Monday night I joined 13 other people at The Improv Orlando to start an 8-week class on stand-up comedy. I’ve been searching for a way to push some boundaries and step out of my comfort zone, and comedy seemed to be the perfect choice. Many of my posts are written in such a way that you can almost see them being bits, and the few times I’ve stood in front of a crowd, I’ve succeeded in making them laugh.
The obstacle in my way is that I’m terrified of failing, and since every comedian says that you can’t succeed without bombing, it’s hard for me to consider doing stand-up. I know that I need to fail and be okay with it if I’m actually going to succeed. That’s probably why I don’t hit on girls in bars, as well.
As an anal-retentive person, I arrived 30 minutes early for the class and went to a bar next door to wait. I thought having a drink before might calm me down a little, since I was extremely nervous.
The bartender brought me my drink (Grey Goose and cranberry), and as I was reaching for it, my phone buzzed, which startled me, and my hand clipped the edge of the cup, knocking the entire contents of my drink directly onto my crotch.
I grabbed handfuls of cocktail napkins and immediately started wiping down my soaking wet crotch. I didn’t think I had any hope of drying it completely but thought if I could just improve it from “Pissed Himself” to “Didn’t shake enough before he zipped up”, I could survive.
I’m sure to any guests who arrived at the restaurant, it appeared that there was a man sitting at the far side of the bar who was furiously masturbating with both hands while grimacing and concentrating, but I was determined not to walk into my first class looking like that kid from Billy Madison. I received a second drink gratis (thank you hot bartender at Adobe Gila’s!) and since I now only had fifteen minutes before class started, I drank it quickly while monitoring the crotch-stain situation.
Satisfied that it was dry enough that you couldn’t tell unless you licked my crotch and tasted the cranberry, I headed over to class, where we spent an hour doing exercises and learning about the basics of stand-up comedy. The class meets every Monday for two hours and culminates in a live show. It’s a diverse group of people – black and white, women and men, happily unemployed and unhappily employed, pot-smoking and law-abiding, young and not-quite-old. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better over the next two months, and finally facing my fears.