Saturday, November 19, 2011

Activity 14: Stand up Activity 15: No distractions

So, after listening to stand-up non-stop for several days, I had some weird idea of trying it out for myself. I think the rhythms of stand-up starting to permeate into my brain, and I started to approach everything as if it were a set up for a joke.

I decided to give it a shot myself, so I shut myself in a room, wrote out some jokes, and then performed them. The videos were meant to be sent to my friend who's currently doing stand-up, but I'll post them here:

So, it's horrible. The writing isn't particularly funny, and my timing is really slow. But I felt like I learned a few things.

Whatever awkward experience you have now serves as material for the future

I think there are two types of comedians. The first types are the ranters. They go onstage and yell political stuff that's raunchy and raw and are like "SARAH PALIN SUCKS. But I'd still f*** her." And people will cheer more about the fact that somebody is finally voicing an opinion they feel strongly about, and there isn't really a punchline.

The second type is the type that I empathize with more: the losers. These are the Mike Birbiglia's and the Louis CK's, who are nerdy and have nasally voices or big guts. They tell stories about the hardships of their lives and there's something beautiful about the fact that they really think about their lives, but they also look at them with a sense of humor.

Mike Birbiglia shared 2 stories about stand-up gigs he'd done. And what surprised me is that these were from while he was actually well-established. It wasn't an awkward growing period that he's gone past to become the comedian that he is now. It's ongoing. And in a way, I think he kind of needs it, because that way he'll always have a new story to tell. So... fail more! Go and have awkward experiences and celebrate your faults! At the very least, you'll have a good story in the future.

I decided to have one day when I first decided to do 30 new things in 30 days where I wouldn't distract myself. No youtube videos, no gchat, no music. I wanted to see if I would focus more.

Unfortunately, it was a day where I was compiling code a lot, which usually takes awhile. And as I stood there, I started to feel myself going a little bit insane. It was like an activity solitude. And unfortunately, it didn't make me feel more productive. I think it would've if I'd been multitasking or had more things I needed to get done. I think instead time just moved slower.

I feel like calming myself down into a zen state of working isn't something that can be done in a day. That being said, there are a lot of things that I feel like I could work on gradually, like posture and my attention span.

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