I Think I Figured Out This Comedy Thing
4 years 4 months later…
I drove home on the 405, singing to The Beach Boys "Barbara Ann" like an asshole, alternating on the harmonies. I’ve been singing along to this song since I graduated from Maui High School (Class of '98 brah!) and I always get swept up in the happiest of memories. The Beach Boys are laughing while they’re singing, totally unprofessional. Musicians trying to be funny...when will they ever learn? There's a time and place- when you're in the studio performing, you BE PROFESSIONAL!
So what do you guys think I should write about?
I’m happy now because I hit two mics and I had fun at both of them. I feel good about what I’m doing. I occasionally THINK that and then some miserable mic sets me back a thousand years and I don’t know shit all over again. Wait, I think I just figured this- SMACK! I’m starting to get comedy now-WOMP! Last year I didn’t know dick, this year, I finally found my voi-BLOPFUK!
I’m becoming more and more relaxed, putting hundreds of hours of bombing in. Keeping my expectations low, trying to have fun and BE GOOFIER. Trust myself to be more spontaneous and not just saying the words that are over-rehearsed, trying to find new words to paint the picture. Then occasionally phoning it in, but acknowledging it, like when you stray away from meditation with distracting thoughts. Now Marty, take a deep breath and just get back on track when you can...you dildo. You can look up that classic Sesame Street clip AFTER you’ve finished your meditation. You can try to tell your joke in a fresh way at the next mic. Now visualize your dick jokes slapping across the street like a game of Frogger…
Sometimes I’m so desperate for approval of a new bit I’ll ask Claire to watch me. It’s usually pretty painful, but she’s a good gauge of what’s godawful or she’ll see the potential in a bit and try to contribute. Then I’ll shut her down real quick because who’s the comedian here, right? I really think she believes in me (because she told me she believes in me, in those words) but sometimes I just want another comic to say "Hey good joke!" preferably someone with a Laughs on Fox credit.
Years have gone by and someone I’ve admired all this time is on the same show and we finally exchange pleasantries. No ego, just hey- we were on the same show! You’re pretty great. Love what you’re doing. Now you say it back to me. SAY IT BACK MOTHERFUCKER, I JUST SUPPORTED YOUUUUUU (falls into abyss, tongues of drunken audience members wagging and stabbing my mid-section)
I see those late night, sentimental “I love comedy” posts on Facebook every once in awhile and I can feel the cynical cesspool of backlash forming a giant tidal wave, but I totally get it. I had a night like that tonight. I have nights like that at many open mics. It’s seeing friends, it’s the few people in the audience that are suddenly looking up at me, who were buried in their phones a minute ago. It’s a hug from a comic that I love, or some rapid-fire joking going on outside in a semicircle of idiots. Being around funny people. Standing alone at an open mic that I’m dreading and suddenly finding that one person- a friend. They have my back with the perfect line that triggers a bark of laugh out of me, because it’s also relief. It’s gonna be okay because I can still hang with this fantastic funny person.
I got paid for some impossible bar show. I wasn’t told in advance and when I finished my mostly silent set I got a handful of bills. Mostly pesos and a farthing, but it’s amazing to get paid when you’re not expecting it. Now if only I could win some tickets to a Flappers show! (get yer jabs in ya cynical fuck, don’t get too sentimental Feelie Dan!) One comic offered me his hotel room for the night because he wasn't going to use it. Almost made me cry- the room was a shithole!
I think our cat is out of the woods, she was sick for a week. Tune is napping in front of the heater, thanks for asking.
Claire is gently snoring in the bedroom, I assume. She doesn’t snore loud enough to penetrate TWO DOORS. Now the cat is lapping water from a jar- one of my favorite sounds in the world. Oh yeah, the Patreon thing is kind of funny. I only have 6 subscribers, but I’m enjoying making videos- they're kind of a video journal of some open mics I’ve been visiting. Video reviews, interviews, testimonials, etc. If you can’t get enough of my open mic bullshit and you’re curious it’s $2 a month to join.
We can’t end this journal entry on a plug though, that’s pathetic.
It’s nice to have a new family of comedy friends in this strange world, but then I remember my friends from acting school or the people I knew through the Geffen or Arclight. Years are going by. Marriages, break-ups, babies, health scares and the occasional tragedy that affects us all. I’ll hear a song or see a clip from some project that brings those people swirling back in my head- oh yeah, I love those people too. Maybe I should give them a call. See one of their shows. Stop by for a visit. Finally introduce myself to their ten-year old baby.
I get asked,
“How’s the comedy going?
I usually ramble for a few minutes about the intense highs and lows, desperately trying to make sense of it all and it all sounds absurd saying it out loud, like I’m lying to their face!
You HAVE TO bomb? You HAVE TO do shit mics? You HAVE TO write? Network? But what about the comedy special- everybody's getting dem stupid!
I always manage to squeeze in that one overly sincere declaration of,
I’m in this for the win.
I mean it. Sure I’ve FLIRTED with quitting in my head, but it’s usually because I’ve been on vacation and it can feel especially troubling going back to a mic after a week of no stage time. It rarely happens and when it does I feel sad. But when I've been away, it's harder to go back. I never seriously considered quitting though. I made a feature film in 2007 because I told myself I could do it. I never said My movie will get distribution. It kind of fizzled out after the completion thing.
But I can do this. I am a comedian.
Don’t forget the patreon thing. Come see a show- check my dates at Martywurst.com. I have Dvds of my short films, ask me and I’ll give you one. TheWurstTweet on Twitter. Search me on your podcast app. Find me on YouTube. Open Mic Reviews on Instagram or Marty Wurst for my regular pinups. I have old movie reviews on FirstShowing.net. My website has a Steve Buscemi voicemail. I’m in a shitty movie called Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill. I sang to Jennifer Connelly at a press junket for Blood Diamond. My Google search is pretty great. I made a movie called Salivate- you can’t find it anywhere. I have two audiobooks on Audible- Dark Sanity and Zombies in Love.
Oh and here's that Sesame Street clip.