LITTLE REID, BIG CITY
What I left behind: a nurturing comedy scene, almost all of my friends, a rather awesome girlfriend, a good job, cheaper rent, family, and a local burger which I feel to be very good. What have I gained –I guess that’s what this blog is about. New York can make or break a comedian, though I’m beginning to expect the process of making is oddly similar to a long series of breakings –not of bones, but of soft supple emotions.
A week and a half in, after easily (yeah!) finding a nice apartment (yeah!) and a job (yeah?), I’ve been able to perform a few times and watch a few other shows. Though some stigmas have broken down (everyone is better here, it’s hard to meet people, you always have to pay to perform), right now I’m beginning to realize the comforts I’ve left behind. I had gotten used to a safety net, to people who were familiar with and understood my sense of humor as a given, to a club that would book me, and to open mics that, likely because we had so few of them, had actual audience members. It’s strange being a nobody, to having to re-convince people I’m funny –it can make one seriously question their abilities, for example: me. For so little time in, I’ve already had one serious late night purge of “No! This is all bad! I need to start over!” followed by a sobering morning of “Well, this dick joke still seems good.” Following just my second show, which I admittedly bombed, I was advised by the emcee, “Hey, Failure, if this is the kinda shit you’re going to be doing out here, let me tell you right now, you can go right back to Cincinnati” –only to have the same guy buy me a beer, talk to me about comedy all night and train back with me to Queens. We’re now Facebook friends.
New York is friendly is in a strange way.
As hard as this first two weeks have been, it’s good to feel myself be truly challenged. This is hard, but it’s giving me something to work for and better insight into how I can improve. New York may be rough and the scene unfamiliar, but with even the briefest of introductions, I’m realizing just how much some of the comedians here really love comedy.
Next week: More comedy, less folk.