On Saturday, I got paid to perform a five-minute set at a real comedy show!
How’d I land the gig? Well, I wish I could tell you that I was selected due to my rapid ascent as a comedic savant, but unfortunately that was not quite how it went down.
Prior to trying my hand at comedy, I became friends with the guy that ran the show. When I told him my plan to make standup my next six-week project, he generously offered to set me up with a spot on stage as a way to culminate the experience.
So that’s how I found myself on a show with a crew of professional comics that had opened for the likes of Joe Rogan and Theo Von in front of 40 or so folks that had bought tickets to be there.
I was so nervous going in. Sure, I’d done 31 open mics over the previous six weeks, but nothing quite like this. And to add to the pressure, I had 12 friends in attendance that I certainly did not want to embarrass myself in front of.
Spencer Cavins kicked off the show with a smooth, ten-minute set that got the crowd going. He wrapped up by saying, “Welcome to the stage, a funny up-and-comer – Ben Weiss.” With that being my cue, I walked up the steps, shook Spencer’s hand, wrestled the mic out of the mic stand, and told the audience to, “Give it up one more time for Spencer.”
Then, I dove into my set.
“I recently started going to a men’s salon for my hair.
Is anyone else disappointing their father?”
That got a couple of laughs, which was all I needed for the nerves to melt away and for me to find my confidence and flow. I spent the next five minutes telling jokes on stage to an engaged audience and soon enough I got the “it’s time to wrap up” light, told my last joke, and introduced the next comic.
Walking off stage, I felt a rush of relief. After all, it went okay! Peopled laughed! I didn’t completely embarrass myself! Whew.
I spent the next hour watching the rest of the comics perform. They were all fantastically funny; they had great jokes, smooth transitions, and carried themselves with ease on stage. It was cool to just watch the pros work.
After the show ended, my friends and I stuck around at the bar to celebrate the experience over drinks. All in all, it turned out to be a memorable night and the perfect culmination to my six-week standup comedy endeavor 😊
- I published a brief essay about Austin’s exploding comedy scene based on what I learned from talking to dozens of comics that moved to Austin over the past two years.
- My friend Joey and I “launched” our home brew – The Baby Blue Pils – at a blue-themed party that we invited friends to (which also doubled as Peyton and my housewarming). The beer was well-received and we ran out of bottles by night’s end!
- I began volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters and was matched up with my little brother. If you’ve thought about volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters and would like to learn more about the experience, let me know!
Friends Doing Cool Things
Igor Karlicic and Bhargav Maganti are the founders of Monarc – the company behind the world’s first robotic quarterback. While Monarc counts many college teams and NFL players as customers, they had yet to work with an NFL team. That all changed earlier this month when the Green Bay Packers began trialing the product. Clips of the Packers testing out The Seeker (Monarc’s flagship product) began buzzing on Twitter and soon enough, Monarc was getting press from outlets like USA Today. Now that NFL teams are starting to catch on, I’ve got a feeling it’s just a matter of time before every team in the league is using The Seeker.
🎵 Song: Overnight Celebrity by Twista – Yes, I do love this song. But I really chose it as my song of the month so I can have a reason to share with you all this video of Twista – known for being the fastest rapper in the game – performing ventriloquism. Hope you enjoy!
📝 Article: The Real Heroes Are Dead by James B. Stewart – Just an absolutely perfect piece of writing, and one that hits particularly hard around the anniversary of 9/11. It’s long but it’s beautiful and emotional and heartbreaking and I do hope you stash this one aside to read at some point over the next few weeks. While a summary doesn’t do this piece justice, here’s a snippet that I found particularly powerful:
“What’s really difficult for me is that I know he had a choice,” Susan says. “He chose to go back in there. I know he would never have left until everyone was safe, until his mission was accomplished. That was his nature. That was the man I loved. So I can understand why he went back. What I can’t understand is why I was left behind.”
Thanks for reading! As always, if anything I shared resonated with you, I’d love for you to shoot me a reply 😊
Til Next Month,