Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bomb Shelter Fun

Ray Combs warned me that the Village Lantern had become a death march, its anarchic fire extinguished. I didn't believe him until I experienced it myself. Same comics, same room, much different atmosphere. Somber. Defeated. A decaying stench in the air. Nearly every act crawled onto the stage, expecting to bomb. And most did. Amateur night in a German bunker.

For some reason, this energized me. I couldn't wait to get on stage. Not that I expected big laughs, or any laughs for that matter. It was a chance to confront old demons, to rip through the deadness and make my mark, whatever that is. I'm still experimenting with style and tone. My material lurches from satire to autobiographical rants. I haven't found the right mix, but I'm getting there.

Part of the problem, which you'll see below, is my combativeness. When I was a kid, stand up beat the shit out of me, and I lacked the arsenal and nerve to resist. So I quit. This time around -- early on, anyway -- I'm looking to hit it before it hits me. This is wrong. There is no need to come out swinging. The next phase in July will be different.

Here's my Lantern set, again mostly improvised. The fascism reference is aimed at a young comic who misused it earlier. Otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it. The rest explains itself, clenched fists and all.