joke about grocery stores and this other bit about television shows and both are really killer bits but you can’t because you don’t have time. You begin to sub out jokes for other jokes, possibly newer jokes, because you just don’t have time. I am giving you that time and opportunity to do both.
And 2) As terrible as this may sound, I hope you fail. Why? Because you now see where you stand. Maybe 20 minutes is too long, maybe you are still getting comfortable with 15 minutes, maybe you are a perfect headliner personality wise and your material fits perfectly but don’t have enough material to fill the time without scraping the bottom of the barrel that is your notebook to find those so-so jokes that work rarely but you add them because you need time fillers. Either way you now know that you can headline, but you just need to work towards more material and trim the fat of your set. You have an end goal and why?
Because you sucked