Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stand up versus TV

Sometimes my body gets really ambitious and instead of adjusting back to New York time from California time my internal clock jumps ahead to Chinese time. How else to explain the way I stayed up all night and then threw myself off a bridge because I haven't given my husband any sons? How else to explain the way I stayed up all night and then ate fortune cookies? How else to explain the way I stayed up all night and then did a shot of lead paint? I don't know which vaguely offensive cultural stereotype to go with here. What I'm trying to say though is that I stayed up late and then slept late because I'm still on California time. Let's leave China out of this.

So last night I did stand up and it was fun and it was great to meet some fans who made the trek! I hope I was just as delightful in person as I am in... oh who am I kidding... of COURSE I was!

Um, so here's the thing. You'll hear people say that with stand up you get immediate feedback and instant gratification because you know right away if people are laughing or not and then you can base your relative self-worth on this. (I added that last part.) But see, as a veteran TV appearer-on and a sort of stand-up neophyte I can say that this is malarkey and hooey and bull honky and baloney and a barrel of lies and a cask of untruths and a spool of inaccurate thread and a sweater sewn out of yarn that tells tall-tales and, well, you get the idea.

Unless you don't? Because I could go on.

Side note: In California my friend Mikelle was bit by her mom's parrot and then Jodey started making jokes about how the bird is into MMA and ultimate cage fighting and then a little while later I was like "Yeah, it does cage-fighting!" which I suddenly realized was funny because birds are in cages but apparently that's what Jodey meant when he made that same joke minutes before.

But back to how I'm sort of funny: from the stage it's kind of difficult to hear the crowd reaction. Was I carried off the stage on the shoulders of the crowd? No. Did people laugh? Yes. Did they throw tomatoes? No. Did they throw cold cuts? I wish! And so I felt like I did well but like I was barreling through the material for the first 3/5 of the set and really only kind of was in the moment for the last 2/5. Say what you will about me, but I'm good with fractions.

And then after I sat down and felt this gaping neediness along the order of "will someone please validate my existence?" which I can tell you, is a very attractive feeling to have. I'm surprised more people weren't lining up to get sucked into my yawning desperation vortex. I mean, I concealed it, but it was there.

With TV this isn't so because you actually do get instant feedback because first of all, you can tell how you did or rather, I've been doing it long enough to pretty much know right away how I did. Then there are all sorts of producers and other people who'll tell you how you did. And then you can watch the tape and see how you did. Am I coming off as completely irritating right now?

The problem arises when you suspect you did crappy but a producer is saying you did a great job but you sense they're just being nice. That might result in a car ride home filled with doubts and What Am I Doing With My Life?s.

Which is why I really should be doing something or other for me, and not for the reaction, and yet when my life's passion is to cook sugar free meringues and share them with the world, tell me how I'm supposed to hide that light under a bushel? You know?

Oh, in other news I need to write another McSweeney's column wherein I give advice about life and career and money in a satiric fashion. Maybe I should answer some questions and boss you around? Put your financial/career/recessionary questions in the comments, won't you?


Andrew Mager said...

You're an awesome blogger. Can't wait to move your site over away from Blogger :)

Anonymous said...

the reason people hate is because they have to read pages among pages of worth less reading material and still have no useful information.Its like reading a crappy book. then being asked why you read it.

Trapp said...

I really wish I could have seen the show, but my old, senile friends wouldn't head into the city with me, and I couldn't get a date.

Remember that old "Odd Couple" where they end up in court, accused of trying to scalp a ticket? Felix for no good reason puts Oscar on the stand, and causes him to reveal under oath, how he couldn't get a date, and how hard he tried, and how many women he called, etc. I was Oscar.

Anyway, I'm sure I missed out.

My questions:

What should I invest my money in?
What if I have no money?
What if I have too much money?
What if I need a second job?
How can I get the government to bail me out?
Should I rent part of my house?
Should I take in borders?
Should I start my own business?
Should I be a kept man?

Too many?

Anonymous said...

"What your saying in this post is that Stand-up can be very frightening. It makes me wonder who is more able to control their incontinence on stage, a baby or an old man......."

Rich said...

Horrible, but timely, joke of the day that corresponds to the second paragraph of this blog post:

Q. What do you call the trip that people took to see Alison at the comedy club?

A. A star trek!

Kill me now.

anthony0358 said...

You just have to remember that you are an amazing talent!
Anyone who got to see you was darn lucky!

Toddrod said...

Honestly, Alison, the only thing I really wanted to know is what would you have done if someone heckled you? I've heard that most comics have a few comebacks at the ready if needed. Do you have anti-heckler comments? You don't seem like the kind of person that is confrontational, and I really can't picture you in that situation! I hope if the time ever comes, you are ready for action!


P.S. My financial question is, "With the economy down, is it wrong to stop dating?"

Robert said...

How does money work?