Monday Magazine - At The Mic
When did I get old?
I mean... I’m not old. I’m still young, but I feel old. I was at a movie this afternoon and they did that Dolby Surround Sound noise and I audibly said, “Goodness, that’s loud.” Goodness, that’s loud. Let’s break that down, shall we? First off, who, under the age of 70, says ‘Goodness’ in a moment of shock? I believe the last person under 30 to say that was a girl sitting on a veranda, in her finest Sunday dress, drinking a mint julep, and commenting on the unseasonable heat.
Secondly, I said this out loud. I was alone. I was speaking to nobody. Give me a cat and I may as well just take up knitting and die, my friends.
I have been performing my one man show in Toronto for a week now. Last night in the middle of the show, during a wave of applause and laughter, I scanned the audience feeling confident and happy. I’ve found that being a comedian is a pretty sensitive thing to do. You need to listen to the crowd and go with the flow sometimes to create the most entertaining experience. It’s rare but every once in a while you do it just right. The audience is laughing, your timing is perfect, every off-the-cuff joke hits like a hammer of hilarity, and you feel elated and invincible.
Last night at the half-way point of my show that is exactly how I felt. I scanned the audience and saw nothing but smiling faces. Then it happened. I saw it. A couple ... sitting together ... SLEEPING.
All that short lived confidence and happiness crashed to the ground. It wasn’t a gentle soft close-my-eyes-for-a-moment kind of sleep, but that nasty, head back, mouth open, sleeping on a plane kind of sleep. You know the kind.
We always hope we don’t look like that when we sleep in public. I mean that skinny cow across the aisle looks like an angel. All tucked up in a ball like a blonde kitten. I can sleep like that, right? No, you can’t.
Real people look disgusting when we sleep. We snort, we fart and I don’t know what the hell comes out of our faces. Have you ever looked at your pillow with the case off? It’s revolting. And that is how this couple was sleeping.
Every part of me wanted to call them out ... but I didn’t. I’ve been there. You are so excited for a show and you get there, sit down and think ... crap ... I’m totally exhausted. And no matter how hard you try, you are not long for this world. We’ve all been there. I fell asleep in Avatar! I was awake for the action parts but couldn’t keep my eyes open for the purple people Pocahontas parts. (How do you like THAT alliteration.)
You never know what you are going to get when you walk out onstage. You don’t know who is happy or who is sad. It’s a sea of stranger’s faces and you have to try and make them laugh. I will do it all again tonight if the weather holds up. Two days ago it was hot. Yesterday it was flooded. Today it’s hot AND raining. In other parts of the world rain falls to cool the earth and nourish the plants. Here in Toronto it falls to the earth, turns to steam, and burns the innocent.
One more week here and then it’s off to Winnipeg. Their weather is good in the middle of summer, right?