“You want me to perform comedy where?”
Comedy In Strange Situations – an excerpt from my book
“Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades
of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs”
–By Jan McInnis, Comedian and Keynote Speaker
Comedy is one of the easiest forms of entertainment . . . if it’s done right. All you need is a microphone, a stage, lighting and a focused audience. But have one of those things out of kilter, and you get a vastly different experience.
When I started out entertaining at some tough bar gigs, my goal was to get so successful that I’d never again have to perform comedy in a room in which you can hear the blender! Bartenders seem to have great timing: they always crank it up right as you’re hitting a punchline. No one hears it and you look foolish. Little did I know that there are room setups that make the blender gigs look easy.
I once got to do comedy at a company party on a turntable or Lazy Susan for those of you over 50. The room was stationary but the part of the floor that I performed on spun around, making a 360-degree lap every 10 minutes. In a 60 minute show, everyone got to see my face six times. There was a wall behind me, so people on each side of the room couldn’t see each other, which made it even more interesting because I’d spin slowly into one part of the room, annoy the people who had forgotten there was comedy, and then I’d spin out. Sixty minutes of this. The client was drunk when I got there, so she didn’t see the problem. She probably was drunk when she reserved a spinning stage and a comedian, but I can’t say for sure. My only saving grace was that the DJ was booked through the same agency, so I had a witness to this mess. Needless to say my comedy-on-a-turntable did not resonate well with the group.
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