Little Reid, Big City #4
by Reid Faylor
I came back last Monday from a trip to Fort Wayne (Indiana!), this time returning with possessions (yes!) and my parents in tow. We spent a day fixing up the apartment, building shelves, hanging window blinds and such, and decided to see the Punchline Magazine 5th anniversary show. While taking the subway out to Comix, my parents commented and how adapted I was already –I could use the metro card with ease, find my way around, ignore the homeless like they weren’t even people (well, I mean … ). I suppose I hadn’t really thought of it, but I do indeed feel comfortable here –it’s not foreign or alien, it’s normal.
Being away from the scene for even a week was strange. It took a bit to get back into the flow, to start getting to the mics on time and jump back into the schedule. When I saw some of the other comics, they had thought I had gone back permanently. After a week. Or maybe it was just one comic. Who I hadn’t seen in a few weeks. But that gives you an idea of the commitment of the comedians here: even a week off is equivalent to disappearing.
I’ve been talking to a lot of comics who also recently made the Ohio-New York transition, and it keeps coming up: it’s strange performing for only comics. A lot of people question whether it’s even worth it, if progress can be made without an audience. On one hand, I haven’t really polished a lot of new material, mostly from the incapability to get a good “reid” (ha! That’s my name) on a joke, getting only worn and bitter comedian reactions. Yet, conversely, all the stage time has gotten me a lot more comfortable, and I’m beginning to find more and more how I like to interact on stage –my mannerisms, method of speaking, timing. Also, it takes going through shows like this to get to booked shows with real audience members, so it’s not all this way. It’s a process. It can definitely bruise the ego, but I feel like progress is being made, if nothing more than getting comfortable with the occasional silence.
Highlight of the week: performing at a youth hostel for drunk, vociferous, and belligerent Canadians, and informing one such Canuck with a lip-ful of Skoal and sunglasses that his real problem was that “your mother threw away the baby and raised the afterbirth.” It’s actually a compliment, as I explained, because if he were a person –he’d be a terrible person. But for a living sack of uterus blood and placenta –not too bad.
Ah. Truly, there are reasons to keep with this.
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