Well, it was the bravest thing I’ve ever done, apart from forcing two small heads through my pelvis, but I did it! On Sunday night, after two afternoons of tuition, I did my first ever five minute stand-up comedy gig.
I was absolutely terrified before and during the Laughing Horse course, convinced that I would be crap and not funny and none of the other four ‘students’ would laugh at my jokes. I didn’t even think I had any jokes, just a load of rambling thoughts written down. And I certainly wasn’t planning to do my set in front of paying punters at the ‘graduation’ comedy night. Oh no.
And yet such was the skill of tutors Jay Sodagar and Rick Kiesewetter – both professional stand-ups – in showing us the real craft of comedy writing – breaking every ‘gag’ down into its component parts to make each part of the set-up and the punchline work, that at about 9.15pm on Sunday night I found myself in a room above a pub in Earl’s Court with a spotlight and a microphone, and people actually laughing at my lines.
It was the biggest buzz ever. I really did the whole Fear the Fear and Do It Anyway thing. And my set – including stuff on being half Polish, my family history of mental illness, the crapness of being pregnant, and desperate mums drinking too much wine – seemed to go down well. I was even approached afterwards by a lovely advertising person whose client is a baby products company, who said she’d be interested in talking to me about a launch event they are planning. OMG! Even DH thought it was good, despite me making a joke about him thinking his penis might hit the baby on the head if we had sex while I was pregnant.
After functioning on pure adrenaline for two days, it was really hard to come down from that high and I barely slept on Sunday night. Or last night. I’ve been making endless notes about how I can tighten my set and ideas for extra material, and I’m planning to check out local comedy nights to see if I can get a gig so I can do it again. I actually think it might become my new hobby, which seems pretty extraordinary considering how much I was dreading it. It was a massive confidence boost and the most ‘myself’ I’ve felt for a very long time.
My nearest and dearest are already taking the piss, of course: my sister called last night asking for Mrs McIntyre, and DH now swaggers into every room I am in pretending to be talking into a mic. Still, stand-up has got into my system now, and I need to find my next fix…