People always tell me that I am funny. Generally, they follow that description with the words, "to look at". And, while initially offended, I have grown ok with that. But, after taking a few improv and stand-up comedy courses, I've really started to dig in and try to find out why or how someone becomes funny. One thing I have learned is that, to sit and tell a funny anecdote about your life is relatively easy (especially after a shot of tequila), but to stand before a crowd and engage them with your humorous tales and perils is completely different. So, tonight, I have been analyzing when I first remember being funny and making someone laugh. I'm at home sitting on the couch with the stains of an oven-baked pizza riddled across my white t-shirt and I think I have narrowed down the exact moment when I got labeled as "funny". It all happened one, fateful day in 8th grade. I was walking down the hallway at school and some kid yelled out, for no apparent reason, "I bet your Mama sucks your Daddy's dick!" I paused for a second and thought, "If they are still into oral at this point, there is no way that Dad would be so pissed off all the time" and then, without further delay, I blurted back, "Well, at least she knows who my Daddy is!"
(If Maury confirms it - it's true, folks!)
As the words slipped past my lips, I waited for fist-to-face contact but it never happened. The kids within listening-distance erupted into laughter and gave me a sense of approval I had never felt before as they said things like, "Awww he got you!" and "Yeah - that ugly boy is funny!" It was the first time that I had ever spoken up to a bully and with that one line, I had shut that little bastard up. While I glowed in my success, my guilty conscience started to kick in as his formerly smug face turned sad because, apparently, my haphazard phrase probably rang a little too true.
It’s no secret that humor stems from some forlorn sadness. It’s a coping mechanism, and a way to push back our fears, our doubt, our insecurities and rise above. So, currently, I am attempting to craft together a 5 minute monologue of my awkwardness to perform for a stand-up class that I am currently enrolled in. Will I succeed? Probably not. Will I end up chickening out on the performance? We are currently in the "highly likely" range, but I have decided, for now, that I have to try. So, I need to swallow my pride (and, no less than 2 Xanax), jump on that stage and just give it my all. But, until that night, I'll let the panic settle in and take its all-too-familiar hold.
(Uhhh, is this thing on?! Anybody?! Anybody?!)
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