Keeping It Fresh

 

Hello Sir,

I’ve been thinking a lot about the shelf life of jokes.  I’m starting to get tired of a handful of mine. They’ve lasted me two months, which is fine. The jokes are all short, throwaway types anyway. It’s just interesting looking at the sheer volume of energy and work it took for me to come up with five minutes of clever little sentences and the projected “expiration date” on the joke. Some of them, I won’t say which one’s (but they were the not so good ones) took a whole day to write. That’s right. I spent an entire day thinking about one joke. And it ended up being one of the first one’s that I knew I had to take out of the rotation. (Luckily, many have managed to save themselves from the chopping block by updating themselves slightly)

But yeah, it’s hard to look back and not see some of those jokes as poor time investments. Given the amount of mind power, concept graphing (an experiment I did for some jokes involving diagrams. It was weird) and research I put into something that didn’t work and then taking into account that the best jokes I have are those that came from divine moment of inspiration, it begs the question: Is all this writing practice a waste of time?

Some writers will just wait for inspiration to strike, and I never wanted to play that lottery game. However, if I’m churning out a lot of crap in the meantime, and the “wait it out” individual is inspired at the same rate as I am, then their body of work will contain a higher overall quality because they did not lower the quality of their opus by gunning for quantity of materials.

How wordy of you.

Did anyone get that?

Did you get that?

Honestly, at the end of the day I don’t think it will matter that much. This is probably just me being insecure and unsure about the process. I’m still such a noob at stand-up. I have no idea what I’m doing, but in a weirdly exciting way.

I was talking to my good friend Jeff Liu, an animator for the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe. Jeff is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and one of the most brilliant artists I’ve ever encountered. And that is not just limited to animation. I mean artist in a general sense. Like, including musicians, writers, martial artists, anything that is considered art. He is a great artist.

Usually when we talk, we geek out about craft. I’m constantly amazed how many universal things we end up talking about in regards to honing a craft. We did play music together, and if you take a look around the blog, you will find some Soundcloud recordings where he is featured as a guitarist on some of the tracks.

In his own time, Jeff also composes music in very interesting ways. He owns an original GameBoy which he has had modified so that he can use the sound card to program 8 bit music. It’s fucking insane.

 

 

I don’t really know where to go from here.

I’m sitting at work, craving a red bull. I have a water instead because I’m fairly confident my brain will explode down my balls if I have any more caffeine today.

There’s just so much to learn in this comedy game. Last night I went out at Neck of the Woods. I had an okay set considering I was performing for an audience of two, but it was a great learning experience (that means I sucked). But I did notice some things that I had only been vaguely aware of. For instance, I kept noticing one of the veteran comedians wandering around the room, just checking everything out. When he went on he knew exactly who was an audience member and who was a comic, and he played to the real room. It was an interesting thing to watch and it got me thinking about adaptability.

When I went on, I had a game plan, but after a few jokes I realized that my plan was shit and that the audience of two and some staff/comics were not really into it. So I abandoned the plan and just kind of started pulling jokes that I could remember were performing strongly at the other bars. Once I found a “type of joke” that was working with them (they tended to like the “thinker” jokes) then I started throwing out the jokes that required that extra beat for everything to come together.

Now, perhaps I can make that work for five minutes with a good amount of floundering, but I think if I ever want to be able to do a larger chunk of time, I would need a lot more audience-energy-specific jokes. Which means I should probably just keep writing more, huh?

 

Well that was me using 900 words to make a complete circle.

Still gonna write a bunch.

Still learning.

Still a noob.

Love, me

Eric Wong is a writer. He stopped saying he was a comedian also because it is offensive to those who can actually do the thing… He’d like to be one. How’s that?

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