‘God I’m so nervous, keep wondering what I’m doing here’ said the nice stranger sat near me waiting to start comedy school. Instantly that put me at ease. We’re all in the same boat and probably all a little bit shit. Soon after, the nice stranger gets up to introduce himself, and delivers what could only be described as ten quite brilliant minutes.
My minutes didn’t come anywhere near brilliant. And certainly no where near ten. Doubt it was even a full minute but who knows. It’s hard to count and breathe when you’re standing in front of a group that want to know your name of all things.
I’ll start from the beginning I suppose.
It all started off very well with cups of tea and idle chit chat. That was fine, enjoyable even. Then the class began and we learned about how it would run for the 6 weeks, also fine, even enjoyable. Soon after we were asked to introduce ourselves to the group and maybe say one or two things about ourselves. It’s right about then I began to hear my aortic valve in my ears. I counted the steps to the door. Maybe six? Bag was on the other side of the room, blast.
I did relax as introductions went around the room. It was nice to see that other people seemed equally as nervous and what’s more the people listening were just very chilled and sound. You could see everyone start to mellow out after the first minute which was nice. I then decided I was actually having a great time listening to everyone’s tales and I loved comedy school. Incredibly zen. Then it was my turn.
It felt a bit like someone was bouncing a basketball off my chest. But the basketball was made of lead and somehow, was also on fire. I started to get a bit angry at the injustice of having to stand up. I mean how was that necessary. Surely my name will be the same whether I sit or stand. There must be some comedians that have built a career on sit down comedy. (I’ve since googled it, not as many as you might think)
But up I got and actually, It was alright. Definite words came out, I couldn’t tell you what but people seemed to know my name afterwards so I must have started with that. As it went on, the basketball got a little bit lighter and some kind person seemed to have extinguished it somewhere between my name is ___ and I work at ____. The main achievement for me is that my chin didn’t quiver like usual, I didn’t get that MY GOD YOU’RE TRAGIC voice whispering in my ear and nobody left the room. (If you could all follow that example at the show that would be really great) In saying that, the post ‘speaking in front of a group’ tremors were running around my body at an alarming rate so I went to the bathroom to recover.
There was actually a full on bath and shower in there which I thought was a great idea. Odd but convenient. Then some woman walked in on me. ‘I’m sorry!, It wasn’t locked’ and frozen to the spot I just remained seated and replied ‘It’s ok, I am on the toilet’. The door was ages away, what could I do only sit there and chat? That occurrence was like someone pouring cold water over me. I thought, if I can ask about the weather and her day from the toilet-surely I can talk a bit about my own stood up. So I’d like to thank that woman who ever she is. I’d like to apologise for my liberalism of course, but also a sincere thank you. You may not have cured me but you certainly helped me recover. I went back into the room with a whole new perspective on the act of standing and thankfully some semblance of a normal bpm seemed to return. Time flew after that and just before finishing, we were assigned our first homework. A few minutes of a routine to start working with. Lord only knows how that’ll pan out.. A full basketball squad pelting biting donkeys at me no doubt. But hopefully I’ll meet another saviour in the bathroom again. Maybe I’ll just leave the door completely ajar next week for a follow up chat on how that pesky winter just seemed to catch up on us again.
The class are sound, the tutor is beyond sound. Now Laura just has to be sound, and off we go.
I’ll be sure to update this next week, and lock the toilet door.
Thanks for reading :)