Well. Neck of the Woods. It’s always been an interesting room to me. I bomb there more than anywhere, yet against my better judgement I am drawn to the room. I went up second to last tonight in a nearly dead room with the only goal of kicking the ball in the air once.
At the last minute I decided to adopt an Emo Philips technique of just stretching out the words very deliberately in an attempt to draw the room’s attention and at the very least make sure the set-up is being laid down. It worked very well, and I understand why he does that.
I kept to my shortest jokes that I could think of off the top of my head, which isn’t normal for me. I usually have the audience choose the jokes based on a letter from the alphabet, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t into it.
I’m finding it increasingly important to have the appropriate material for the appropriate crowd. I’ve had this given to me as advice before, but it was in terms of races. A comedian (I can’t remember who) would hang out in the venue as people came in and assessed what kind of crowd he was dealing with and then fit the material to the demographic.
For me, I’ve been trying to do that on an esoteric “energy/chi” feeling which is a thing I picked up doing tai chi. It’s like in dragonball z how people can read power levels.
I was up against the Olympics and a cute dog. I knew the attention spans weren’t going to be long, so you have to try to adapt yourself to that situation. Short and snappy. Talk real slow.
So while it was a weird night with lots of tired voodoo floating around the room, I kicked the ball in the air and I’m marking that down as a win.
-Eric Wong is a writer and comedian. He is very loud with little to say, on paper.