Here I am tonight performing at Oasis Pub, and I’m the bullet which means that I am first up after the host so I’m basically taking on the audience at the beginning when they’re barely warmed up, but while some would consider that a hard task to do, I don’t mind because the one thing I hate about doing comedy is waiting for my turn at the mic. Sometimes at shows they insert other acts who show up into the mix so you’re waiting even longer, or sometimes the comic onstage has no idea of time and they go over their set and for some reason that leads other comics to believe there’s no time limit so they also go over and you’re just waiting and waiting and waiting. God how I hate that.
For me tonight, there’s another reason why I don’t have an issue going first, and that is that I’m completely exhausted. Some background on that; I work a job beyond my comedy work, and it’s shift work, so on Monday night I finished at around 11:30 p.m. and went home and sometimes I am so tired I go right to sleep, but tonight I was awake as I had Tuesday off and wasn’t needed to return to work until Thursday, so my body had no impetus to sleep and by 5 a.m. I was still awake when I got a phone call from my Boss asking me to take his shift as he wasn’t well, so two hours later I’m at work and facing another 8 hours of work. Lucky for me the fellow who was coming in the afternoon is looking for work and so I split my time with him, and he took the last four hours and I got to go home.
But, I also have another job which is voice work, and to get a job there I have to audition at a studio and show them what I can do, and I was booked for 3:30 p.m. and headed in to the studio and that was after a two hour nap, then headed back home from the studio, napped another 90 minutes and then got ready for the show at Oasis. So going first was a definite blessing, and sadly necessary because 5 acts into the night I was falling asleep and had to leave, not because of the acts but because I’m stubbornly sitting there and trying to stay awake when I should be in bed. And is that bad? Yes, because I’ve done it before, and it was terrible.
Years and years ago, before I’d even done stand up on a comedy stage, I was given the opportunity to come watch a show at Yuk’s in Mississauga back when they were on Dundas St. My friend from College, Rothaford Gray was a bouncer there and sometimes he was able to get a guest spot and perform on stage and I’d helped him with some material I wrote that I thought he could use. Back then, that was what I wanted to do, I didn’t want to perform, I’d tried it at a talent show in High School and completely failed. It was so bad someone in the audience threw up. (granted, it could have been that they’d been drinking secretly before the show, but I prefer to think it was my material). So the idea of being a stand up wasn’t in me, but writing for Rothaford was and I got to see my jokes performed in front of a comedy club audience and they went over really well, and then I got to sit and watch the rest of the show which was awesome! If I remember correctly that was the night I got to see Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall trying out new material and finishing off with his open letter to Knowlton Nash who was the CBC’s Evening News anchor, and it was hilarious!
Rothaford told me if I wanted to I could stick around and watch the 2nd show and damn right I wanted to do that! But I didn’t realize it would more or less be the same show over again, and halfway through one of the acts I was shook awake by Rothaford who had to ask me to leave as I’d passed out asleep and I remember the look on the comedians’ face and the audience who had all turned to look at me, I’d been snoring through his act and it was disrupting the show. I sheepishly said as I was being escorted out “He’s really funny folks, I saw him earlier, I just am really tired.” And that was it. I’ve made a promise to myself to never stay long if I’m going to start falling asleep after that and I haven’t.