A year and a half ago, I emailed a booker asking if I could perform in his club (along with a video of my stand-up) . That booker sent me back an email explaining why I was denied the chance to perform at that particular comedy club. I wrote about it right after it happened and recently read over that post again. I figured with a year and a half more experience (that’s 300% more than I had at the time), it would be fun to see how naïve I was. It’s easy to say that I didn’t have enough experience to “get it” or that it was just me complaining about not getting a spot that led to the original blog post. That’s certainly part of the story. I’ve done stand-up long enough now though, that rejection and criticism doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I’d call myself jaded but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I’m still in the phase where I take everything as constructive (even if it really isn’t).
I could talk about the idea that I’ve learned a lesson but instead, let me be insolent! The club mentioned (though not named and also not Mottley’s) in the original post has closed down. Closed because, I assume, a lack of interest. So I win. The thing is though, it doesn’t really matter. The point of this post is not to discuss the success or failure of a particular venue. Clubs can come and go, it’s the ideals that are the real problem.
I’ve naturally become a cleaner comic since that time after I realized I didn’t like performing dirty material. I’ve discovered that certain audiences won’t laugh unless the jokes are dirty. I don’t like those audiences. It’s not even that I can’t do well in front of them but I feel like I’m cheating if I just start adding swears into my material. (A personal problem with me is also that when I swear, I find that I’m taken too seriously.)
Just because I’m cleaner doesn’t change my opinion on being dirty. I have certain axioms when it comes to performing that aren’t really rules I think people need to follow but are good guidance when I need to reorient myself. The applicable one here is, “just be funny.” Sure, ideally a stand-up routine should be original, truthful, interesting and at least a little informative but at the end of the day it needs to be funny. Dirty or not.