I have the bug again. I get it once a year, but it lasts 365 days. It never really goes away. I just find a way to put it into remission most of the time. Call it a reality check and a wife who, while she encourages my creative activities, keeps reminding me that I am a long way from getting paid for them and I need to focus on the activities that have a pay day involved. I did that in October. I married her.
I have been having a ball writing this limerick blog. Since I post on some social networking sites to share my blog, I have been trying to use an introduction to set up and “hide” the jokes which are the limericks, especially when they are “inappropriate” subjects, which happen to be the most popular, of course. My daughter rips me regularly for that stuff but then she will tell me that it is funny. OK. By writing intros, I have been writing set ups for punch lines which is how you write jokes. The stand up formula is not rocket science. It is a laugh line every ten seconds and solid laugh tags. I have been writing with that formula all my life as I have been a stand up wannabe all my life.
I am also an old college actor who has experienced the fun and excitement of going up on stage and having the lights hit you in the face and the thrill of being in front of an audience. That thrill is even better when you can make people laugh at something you wrote and performed with the right timing and delivery. Talk about making your heart race. It is exhilarating. And once a year, I go through a little withdrawal and it is an easy fix. I have been using a lot of the same material for seventeen years…because it is tested and always works. Now I have a lot of new material from the limerick blog so I wrote some new formula jokes/material and incorporated four limericks to give my set a uniqueness that will be much different than kids up their rambling and tossing out f-bombs. I use the “f” word twice but for effect and both times it is in exact quotes from my wife directed at me. The funny thing is that I have not gone to the “inappropriate” limerick material well yet and I know that stuff will work for the younger audiences. If I keep going with it a little longer this time, I can go there. Usually it is three or four open mics and I get bored. Not with being up there. The sign up and sit there for several hours listening to more bad than good waiting to go up is tough.. I am not out there trying to break through and I am not there to pay dues. I am too old for that. I am there mostly for my own self amusement. Now if something crazy were to happen and I could sense I was getting some traction, well, that might change things. After all, I did graduate from Beachwood High School with some incredibly successful people in the entertainment business and I have always had confidence from knowing I come from that breeding ground. I also know that I am a good writer and I can do it if I had some motivation to stick with it. One thing for sure, when asked about my stand up career, my answer is always the same, “I ain’t dead yet.”
And it led to this:
My shtick has a unique alte cocker niche,
And my writing is clever and never kitsch.
When I get the bug
To be silly and mug,
I have to scratch my stand up itch!