Raezyn’s on the Mic

My life changed last weekend! I attended a Stand-Up Comedy Seminar and my 12 classmates were privileged to behold my premier stand-up comedy performance.

The seminar was taught by comedian Joe Matarese. When he called my name, I jumped up and pranced to the center of the stage. I looked up at the microphone, looming in the stand a foot above my head.

After a moment’s consideration, I grabbed the mic and squinted through the spotlight to see the hazy outlines of my classmates.

I spoke.

Hello. This is my first time on stage.

I don’t have anything to say.

I had nothing. So I started rambling.

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I explained my desire to perform comedy because I hate my job.

I shared my enthusiasm for attending BrickCon and my appreciation for all things LEGO.

I painfully recalled how my dreams of fighting professionally were crushed the day I was beat up by a competitive boxer.

Overly specific details flew out of my mouth and were broadcast throughout the club at alarming speed. As it turns out, I reveal embarrassing information about myself whenever I am on a stage with a microphone in my hand and a spotlight in my face.

It was the smoothest set of my career. Coincidentally, it was the awkwardest, shortest, longest, suspect, winningest, most boring, roughest, intriguing, hostile, best, worst, funniest set as well.

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Perhaps in addition to my notebook, I should carry a microphone and flashlight around with me at all times. I would probably earn a friend or two with my newly discovered ability to entertain on demand. Then I could write jokes about the experience.

I may have perceived those five minutes on stage differently than anyone else in the room did. Regardless, the experience taught me that the stage is not a scary place. The mic, the cord, the lights; they are all harmless. The audience is more terrifying than the stage could ever be.

Notes After Dark

In my desperate efforts to put together a stand-up comedy routine, I have been carrying around a notebook to record every funny idea that I have. I write down everything that even remotely strikes me as amusing. At bedtime, my notebook and pen lie within arm’s reach. This is a brilliant strategy because I am most creative late at night, in between dreams.

One evening, I wrote:

Unexpected diarrhea is the best diarrhea.

Followed by:

But that’s the worst, when you look like your act.

I remember writing those comments down. I remember laughing about them. I don’t recall why. If only I’d had the presence of mind to clarify the joke. It’s been a week since I wrote them and I’m still perplexed. Trying to piece together the context of these statements is fun. Over time, I’ll hone my skills to figure out what they mean. If I ever have to solve a crime committed by my evil alter ego, I’ll be ready.

My last note of the night was:

I’m still more sober than some of you have been in years.

This tells me one thing. I am an unnecessarily mean person late at night. First of all, who am I berating here? I must have dreamt that I was an AA group leader and I showed up drunk to the meeting. This is the only scenario that makes sense to me.

If this is the case, then why did I only write that one line? I’m still more sober than some of you have been in years. Brutal. Once I start performing at open mics, I’ll have to convince the bookers to put me on stage early. After a certain time of night, I become inexplicably hateful.

Overwhelmed Maybe?

Whenever I set a goal for myself, I become obsessed. I eat, sleep, & drink it. It’s all or nothing for me.

In college when I was prepping myself to tour with the Bellydance Superstars, I spent so much time practicing my hip undulations that I failed Arabic 101. The irony was that I tried to learn the Arabic language in order to understand the lyrics of the music that I shimmied to. It didn’t work out.

When I aspired to be a boxer, I spent three hours a day at the gym. I would have gone home after the first two hours, but my trainers thought I was fat so they made me run on the treadmill. I am overweight but my husband says that I have a nice shape.

Now that I want to be a comedian, I spend every available second of my day reading about how to become a comedian. Everything I read tells me to write. A lot. Write down anything and everything. Words that I find funny. Things that are unusual. Events that are so incredibly mundane that the simple act of writing them down could be considered a joke (like my job maybe?).

This is the reason that I imposed the small goal of writing a mindless ramble every day. Considering the amount of thoughts that I have on a daily basis, it surprises me how difficult this task is. It’s 8:30 PM and I stare down at a blank sheet of paper. My iPad, rather. In a way, I am experiencing writer’s block.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about. Oh, there’s plenty, perhaps too much. So much. I’m overwhelmed. Everything hangs on the line with this post. All of my hopes and dreams could be realized, or crushed, in 333 words. Where do I begin? So many ideas… I don’t know what to write about first, so I’ll just keep reading. Just so that I’m doing something.

But who ever became famous by reading?

R.I.P. Dearly Missed

It began like any other Tuesday, but ended as the most devastating day of the week.

I was at work, finishing off the last spoonful of oatmeal from my trusty coffee mug. This was no ordinary coffee mug. My employer had graciously bestowed it upon me as a gift during my first week on the job. Since then, it has served me well as a reliable vessel for hot water, tea, soup, and the occasional serving of breakfast cereal.

I was walking back from the kitchen, freshly washed mug in hand. At my desk, I shook the mug to remove the lingering droplets of water, thoughts distracted by my next task. Suddenly, the mug slipped from my hand. My mouth silently formed a horrified “NO” as I watched my friend fall. A loud “DAMMIT!” erupted through the office as white ceramic scattered across the floor. I cried.

I had lost everything in a moment of carelessness. I paused and glanced around at my office mates, ready to apologize for my momentary indiscretion. No one looked up to witness the commotion. Phone conversations continued uninterrupted. I heard the casual typing of a nearby keyboard. Nobody cared.

I must be invisible. Invisible and mute. Feeling a huge wave of heartbreak and no one available to comfort me. People working all around me but I am alone in my grief.

I somberly knelt to scoop up the fragments of my fallen comrade. ‘Why me?’ I thought, ‘Why us?’ Our time together was abruptly cut short months after it began.

I slowly dropped the ceramic into the trashcan as I said my last goodbye.

Rest in pieces, little one.

Protect Paul Ryan!

Early this morning I was startled awake by an emergency siren.

I leapt out of bed, my heart pounding, yelling “Paul Ryan! Protect Paul Ryan!”

I frantically looked around. It was dark. I couldn’t see anything. I ran across the room to turn on the light as the siren blared.

I was alone. The guards must have already taken him to safety.

Suddenly, I realized that I was in my bedroom. My alarm clock was ringing, not an emergency siren. It was 6:00 AM and I had to get ready for work.

What the hell was I dreaming about?

Paul Ryan

TPM