My oldest daughter, Selah, came to me last month and said she wanted to be a stand-up comedian. I suggested some comics who I thought she’d like, and told her about a youth open mic event downtown. She had about a month to write her routine. Her first few drafts were AWFUL, but she kept at it. She practiced in front of a mirror and recorded herself. I refused to help with her writing, but I did help with her timing.
When the event came, she was a little nervous, but just a little. I asked the organizer, a friend of mine, to give her some advice, and he gave her some quick pointers. When she was called, she decided to do it without her notes.
She killed! She was comfortable, and though she’ll be more polished with more time, she seemed in her element.
I’m very proud of her. She was able to turn her personal experiences into something relatable and funny.
So now it’s my turn. I’ve been a fan of comedy going back to when I first watched Eddie Murphy’s Raw way too young. I love Eddie Izzard, Hannibal Burress, Robin Williams, Zach Galifianakis, John Mulaney, Maria Bamford, Hari Kondabolu, Jim Gaffigan, Mitch Hedberg, LaVell Crawford, Margaret Cho, and Chris Rock, just to name a few. I’ve been listening to comedy podcasts, reading comedy blogs, dissecting routines, and writing for years. i’ve also been following the career of Jonah Ray. It hasn’t been an all-consuming compassion, but it’s been on my mind a lot. I accepted long ago I was going to try my hand at comedy. I’m researching open mic nights in Albuquerque, and doing what Selah did. I’m going to try, and it’s likely I will suck. That’s okay. We’re not supposed to be masters of something the first time we try it. I’m going to do it, and I’m going to have fun, and I’m going to tell you guys all about it.