Hello, my name is Chloe, I am 18 years old, and I am currently going to film school and majoring in screenwriting. Yes, yes, I know, it does not seem like a very practical or fruitful career choice; however, it is what I want to do. Specifically, I would like to be a comedy writer for television. I have been interested in comedy my whole life because making people (or even just myself) laugh is the best way for me to deal with the harsh realities of life.
I did stand-up a few times in high school, but I would not say I am comfortable in the field. In order to pursue this interest, I decided to join the Steamhouse Comedy Club on campus to learn more about writing and performing stand-up while also gaining experience that can translate into my future career. Anyways… Let me tell you about the process of my first stand-up comedy performance in college!
I am the type of person who is incapable of doing something until the very last second. I am working on it, but I have yet to overcome this tragic flaw. So, unfortunately, my audition for my stand-up was on a Tuesday night at 9:00 and I did not start writing my set until Tuesday evening at around 6:00. Luckily, I had a vague outline in my head of what I wanted to do. I took my notebook and went to the bluff and frantically wrote and memorized my standup just in time for my audition.
Surprisingly, my audition went pretty well! I was very nervous, but I am generally a pretty nervous person, so it was not too bad. Luckily, I have pretty bad vision, so it was easy for me to ignore the fact that people were watching me (because I couldn’t see them). I performed my set and before I knew it I got an email saying I was in the show!
My audition was on Tuesday night, I found out I was in the show on Wednesday night, and the performance was on Thursday night. I was so nervous for the show, especially given the tension caused by this quick turnaround. The stand-up portion of the show was not until the end of the show, so I just blacked out and sat there nervously waiting for my turn to go up like this:
Thankfully I was the first to go up for the stand-up portion of the show. I went up and told my jokes, and all went well until I was unfortunately heckled towards the end of my set :( I had a punchline that only worked in conjunction with a premise I described, but someone heckled me between the premise and the punchline, so the punchline didn’t land. I had never considered what I would do if I were heckled or otherwise interrupted while on stage, and although it really sucked at the time, I am now grateful to have had that experience so I can have a better plan for my future performances.
If you are interested in doing stand-up comedy but you are scared, you should just try it! Everyone gets nervous before doing comedy, especially when they are just starting out. And if you try it and end up not liking it, then that is okay, too! You will never know until you try.
The Steamhouse Comedy Club is an LMU comedy teaching/practicing club that meets in St. Roberts Hall room 109 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-11:00 PM. Even though it has only been a few months, this club has helped me immensely in learning about thinking quickly and comedically and being able to translate my ideas of what I think is funny into things that other people will also find funny.