The Egg Roll Cafe is a funky little spot tucked into the area of U. Mass. Lowell’s North Campus. Every other Friday, they host an open mic night. I’ve gone several times to see friends who are bona fide musicians strut their musical stuff. For no other reason than to experience it, I decided to give stand-up comedy a whirl.
The good news is, I came out alive. The bad news is that comedy is Wicked Hahd. For a musician, it’s relatively easy. You sing a song and everyone sits respectfully quiet, listening. At the end, they applaud. Even if you stink. Because people are generally polite and appreciate the effort. I suppose there are times when people don’t applaud, they may even boo, but you’d have to aggressively offend people to get that kind of response, especially at a place as laid back as the Egg Roll. (From my experience, the folks at the Egg Roll are not easily offended.)
With comedy, however, the feedback is painfully immediate and conspicuous. They don’t laugh, you stink. There is no “respectfully quiet” with comedy. There is no polite laughter. Quiet is torture. And the “stand-up” part makes it even more agonizing. You’re on display. There is no escape. They really should call it “twisting in the wind” comedy.
The truth is, it could have gone worse – a lot worse. In fact, I saw how bad it could have been. I got a few mild laughs. It was very educational to learn what people think is funny and what falls as flat as roadkill.
They tell me that there is a video of my act on Facebook. I’ll pass, thank you very much. I’ll stick with watching people who do it right, like Brian Regan. His Pop-Tarts bit is one of the funniest things I have ever heard. I’ve always thought he was brilliant, but now I have a new appreciation for his skills. (Ironically, Brian Regan was performing in MA tonight. I think he outdrew me.)