The thing about comedy is that everybody thinks they're hilarious. You're out with friends having a beer, you tell that awkward online dating story, and suddenly the whole bar loves you! So why not do it in front of a live audience of 250 people? Well, because it's terrifying!
This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of performing at The International Incident, a comedy show hosted by Anish Shah at the world famous Caroline's on Broadway. It's called The International Incident because... Well, it's a very international crowd, and by international, I mean 75% Indian. So there's that.
I wrote my set around online dating because I can shamelessly self promote my book, and talk about my awkward online dates. That's always funny right? It's even funnier when your parents in the audience too. The plan was to give them a shout out, and go on about how awkward it is to talk about your dating life in front of a room full of strangers, AND your parents. But of course, nothing ever goes according to plan.
So when they finally call my name to the stage, I jump on there like a boss and grab the mic, ready to make some funnies. I try to look at the audience and see where my friends are sitting, but I can't see a thing. The audience is sitting in the dark, and the stage lights are right in my face so I literally can't see a thing (probably for the best). I start with my opening line: "So, I wrote this book about internet dating..." and everything just went blank.
I knew I had three lines relating to my dating stories after that, but I just hit a wall. And now I had 250 hungry people staring at me - hungry for jokes, hungry for my flesh. And I've got nothing. But somehow, I opened my mouth, and some words came out, and I hear some giggles and snickers. I finish my sentence, and suddenly I remembered the second half of my set. Yippie! From then on, it was smooth sailing.
I have a ton of respect for performers, especially comedians. Because it's hard to take the stage, period. And it's even harder when you have a room full of people demanding you make them laugh. All in all, it was a great night. I got some good laughs, had a good drink, and a few people even tried to touch my butt (more on that later). And now I can say I performed stand up comedy at Caroline's!
Big thank you to Anish Shah for letting me perform, Arpita Mukherjee for the picture, and Raj Belani and Mahesh Kotagi for their comedic wisdom!