For the record, 100 sets is a drop in the bucket to any accomplished comedian. Absolutely nothing. But if you want to do 10,000 shows, you need to do 100 first. I've said it on this blog before, but if you told me 8 months ago I'd be at this point I never would have believed it.
I might have been able to reach this "milestone" earlier, but I approached comedy pretty casually for the first few months. I track every show I do, and I did 4 shows in January, 7 in Feb, 4 in March. I started taking it a little more seriously around April, and that, paired with a new shift at work that opened up more evenings for me, helped me start racking up the stage time a little faster. I did 43 shows my first 5 months, compared to 57 in the last 3. My initial goal was to get to 125 by my anniversary at the end of January, and I've bumped that number up to 175. I'm excited to see how it goes down the home stretch.
So I've decided to dedicate this blog to listing my 5 favourite shows so far. I've met a ton of great people, and had a lot of fun this year. Every show has been a good time, but these are the ones I look back on fondest.
Before I get into that, though, I would like to thank everyone that has given me a chance to go after this dream of mine. Nobody had to put me on their show, and all these people have, multiple times.
Lars Callieou, Ryan Short, Jamee Nall, Ashley Soper, Nadine Hunt, Simon Glassman, Carina Morton, Travis Howell, Celeste Lampa, William Hannigan, Sterling Scott, Stephen McGovern, James Ross, Kevin Light, Arturo Grijalva, Mike Dambra, Alex Fortin, Simon Gorsak, Brett McCrindle, Scott Porteous, Ben Proulx, Ronny Lugoma, Hector Velazquez, and David Kopp. Thank you for the opportunities, the advice, and the good times. I owe you all at least one!
January 21, 2016 - Yuk Yuks
My first ever set of stand up comedy. Frankly, my set sucked. But this night changed my life. There's a recording of this set that I plan on never letting anyone else see again. So bad......
August 21, 2016 - The Druid
The last ever Druid Comedy Night. I went to this show almost every Sunday for 7 months. Some people went to it almost every Sunday for 7 years. It's still weird not having it around. I've spent more time on that stage than any other. Some nights it was awesome, some nights it was pretty rough. It was my favourite place to try new material, because if it worked at The Druid, it should work almost anywhere. That final night was incredible. Red hot crowd, 50+ comedians, 7 hour show. I took bullet that night, which I considered an honour, and stuck around to watch the entire show. That stage helped me improve more than any other.
August 27, 2016 - Dakoda's Comedy Lounge (Kelowna)
I got the opportunity to be part of the third annual Okanagan Comedy Festival this year. We did 2 shows in Kelowna on the Saturday night, and they were in front of the hottest crowds I've ever seen. We could do no wrong those nights. Add in getting to spend a few days with some great people, and how beautiful the city of Kelowna is, and you get the highlight of my Summer. Plus David Kopp is a beauty.
September 7, 2016 - Dinwoodie Lounge
I did a guest spot at the Dinwoodie Lounge on the U of A campus. They do shows throughout the year, but the "welcome back" show is the biggest one of the bunch. The lineup featured some of my favourite comedians, and it was the biggest crowd I'd worked in front of to that point. It was an incredible show.
September 28, 2016 - Yellowed Casino (Jokers in Training Finals)
My first comedy competition. We performed on the big stage at the Yellowhead Casino, with a trip to Los Angeles on the line. I had a ton of friends and family there, and the crowd absolutely crushed. They were so good. I came up Short (get it??) and finished third that night, but it was still an awesome experience. I posted about it the next morning and said it made all the late nights and bombs from the last 8 months worth it.
So that's it. Like I said, thank you to everyone that has ever given me a spot on their show. They've all been fun, and I'm grateful to all of you for letting me do something I love to do.
I look back at my first show and I'm genuinely happy with how much I've improved from then until now. My goal/hope is to look back on my 100th set when I get to 200, and feel the same way. Keep working hard, keep focusing on getting better at whatever you're doing, and learn to enjoy the process. Comedy is awesome.
"Doesn't staying out late every night doing comedy make it hard to focus on your work?"
No. Getting up early for work makes it hard to focus on my comedy.