Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stand up and be counted

Sunday I performed at the Sunday Morning Open Mic at Donny's Skybox Theater in Chicago, in the Second City facillity. It sure brought back memories of having been there a decade ago in the training center - I'm humbled and proud to see how well my fellow classmate, Ranjit Souri, has done since then with his own hard work and cleverness. (For more cleverness by Ranjit, see @DailyJokeByRanj) Ranjit is now hosting these comedy breakfasts as an incubator for stand-up acts to refine, test, and assess their acts before a live audience of friendly fellow comedians and training center students who stopped in to see what the fuss was about. The morning starts off with a random assignment of running order via draw of numbers. Then comedians (all men, excepting YT) took the stance in sequence to give it a go.

The show ran blue, and genuine laughs were available for such an experimental venture - I expected a lot more crashing and burning but it was not bad at all. The only part I would have skipped was the occasional apologies some folks offered for their act being raw or a work in progress - I'd rather they'd have used the time to work on it than to feel guilty. I  ran my bit ("A Tour of the Midwest", named courtesy of Ranjit's co-host Glenn and enjoyed the feedback - laughs where I hadn't planned for any and a segment which I thought would be more fun that fell flat. Lesson learned: Amish jokes don't play well in the windy city. These kind of sessions for theater folk by theater folk are essential to the vitality of a theater community, and I applaud Ranjit for his efforts on this. Bravo! Certainly this isn't as exciting as a main stage Second City gig, but it was a lot of fun and very useful - and that's a good deal to get out of the investment of some time on Sunday morning.