Thursday, January 8, 2009

Comic-in-residence: Day four

Day four: Wednesday, January 7, 2008

It was Scott's big 4-0, so I was planning to do my Scott jokes, Husqvarna and all the rest. My economic stimulus package joke is a real crowd favorite, and it's partially about him, so I planned to do that as well. I wrote a few new jokes about career separates. I keep getting mixed results with those jokes, so I've been tweaking them and tweaking them.

If you've been to a Studio show more than once, you may have noticed a pattern, which is that the music directly before the show is the same every time. Rick starts playing a mix of popular tunes as soon as the doors open, but then right before the show, he plays Edwin Starr's "War" and then the beginning strains of "Dirty Water" and then the show is on.

Last night, halfway through "War", Rick Jenkins comes up to me all casual and friendly-like and asks, "Hey, you wanna host tonight?"

He's a sly debbil, that Rick Jenkins. He surely knew he was going to ask me to host long before he actually asked me, but he asked me to host about one minute before I was going to have to host. I think it was a test.

And I think I passed. I ended up doing most of my current strongest jokes, sprinkled in a few new ones, and overall had a great time. I think one of my biggest anxieties while I was actually in the middle of it is that I had to introduce people I didn't know, and I couldn't figure out who they were to talk with them before actually introducing them. It worked out okay, though. I don't think I mangled any names or gave anyone too crappy an intro.

We hung out at the bar on the first floor after the show was over and talked to Rick and the gang. It seems Rick's biggest criticism of my style is that I back off my jokes when it seems the audience isn't responding. He reminded me that sometimes an audience is amused but not laughing and when I start backing off it confuses them because they didn't notice that anything was the matter. He said that when you're doing a big show and 100 people say, "Ha!" it sounds much louder than a smaller show and 12 people saying "Ha!", but the 12 people aren't enjoying the joke any less.

Good point. I knew this month-long project would turn me into a better comic just by virtue of getting up and performing every single night. I think Rick's criticism, however, may be even more valuable. I hope I can break myself of the backing-off habit.

More later.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoying this series... the technical/tradecraft stuff about your comedy is fascinating!

January 8, 2009 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Myszkowski said...

Thanks, Damien. I kind of feel like I need to document what I'm doing right now. When I'm an old lady, I'm going to look back on this month with lots of fondness.

January 9, 2009 at 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it really does seem like a very valuable experience, and you are only five days into it! I think by the end of the month you should be ready for your HBO special.


January 9, 2009 at 11:06 AM  

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