Countdown to B-Day

I haven’t been very regular with these blogs. Bouts of low responses, mixed with lack of motivation and the general drop in the number of mics I’ve been hitting, have contributed to my unfelt absence. Also, a very dear friend gave me some interesting feedback on my previous post that went like, “Yeh kya natak laga ke rakha hain blog vog ka?” So, I spent a day in contemplation of its continuation. But, here I am. Still venting out my inner insecurity under the pretext of crude comedy escapades. If I would’ve followed everything my friends ever told me, I would’ve never become a comic.

It’s been over 4 months since I moved to New York. Woah. You know sometimes you mention the amount of time and then realize that it’s passed way to quickly to be true? That just happened. Yeah, so coming back. That’s roughly 150 days and I honestly have only 15 minutes of material till now. I need to walk down a marketplace bare naked with someone shouting SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! And that still won’t do justice to how slow I am going .

However, in the last one week I’ve put on horse blinkers to block thoughts of personal incompetency, so I can spend time on honing my strongest 5 minutes and making them super solid. The reason being that I get carried away with all the new bits I write and hit mics to try their worth, instead of perfecting bits that are seeming to do well. Also, this Saturday I’m up at the Broadway Comedy Club for their Industry Show.

An industry show, from what I’ve heard is a better open mic where people actually turn up and listen to what you have to say. The club owner and programmers personally sit to evaluate and give you feedback and if you manage to win the mic, you earn a residency at the Broadway Club for a month. That’s around 5-6 bookings. Which according to New York standards is SEX ON THE BEACH. Each performer gets 5 minutes and needs to bring at least 7 people with them to add to the crowd. Each audience ticket is 20 dollars with a compulsory two drink minimum inside. That totals up to approximately 40 dollars (2500 rupees). So, a big challenge that I overcame way easily than I expected was to convince 7 friends to agree to come. God bless them good people. I lured them into this by calling it an investment and promised that if I ever become a famous comic who’ll sell out auditorium shows. They’ll get first row VIP tickets free for as long as they want. I’m certain they’ve already put this under bad debts.

So, I hit three open mics on the weekend. First at The PIT Loft (which is becoming one of my favorite rooms), second at Niagara (where I was the 32nd comic to perform) and the third at Lovecraft (a micshop in East Village which is run by a producer called Ashlee who is sweet enough to give you candies at the end of the show ). I intern during the week at an ad agency and have classes twice a week, so squeezing out time becomes slightly tough. That said, I have to hit as many late night mics I can this week to keep practicing my stuff.

Comedy if you look at it objectively is brutal at every stage. This time my challenge is to make the most of the 5 minutes I’m getting, to win a mic that really matters. Soon, it’ll be to hold an audience for 60-90 minutes, making sure they’re constantly stimulated to keep agreeing with my twisted life perspectives. I’ll never be able to tell which one of the two is easier. I guess neither. In order to keep myself motivated and make the art as innate as I can, I have started reading ‘American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story’. It’s truly amazing to learn what a genius Hicks was and how superhuman his approach not only to comedy but life was. I strongly recommend it.

That’s where I am. Stuck in between a time consuming internship, inconsistent mics and an important show up this weekend. I don’t how it’ll go but the countdown to B-Day very excruciatingly reminds me of every time that I missed a mic and chose to prioritize something else. Funny how we become our own parents. I’ll keep you’ll posted on how this one goes and if any good comes off it. In all honesty, I’m more excited to play a full house than the thought of winning. I hope I don’t skip a heartbeat seeing 200 people in a crowd after what seems another lifetime.


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