Friday was just a shitty day for me. There, I said it. My morning at work wasn’t the greatest and my afternoon was no better when the US Women’s soccer team lost to Sweden in PKs due to what I honestly feel was God-awful officiating. If that overtime goal was offsides, then I’m the freakin’ Queen of England. I am a HUGE fan of US Women’s National Team and I was absolutely gutted for them. That game literally took years off my life. I said more Hail Marys in a single afternoon than I had in a lifetime raised in the Catholic Church. I’m grown enough to admit it: I cried. I’m not going to lie, my faith in the power of prayer is a bit shaken.
But in the great words of Freddie Mercury, “The show must go on.” With my comedy Mr. Miyagi away for the weekend it was down to me to haul in the equipment, wrangle the epic cable tangles, and put on a good comedy show. As it turned out though, the cable tangles were surprisingly not that bad. Seriously I’m kind of touched that Kurt remembered my cable OCD and neatened them up a bit. Four years as a theatre technician gave me a great appreciation for lovingly coiled cables. Well, that and having to re-coil a 20-foot cable because it wasn’t cabled to your boss’ stringent standards.
So Kurt and the other comics that were coming from far and wide, aka the greater Philly area all the way to Robbinsville were counting on me. I couldn’t let them down. I decided that the best way to honor the 18 women plus the alternates, coaches, and staff that had done so much to make me proud was to dedicate my performance at Take 5 Gourmet to them and bring the funny, so that’s what I did.
Before the show I had to stop at a friend’s house to feed their cats while they were away, but the key to their front door somehow didn’t work. After much sweating and even attempting to coach two felines on how to work the lock and let me in, I called my friend who got their niece to come over because they were reasonably certain her key worked. I was bummed out because I always like helping a friend and because I could hear the “I’m hungry! Move it, bipedal underling!,” meows of my friend’s cats through the door. I knew they were going to get taken care of, but I still felt bad for them.
So my not great morning was followed by a crappy afternoon which was then followed by a rough evening. Nevertheless, I pressed on just like I’m sure the USWNT will do. To Take 5 I went and with the help of my long-suffering and much-mocked on stage boyfriend, I hauled the equipment inside in the rain (Relax, Kurt! Nothing got wet), set up, and did a quick sound check just in time for the other comics to start arriving.
Heavy heart and all, I worked with a talent-stacked line-up that included Mike Sgroi, Tom Mongelli, Sami Stans, Jared Keith, Chris Sicoli, Paul Goldenberg, Chris Stenta, and our headliner the one, the only Natalie Levant. I hosted and warmed up the crowd, played with the sound system, and handled lighting everyone for time. The crowd was enjoying themselves, the other comics brought the funny, and as bummed out as I was, I still enjoyed myself. That’s the magic of comedy. There’s just something about laughing with a room full of people that lifts your spirits even in the toughest of times. That’s part of what keeps me coming back.
But folks, adversity wasn’t done with me just yet. When I went to view my footage, I found that my video blurred out and came back in focus at random intervals. I wasn’t able to post a video of my full set because I didn’t want to upload a video that I wasn’t going to be completely happy with. At the end of the day, I half-ass nothing. However I was fortunate enough to be able to upload all of my new material that made it’s debut Friday night and you can view it here.
My main takeaway from this experience is that you can still be funny in spite of adversity. In fact you could say that adverse circumstances fuel my comedy fire. It’s inspired me to write material and I’ve noticed that my punchiness increases with my level of frustration and trust me adversity can be damned frustrating. Another great thing about comedy is that it can give you the power to push past the heartbreak we all encounter in life and become something better and stronger than we were before.