Posts tagged ‘Open mics’

February 8, 2011

Comedy In Purgatory: Catharsis

by ANDREW KING

Writer’s block. It happens to everyone. I’m experiencing it right now. Mine is a combination of indecisiveness and lack of motivation. I can’t decide what to write about: the legendary comedy boom of the ’80s, hecklers, alt comedy, idols, maybe a personal story or two… I don’t know. Can’t decide.

I have screenplays that need work, stand up material that needs to be refined, hundreds of recordings that I can salvage a few good ideas from, and, worst of all, an abundance of free time, but I just can’t do it. I don’t think it’s laziness or procrastination, though I am a master of both. It has to be something else… but what?

It might be that I can usually rationalize the wasting of time.

When it comes to screenplays, I tell myself, “Well, I have one finished and a couple others are mostly done. That’s enough considering where I am.”

The hundreds of recordings are a little intimidating to go through. I have over 500 recordings collecting virtual dust in my computer. They contain stand-up premises, story ideas, daily memos, tag lines, rants, and it’s just a mess. I tell myself, “I’ll get more serious when I’m closer to leaving, I’m not getting out of here for at least another year, what’s the point?” Which is terrible. All I’m doing is hurting my development as a comedian by doing that.

On the other side of that, however, is, Okay, what if I did go through those recordings? What if I went through them? I probably have a good 10 minutes buried in those archives. Even if I found it all and worked it all out I’d have a hell of a time trying to find a place to test it. You can’t count on the reactions of bars and coffee house open mics, and since comedians are constantly writing new material, that newer material is going to take priority over older, unfinished ideas when you go to a comedy open mic.

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