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Tackling Mountains with a Clean Slate

January 20, 2014

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Last year, I posted a blog entry entitled “Summer Bucketlist” where I had set a number of goals that I wanted to have completed by the end of 2013.  Naturally, starting off all gung-ho, I instantly picked off the easy accomplishments but didn’t bother even attempting the tough ones.  Since the dawn of a new year has blessed us with the coming of bitter winter weather with nothing to do, I figured it may be time to refocus on a few goals.

Normally, I’m not trendy enough to jump on the whole New Year’s Resolution bandwagon, but there is definitely something about the fresh slate concept of having one year end and a new one begin.  This time, though, I’ve decided not to necessarily set a bunch of new goals, but instead knock off a few of last years’.  Most notably, actually doing stand up comedy.

This past weekend marked the second year that I’ve hosted my company’s work party as the emcee.  This year, having a slightly higher number in attendance from the last, I figured this would be the perfect time to test the waters with some of my material.  Only problem is, my material is of the “for mature audiences only” genre.  Naturally, I had to come up with a fresh bit that my audience could relate to.  And hope the majority would take to it.  Also, get over that whole jittery nerve issue that’s stopped me in the past.  Shit.

To help calm the nerves and prepare to douse an unsuspecting crowd of 160 people with a blast of my home grown humour, I headed out the night before with a few friends for some karaoke.  I had never actually sang karaoke before, and figured if I could pull that off I’d have NO problem at all speaking in front of my company the following day.  So I grabbed my buddy Carey and signed us up to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart, telling him that all he had to do was sing the words “turn around” and I’d take care of the rest.  And I did.  Unexpectedly rifling off the ever so popular Dan Band version of the song was a huge hit at the small packed club, and I left an instant foul-mouthed legend.  I was now ready for the big party.

The night of the party arrived slightly faster than the hangover from the previous night left me, but I made due with three beers before I took the podium.  I opened with a cheap mennonite joke and followed it up with a bit about stress in the industry comparing journeyman with apprentices.  The bit actually did well, even though the mic volume was a little low and the back of the room couldn’t catch everything I was saying.  I finished up my emcee duties throughout the night, frequently poking fun at everyone from alcoholic journeyman to the owner of the company.  Hey, if you’re going to be a comedian, you’ve got to put in the time being a professional asshole.  Spare no one.

I was approached throughout the night by a number of people who were satisfied with my wit, and went home a slightly more confident man.  Putting on a more involved performance than I did last year, I set the bar a little higher for future work functions as well as for myself.   Jumping that small hurdle to get up there and at least try a little something different was all I ever wanted to do.  At least now I’ve got the confidence to give it a go in the comedy club.

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