Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bad Habits

Lately I have been trying to turn a new leaf in my life. As you all know, I live in a new neighborhood which means a new gym. While I was a loyal gym goer in Hell's Kitchen, I went to kickboxing twice a week and lifted or did something else in between, but would go 4-5 days without going. But I did go. And then I didnt. I had bouts where I went  A LOT.......And then I didn't. And then I did. Now I am going DAILY to my new gym whether I am running on the indoor track, weight training or both.

As for my diet, I am trying to clean that up, too. I am eating fruit instead of cookies and pretzels. And I am also trying to eat more meat. I got into a situation where I was unable to eat where I was because of the stress and chemicals being used in my apartment. So I unintentionally lost a bunch of weight. Then I got sick and got anemia. There is a such thing as "too skinny" as in, when the skinny makes you sick. I haven't gained or lost weight but have maintained which is good. I am also not skipping meals and eating JUNK later. Basically, I am becoming a healthy adult.

I am also trying to break some bad habits with my comedy. One bad habit I have grown into is the fact I talk TOO FAST onstage. It's actually an easy bad habit to pick up in NYC. When you do short set after short set because marathon comedy shows aka 10000000000 comedians and HOURS of show are the norm, you only have so many minutes onstage and the audience is sometimes TIRED when you get up. So you get used to shooting jokes at them like bullets, because you have to. Forget building a relationship with them. It's like a one night stand on steroids.

Now that I am being called upon to headline, or will be in the future, I know this bad habit has become a problem. And it's one that makes longer sets difficult. I didn't even know I was doing it until a few weeks ago when I did a gig and this guy worked with me for the better part of 4 hours on my act. Basically, he changed the way I looked at and did comedy. He says to me, "You are running right to the punchline. Talk to us. Stop running in such a hurry to the punchline!"

My mentor said it best. A short set is like a quickie and a long set like a relationship love making session where you care. You need to build a relationship with them. It's Actor 101......what's your relationship. So much goes out the window when you are FIRING JOKES LIKE BULLETS. It kind of sucks to know I do it, because thats part of breaking a habit. But it sucks damnit!

My thing now is I am trying to SLOW DOWN AND BUILD A RELATIONSHIP with my people instead of GOING FOR THE LAUGH and the few times I have been able to do it my audience reactions have been BETTER.

Another bad habit has been my puppet work. Because I have been into FIRING THE JOKES my puppet work has gotten SLOPPY. So now I am filming my practice sessions and working with a stool. It's the only way I can see my bad habits live and in color and man are they UUUUUGGGGGGLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

I have been getting up  A LOT lately. Another habit I am shaking is thinking open mics are beneath me. As someone who has been on TV they kind of are, but they are also a safe place to perfect new stuff, and I am becoming grateful for them.

First mic I did okay. Second one my new stuff KILLED IT DEAD. Third mic it did okay, one laugh break but when I figured the room was dead and fuck it, I started to move Donald J Tramp's head to okay the laughter and it worked. It was a mini breakthrough, because I am becoming more relaxed.

Last night I was dead last with my new stuff and was feeling under the weather. Almost just was like fuck it, dont wanna go up. But then I went up and got no reaction at first. Being last with a puppet is damn hard sometimes. Finally Donald and I just started to riff and thats when the laughter started. I was relaxed, loose, free, and wasnt doing any of the new stuff.

I cursed myself the entire trip home, but then I realized something. The jokes were there and would always be there. I knew my routine, and the purpose of an open mic was to PLAY and HAVE FUN. I was having fun onstage and I was riffing. But most importantly I was HAVING A CONVERSATION AND RELATIONSHIP WITH MY AUDIENCE. The jokes would always be there. I was fixing a bad habit. This was the difference between a tortured lifetime as an envious middler and a headliner.

I was fixing a bad habit!!!!!!!

Anyway, Donald J. Tramp and I are going to the debates tomorrow with our posse. Stay tuned.


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