I’m funny. My friends tell me that when they laugh at me, and I often get (appropriate) laughter when I read at open mics. Note: If I’m lucky, perhaps someone I know will post confirmation of this in the comments section of this article, but for now, you’ll just have to believe me. Since I like making people laugh, I’ve been considering for some time now, trying out stand-up comedy. This past Saturday I took my first tentative step in that direction at No Shame Theatre in Carrboro, NC.
A friend of mine attended and performed at one of their shows. She told me all about the variety of acts they have. A self-description from their Facebook page: “No Shame Theatre is a forum for original stage performance work.” They are mostly theatre but they have singers, dancers, and poets perform, and when my friend attended, there was a marriage proposal on stage.
Anyone who buys a ticket can sign up to perform; although, it became apparent that there is a regular troupe of performers for this venue as several people were on stage multiple times in various groupings. First up was an improve duo; then, yours truly. More on that later. I saw three one-act plays, one funny reading, and a dramatic monologue. I don’t think they had enough performers because one half of the improve duo got on stage and just chatted about wanting to go on vacation. Most of his 5 minute slot involved soliciting ideas from the audience for great vacation spots. Hmmm…
My decision to lean into the comedy came from an idea I had about combining some of my quirky, showy poems with some shtick and some patter. Since I know the foundation material by heart, I didn’t give myself more than half an hour to practice the rest. The loosey-goosey approach seemed to work; I got plenty of laughs. The friend I mentioned above was in the audience. She’s seen me read several times and she assured me when I got back to my seat that it was my best delivery yet. Thanks K! Three of the regulars, including the host, complimented me after the show.
So, I think I’m on my way. I just need to write some more material! Got a banana peel I can borrow for inspiration?