Sometimes I forget why I don’t do bringers. Because I have a soul.
One day that soul may face Judgement, and I bear not the strength to face it with nothing to show for my soul but a history of bloodsucking bringers.
Here is how my last bringer show ended: five good people, whose opinions of me I actually care about, paid about $35 each to watch me do the same material and tolerate being the butt of every comic’s intolerable crowd-work because they happened to be – with the exception of one obviously confused, middle-aged Asian man – the only people in the entire club. In other words, the club made $175 off me and me alone, and I got to watch people I like be ridiculed and forced to buy $10 beers.
My Soul. My Soul needs cleansing.
These pictures are great because it's impossible to tell that there are less people in the audience than a Mel Gibson Fan Club.
(Note: I know this show was weeks ago: I don’t churn these things out at a rate that pleases me. I would love to find a system that works, like posting a new blog every Tuesday – Thursday, or every day divisible by four, but any such method eludes me. The best I can hope for is Harry Q. yelling at me on my Facebook wall, and then subsequently liking his yelling at me to remind myself that I should get off Lobstertube and dust off the ole We Could Go On and On.)
The show was at Gotham Comedy Club on a Friday Night. Wow, a Friday-night spot at
Gotham, not bad, sport-o. Don’t get too excited; the show was a bringer that started at 6:30, which is the comedy equivalent of me telling you I fulfilled my dream of playing at Gillette Stadium and you later discovering all I did was run around the field with the other blind kids at 11am with the Patriots’ PR team and the backup place-kicker. So let’s all keep this in perspective.
I got to the show early and the place was desolate. It was my first time in the
Gotham, and I must say, it was gorgeous. It was all sleek and silver and black. Everything was a smooth and becoming plastic, like the back side of smart-phone. If BrookStone made comedy clubs instead of just alarm clocks that play ocean sounds, it would look like the Gotham Comedy Club. When I first got there I was giddy; there was definitely an I’ve-finally-made-it vibe in the room as realized I would soon be performing on this stage.
Any feelings of comedic actualization were fleeting as the show started and it became evident that the people I brought to the show to be able to perform were the only people in the audience. (I’m choosing to ignore the aforementioned bewildered Asian man, because let’s face it: if I don’t at least get some empathy for this show then it will have been an abject failure.) There were at least 10 other comics, none of whom brought anyone because apparently they didn’t have to. This probably gives them the impression that they are “above” me as comedians. Maybe so. But they weren’t better comedians. Not by a long shot. Still, I was the only one who had to ask his friends to blow almost forty dollars and a Friday afternoon to have the privilege to perform. Makes you feel like a schmuck, you know?
These pictures make it seem like the post is bigger!
Since it was just my friends and they were seated smack-dab in the front row, they were all treated to some of the worst, hackiest crowd work forty dollars can buy!
Who’s single here? Are you guys a couple? Are you freaky in the sack? Who’s smoking weed tonight? Name your top five Wrestlemanias – quick!
(What I wouldn’t have done for that last one to be true?)
A coworker of mine, Alex, who is just about the nicest person you could ever meet (she has a WALL-E bookbag for goddsakes) got the worst of the reverse heckling. I won’t even write some of the things that were said to her because I fear for my job if I printed them on the internet.
The joy on my face is not a joke.
(Photos courtesy of Amy H.)
I went on seventh. It’s hard to perform for a paying audience that consists of people you could have just invited over to your apartment and told jokes to for free. They were all such good sports, though. They laughed and smiled and were supportive and told me I needn’t feel apologetic or embarrassed when, of course, I felt both.
Afterwards, the booker/headliner of the show, who was a genuinely nice guy and a talented comedian, offered me a bringer-free guest-spot on a future show. I accepted and then came to the sudden realization that perhaps that was how all the other comics on the bill got to perform sans duped guests; they had already brought people to their own embarrassing failure and were compensated with a spot on my sinking-ship nightmare of a show. Makes sense.
Just to make myself feel a little better, I’ll use this time to thank the people who went to the show by name, didn’t complain one bit, took every thing good-naturedly, and decided to still talk to me afterwards. Amy, Aimee, Alex, Sarah and Dillon. Thank you. You are all going to Heaven, where they don’t have drink minimums and comedians who make inferences on your sexual habits based on your earrings. (Hell is loaded with both.)