Last night, I had a really nice time watching some female comedians with very diverse styles take the stage. You had one just starting out, and others who have been doing this for many years. All of them were good, and you could see the transition and different skills, delivery, style, and voices each had. I sat and marveled at how on earth people that good were on a stage in a town that I grew up in, that I call, “the town that is difficult to get to or from.” all I know is my good Friday, really was good. There was spirituality with the old monks, and then when I came back into this world, some comedians brought up the issues with the world and had me laugh about them.
There were a few moments that I sat there with the camera shaking in my hands because I was laughing. I think on those jokes, I might have been one of the few laughing as they involved life outside “the town that is difficult to get to or from.” I really don’t know much about what life is like here on a day to day level – I suspect it is not really a push to really go beyond what is in front of one’s visual and auditory limits.
I don’t know why I like taking photos of the comedians for an old friend. He walked up to me and said, “I just can’t get this market.” he has been doing comedy acts for as long as I can remember and I had to confess, “I don't get it either.” He brings in these really talented acts, and except for the lesbian community, either people don’t want to laugh, or perhaps the idea of watching someone live on a tight rope of sorts is not fun. I mean my one client was a circus that closed down, and people used to make jokes about it and the reality is that it was a traveling zoo and united nations that traveled the states and I remember one year they took it to Japan.
(insert me staring at an aerial photo of the elephants on the deck of a ship walking around the Pacific ocean with a look of disbelief)
Last night, four comedians, one starting out, another an engineer that I have no idea what her age was, and two veterans that have been doing this for quite a while. I guess what I was watching is that special gel or substance that allows someone to come into a voice that is uniquely their own. I don’t really know how one does this in a world where it seems people are so bent on getting to the top at any cost versus realizing that if you do what makes your heart sing, and you help others, the money will follow.
Another thing I am noticing in comedy is that people on the stage will pretty much be guaranteed at offending someone in the audience because of their racial, religious, political, gender, or any other topic. Why? I am not sure. Is it because in the age of the internet people think that they have some “critic” power available to them? Perhaps it is that people have thrown common sense to the wind in the pursuit of their selfish agenda that they have lost any sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves? Or has comedy become something where the skill that it takes to craft a set and tell jokes live and on a stage, no net, no safety lines has been lost in the world of digital editing and presenting information like everything is a movie or tv show.
“content? What is that? we just want it to look cool!”
If you need an example of this, look at the quality of musicians in the world today that can play “live” with no need for backing tracks, autotune, or another assorted gismo’s to “help” them sound like they do on the record. It doesn't seem to matter anymore that an audio engineer might have spliced together parts of the phonetics from 40 audio takes to get their voice to sound a way they could not duplicate life. Then you bring in the mix guys, of which the great ones…are astounding how they take something dull and flat and bring it into its best light…the front of house guy…he can do a lot, but one thing about amplifying sound. It will make good sound better. It will also make the not so good sound worse.
I digress -back to the comedy divas. You had four very different styles and approaches. It was fun watching each deliver and try material to a crowd that has a market demographic that defies definition. I was struggling with metering the light until midway through the first comedian, and from there it was interesting to watch the engineer lady (I will get her name later) working up new material and making fun of herself with the way the audience reacted or didn’t react to a lot of the jokes. I have a difficult job as you really need no talent to take exciting images of her, she is an animated ball of energy.
Speaking of which, I better get editing. I am not sure if I have any “wow, I love that one” shots, as they are very rare. But I know there is a lot of really good.
Then again, I am my own worst critic. That is ok because I don’t really understand why people just sit back and watch life when they can all participate in it?
As for the stand-up comedians. I get a bit sad, as that has to be one of the hardest entertainment jobs to do well. It seems like people either don’t want to laugh, or they can no longer laugh at themselves?
My father asked, “how was it” and I mentioned one comedian had an interesting bit where she would tell a joke from a deceased comic. So I repeated the joke about the late Jerry Lewis. I have no idea if he really didn’t use a car service and actually rode the subway when he did Broadway late in life, but the joke goes that he would take the subway each day as he liked looking at people. I can relate, as I used to go to coffee shops to brainstorm as watching people triggered ideas for me until the world became homogenized with people staring into their phones and no one was talking to each other.
I digress again!! sorry…so here is the joke:
Jerry Lewis was on a subway car one night, and he came across a young man with a multi-colored Mohawk hairstyle. Big, bright and colorful spikes sticking up from the man’s head. I guess Jerry Lewis was fascinated with the look of the young man, but despite his vibrant hairstyle, he might have been insecure and started giving the aging comedian crap.
“What are you looking at old man! Are you looking at me?”
The conversation went along, Jerry Lewis did acknowledge the man, and that he was indeed looking at him. the young man asked, “why you looking at me?”
jerry Lewis said, “I f*cked a parrot 20 years ago, and I am sitting here trying to figure out if you are my son.”
with that, I think it is time to take my hands off the keyboard, go to the gym, get the meat for Easter dinner and finish my French tart components.