Doing a set a Murphy’s Pub this Thursday. 217 Kearny in SF. Thanks to Red Scott for the set. Look him up. Funny guy. Red hair.
I moved back to San Francisco from Los Angeles in September, 2010. Two and a half years later, I’m still hearing this,
“Hey man, you live here?”
Truth be told, this is my fault. My gradual disappearance from the comedy scene started around May 2011. I had been on a tear since moving back; getting moved to feature at the Punch Line, doing the Bridgetown Festival, and generally just performing my ass off. Then, after a great set at The Business where I recounted my LA journey, I completely lost interest. After leaving Southern California, my attitude towards comedy was that I did it because I had something I wanted to say. I wasn’t chasing a career, just speaking my mind. After that set, I just didn’t feel like I had any stories worth telling anymore. Suddenly I hated performing. Sure, I did shows occasionally, but only ones that I was booked for and only if I was being paid. This became especially true when I started going back to school in January 2012. For the first time in ten years I was spending nights at home. I read a book. I watched movies I had always wanted to see. I spent time with my girlfriend, cooking meals and going to bars. I was pretty happy. No, scratch that, I was perfectly happy. And all the while everyone else just figured I still lived in LA.
But now I’m performing again. Why? Same reasons as before, because I want to. The specifics are different, this time around I’ve got more to prove. There are goals that I have that I won’t go into. I will say that one thing I’m looking to address is that question, “you still live here”?
I was asked that three times last night at the Punch Line. Kevin O’Shea had a great observation. I was asking him about places to grab sets. He mentioned that , “if you don’t do the shit, people forget you.” That was in between two “you still live here’s”? So I guess I’m back to doing rough rooms, performing for drunks and crackheads (this excludes the aforementioned show I’m doing for Red Scott. That show will be solid, Red is a good man. Red hair.)
Be willing to do shitty mics sounds like a weird New Years Resolution. But I’ve learned an important lesson recently. If you don’t leave your comfort zone, you can never grow creatively. And there’s nothing more uncomfortable than making people laugh in a room that smells like piss.