LITTLE REID, BIG CITY #11
By Reid Faylor
You’ve returned to me! How glad I am to see you back! Truly, if you love something, set it free, and if it returns –as you did– then it was meant to be. Tell me, Reiders, did you know our fates were spun together? Did you know that this moment was written on our hearts?
I love you.
Happenings! Last week I performed that 20 minute set I was booked for (discussed in the last blog post) and ended up headlining the show, having one of the best sets of the night. It was great to do so much time, especially as a good feature set has been my goal now for a while. Before I came out to New York, I had felt I was getting ready to start featuring –I had the time, I liked the jokes, it had been hinted at by the owner of my home club. But there’s a big difference between being able to do a feature set and doing one you would be proud of. It’s no longer that I simply have enough jokes that I could string together for 25 minutes. From constant performing and writing and revising I now have a series of polished bits that get consistent reactions, stand out, and are fun to do. Of course I still need to get used to that amount of time, learn how to use it properly and get more comfortable in it, but I now feel my material is where it should be for that kind of set.
I feel like I’m getting closer to finding my voice. I know the kind of jokes I like to do, and it’s not a small specific kind –I constantly use Jack Handy of “deep thoughts” fame to explain. In his essays and writings, he covers a wide variety of topics, a wide variety of formats –rarely does he reuse material or beat the same idea or kind of joke to death. Rather, Jack Handy has perfected a brand of humor. He has a point of view, a persona, a series of subject matters and particular way of phrasing things so that as diverse as his jokes may be, they have a unique Jack Handy feel to them that’s in some ways as hard to pinpoint as it is easy to instantly recognize. That’s my big goal: I want not just a character on stage, a gimmick or a demographic to call my own, I want an entire brand of humor. I’m not there yet, I may never fully be, but now more than ever I can sense that my steps are in the right direction. I have a new found certainty in my writing, I’m not just writing jokes, I’m really writing “Reid jokes.” Or maybe I’m just arrogant.
Finally, highlight of the (last two) week(s): I did an open mic a Friday or two ago, in a strange Asian-urban performance venue. Somehow, between the five minute set of the guy before me and my set, the hosts managed to spend 45 minutes introducing other people from the bar, including a fight choreographer/martial artist who spent twenty minutes sharing karate stories, illustrating a round house kick, sparring with his wife, and most notably chopping a cucumber in half on my stomach with a sword. I’m not sure what I learned from this. I didn’t even learn “don’t do that again,” because it got a really good reaction when after he left I came on stage to do my set. I’m afraid I now I associate “threatening my own life” with “doing a good job!” Hooray?