Attention Seeker

A Different Show where I was driven to get the audience's attention.
A Different Show where I was driven to get the audience’s attention.

I know it seems pretty pathetic that I can’t deal with an audience member or 2 not giving me their undivided attention. As long as the vast majority is involved, what does it matter if a couple are involved in something else as long as they are quiet? I have no good answer besides I got into this business because I have look at me disease and thus need people to give me their focus.

(Cue up old guy voice) For any of us that have been doing comedy before texting and social media took hold, it is really difficult to live with this societal change. For those of us who are really connected to the audience and like to play off the crowd, it makes it especially hard to not feel like you are totally connecting. Hey maybe this is why younger comics talk more at the audience than talk to them.

So last night its a good comedy crowd. I’m at Crackers in Broad Ripple (Indy) which has the front row seats right on the stage and then tables starting after that around 5 feet behind them. As what happens at most comedy clubs on a non-weekend show, the front row was empty, as people don’t want to generally sit there because lazy comics only pick on that area.

Now there is also a reason that comics only hit that area and that is because you can usually only see about 10 feet into the audience because of the stage lights. Last night the first group I could see was a table of people in their 20’s at this front/middle table. It was a group of pretty/fit people who looked like if the show Friends took place in Indy in 2013. Not my target audience, but I’m a fucking pro so I was doing well with even them, except for…

…One blonde girl at the table. Now surprise, she wasn’t checking her instagram account. What she spent 10 minutes staring at was the comedy club menu. Now it should be noted that comedy club menus are not like the ones at Cheesecake Factory. There is about 10 apps on 1 side and on the other side are frozen drink concoctions. That’s it. Not a lot to see people–move along.

Where I used to be quick to address stuff like that, now that I do a long-form story with lots of jokes sprinkled in, it is harder to get tangled into something like that and then go back into the story material. I now just try to ignore it unless the behavior is distractive to other audience members. This woman wasn’t being distractive, but after about 10 minutes of her flipping the menu over and reading it, I could not take it anymore. She was distracting the FUCK out of me. I made the jump. Literally.

I actually jumped from the stage, over the front row seats and landed right in front of table, right in the front of the blonde. It was like I was spider man. I gave no warning. Just finished joke. Got a laugh, and then BOOM. Fortunately I stuck the landing, since it was a 10 foot jump forward with at least a 4 foot drop factored in. It definitely shocked the shit out of the crowd. Hell, it kind of shocked me as well. I’ve never seen that move before in any comedy show, but sometimes I don’t think before I leap.

I then proceeded to take the menu from her hand and walk it back up with me while screaming that I am not going to allow you to look at that menu anymore, as I’m far too funny to be ignored. I then threw the menu on-stage and proceeded back with my standup as everyone applauded.

Look, I know how desperate this reads. The only thing to makes it more of a desperate act is me seeking approval by writing up a blog post about it. Dammit! I know I’ve been doing standup far too long and I’m far too old to behave like this. Sorry, but it’s who I am. If I can see you from the stage, it’s going to eat away at me if you don’t pay attention or you don’t laugh a few times. There’s a reason I decided to do this and why I continue on.

Signed,

Attention Whore.

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One thought on “Attention Seeker

  1. As I recall, you pick on the ones in the back too! We are there for a show – and you always provide!! Glad you landed the jump, or this would have been a totally different post! HAHA

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