Monday, May 23, 2011

One Joke, Five Minutes of Criticism

This is the first time something like this has ever happened to me. I knew this was going to happen one day. As a comedian, you are bound to meet someone who doesn't like any of your jokes. But nothing in the world prepared me for what was going to happen a few weeks ago.

I was scheduled to perform at this night club for the first time. I was so excited about it. I wrote down some new material that I just couldn't wait to start performing. It's rare for an open mic place to let people perform stand up comedy. Lately, it's been all singer and poets. But I was determined to do this. I told them that if I could perform standup over there, I will invite all of my friends and rock the audience.

With confidence, they accepted my offer and I went back home to prepare for my performance.

The night finally arrived and I was very happy to hit the stage. Before everything was going on, I ran into this individual. Let's call him David. David knew me years ago when I started performing with this program I was a part of when I awas back in high school. I hardly remembered him, but he remembered me because of one thing. My name, of course.

He was scheduled to perform that very night as well. He is a singer. When I told him I was performing stand up comedy, he told me to give him a joke. Even till this day, I can't just give you a one liner joke. I am more of a storyteller. The jokes came as the story goes on. But he wanted a one liner. So I came up with this one joke that I knew was going to suck.

I gave it to him and out came the fireworks. For the next five minutes, I was hearing nothing but bad stuff about this joke. He didn't take it personally, but he sure had a perspective on it. I was built with tough skin. So i was just taking the blows from this guy. It was crazy to me. How in the world can one joke be worth a full five minutes of criticism?

I walked away from him for the rest of the night. Everything was blank to me. I didn't know what I did for the rest of the night.

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