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Homework, Clubwork, Brainwork

The important shows are always different. A little money used to be important.  Then big money became  the most important show on my calendar. Then it got to be the big opportunity. These days, the important performances are personal. Like the first time back at a home town comedy club or a speech at my daughter’s wedding.

I’m preparing for an important show later this month. (Details below!)  A gut-clenching, nerve-racking, nail-biting important show…in my hometown. The audience will include people I attended school with, played ball with, and practiced my fledgling funny bits on.

Those people who “knew me when” are going to spend their hard-earned money to see perform. I want to make sure I’ve come a long way—in the right direction—since my wise-cracking high school days. That means I’ve been writing and rehearsing a lot of new material in the last few months to prepare.

Ironically, my cruise ship and corporate gigs don’t really allow for workshopping new material. I can squeeze in a new joke or a different twist to a stage-ready set, but if I really want to work out new material, I need to hit open mics. And with less that a week until my hometown show, I needed to Hopmonk Tavern’s open mic last night.

That’s me in the photos with my notes in hand. (Let the younger comics read from their fancy smartphones. I prefer old-school paper and pen.) Thanks a million to the Sebastopol audience for their laughter which will help me fine-tune the material my chums will hear next week. Special thanks to hosts Jon Lehre and Jefferson Mars for making the mic work for all the comedians who take the stage.

I gained a bit of confidence last night which calmed down the butterflies in my stomach. In comedy, there’s a crazy balance of writing and performing, and of ego and anxiety. Sometimes all you need to carry the day (or night) is just believing you can do it.

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If you’ll be near St. Helena or Santa Rosa, California on January 25 and 26, get tickets here. If you missed my radio interview on The Grind, give it a listen!