Stress Factory Open Mic

Okay if you’re a stand-up comic in or around the general area of New Jersey, chances are performing at the Stress Factory is on your bucket list. Well, friends I can say that this past August I crossed that one off of mine. I did an open mic and it was a hell of an experience.

I arrived early since I basically came straight from work. I put my set together while making poop jokes via text with my friend and comedy Mr. Miyagi Kurt who couldn’t make it out with us because he was um…indisposed…hence the poop jokes. However I was still accompanied by my patient boyfriend and decided that since he was kind enough to drive and pay for dinner that the majority of my set should be about him. We were met by comedy compatriot Tim and shot the breeze while waiting for our moment.

I drank a Henry’s Hard Orange and listened to some damn funny people before going up for my three minutes of glory. The audience was damn near impossible to see, but I still enjoyed chatting with them and got plenty of laughs. That’s right, folks you read correctly: your girl got laughs at the Stress Factory. It was an awesome experience and I will definitely be back. I also have a new item on my bucket list: getting booked at the Stress Factory.

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Everyone’s a critic (including the comic)

Every comedian at one point or another will deal with criticism whether it’s from other comedians, audience members, or even armchair psychiatrists trying to analyze them, diagnose, and “fix” them. What a lot of people don’t really understand is that comedians are also critics. John Cleese once said that the very nature of humor is critical. If we’re making you laugh, odds are we’re doing it by criticizing, commenting on, or poking fun at something. We may even be doing it by criticizing ourselves.

I’ve seen loads of comics comment on screwing up their own jokes during a set. That’s what we refer to as a moment call. I open nearly every set criticizing the fact that I’m short and I look like I’m twelve, but I’m not sure if I can call that a moment call since it’s a permanent condition with me. Nevertheless it’s the most obvious thing about me and I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t call attention to it. Besides, if I don’t someone else probably will and there’s 50/50 odds that the person will be a heckler. If I call it out from the beginning, I’ve successfully stolen my thunder and now they have less ammunition to derail my set.

Whether your laughing at a pithy observation of everyday life, some relevant social commentary, or yet another one of my short jokes you’re laughing at criticism and that’s completely okay. After all, it is funny.