Comedy and Tragedy

Posted: October 8, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Good thing for me I don’t get nervous anymore…

Last night I performed at The Comedy Store on Sunset with my improv group The LA Connection.  I’d been looking forward to this for several weeks, and only found out for sure about two weeks ago that I was definitely in the show.  This place is one of the most historic venues for comedy ever.  From Letterman, to Andy Kaufman, Chevy Chase, Garry Shandling, Sam Kinison, John Belushi, Richard Pryor, and so many other careers were launched from this stage and that sense of history was not lost on me.

Stepping back a bit, last Friday I finally performed for the first time in roughly a year at the LA Connection Theater in Sherman Oaks.  It was like riding a bike, in that it was so easy to step right back into and you really should wear a helmet.  After Friday’s performance I was more excited and confident than ever to rock The Comedy Store.

Then yesterday afternoon I was at work making and printing work orders and labels for Cold Case when I started feeling really low… I had a serious lack of energy.  I found it a little amusing, because I recognized this feeling.  Whenever I’m really excited about something that’s about to happen – usually a performance – that feeling shows up.  I really think it’s my body’s way of trying to counteract my natural excitement and balance myself out.  Instead of freaking out with excitement, my body is saying, “gosh I’m bored.  Just bored to all heck”.  When I realized this was happening I had my coworker David take a picture of me.  I think it’s fun to see myself emotionally unbalanced as I clearly was.


But then something new happened.  I actually started to freak out.  I panicked (breaking rule number one of this blog, for Pete’s sake!).  But I got up and walked around a bit.  Stepped outside on the patio and got some fresh air.  Everything was back to normal.

Cut to 6pm.  I’m driving down Ventura Boulevard towards Hollywood, and everytime I take that route I pass by Miceli’s restaurant.  I should have taken the freeway.  Miceli’s is where my soon to be ex-wife and I had our big “both sides of the family finally meet” dinner two nights before our wedding.  It was an incredibly wonderful night.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know that Laura and I shouldn’t be together.  It’s for the best and I’m darned ready to move on with my life, but driving past that place… I remembered us getting our picture taken with our families outside on the corner, and it put me back in a low mood.  A different kind of low mood than the one earlier.  This wasn’t my body trying to trick me into being bored, this was a low mood with a real punch.

I continue driving onto Highland and am just about to turn onto Sunset, still kind of thinking about Laura, when it hits me that the LAST time I was at the Comedy Store it was with Laura for our one year wedding anniversary.

This was not a good time for that revelation. 

I’m driving, feeling low, and suddenly realize… Am I about to friggin’ CRY?!  I haven’t cried about her (or anything) in many weeks!  But I let it happen.  Only a dry heave.  One syllable’s worth of a cry and no tears.  I really would have preferred to get it all out, but I don’t like to force those things and I WAS driving, for Pete’s sake.

Taking it all in - getting a feel for the place

Taking it all in - getting a feel for the place

Got to the shop about an hour early and checked out the backstage.  Rumor has it that the dressing room we used was built specifically for Richard Pryor.  In the middle of the room was a mirrored coffee table shaped like a piano that was clearly used for doing cocaine.  The whole room definitely screamed “1970’s showbiz”.

Where's that kid with my latte?

Where's that kid with my latte?

So, sitting in the dressing room with the rest of the cast and just feeling depressed as hell.  Kip comes up to me.  Kip knows.  We talked a bit and I just told him.  When I said the words out loud, “The last time I was here I was with my wife on our one year wedding anniversary” there was about one second of deep sadness, then it lifted.  Just saying the words out loud helped release that negative energy.  Within literally a minute I was ready to rock!

The actual show?  I did OK.  I didn’t knock it out of the park, but went out and had fun and the audience had fun, too.  I got to introduce the first improvisation and had direct interaction with the crowd (the place was about 4/5 full I’d say) which I really enjoyed.  20 minutes just flew by, and I was on stage for half the scenes.  I was lucky to be with other actors who were GREAT!  Thanks Brian, Jamira, Jake, Laurie, Dorrie, Brianne, and of course Kip for making the event so special.  And BART!  Thanks for guiding me through the night!  Again, it really flew by. 

I'm introducing our first Improv: The Do Run DIE!

I'm introducing our first Improv: The Do Run DIE!

Brian and I stumbling though the alphabet in London

Brian and I stumbling though the alphabet in London

Curtain Call

Curtain Call

Afterwards I took a seat with my friend Dave, my sister Meagan, and brother in law Rick who showed up for me.  Later on, both Meagan and Rick (in seperate scenes) were audience volunteers!  Meagan didn’t really have an opportunity to showcase any skills except for being angry on cue – which she did very well in – but Rick got to provide sound effects for a scene and was pretty spectacular at it.

So that’s a hurdle cleared.  I’ve done The Comedy Store.  And the NEXT time I do the Comedy Store, I can remember the LAST time as an event that will likely remain unsoured.

Why did the paranoid chicken cross the road?




…relax, no chickens are crossing the road.  It’s all in your head.

  1. Bill says:

    Hell of a show! i thought u rocked! (Rick was amazing wasn’t I?) I mean him… ah, fuck it.

    Good show!

  2. Loren Fagerness says:

    You really put me there. Sounds like it was meant to be..Fun.

  3. Kelly W. Kittridge says:

    Hey Kev!

    People throw the word amazing around these days. But I gotta tell you, you *are* amazing. I love how you are real with your life, your words and your humor. I am (way) proud to be your Uncle, I hope to see you at the Comedy Club sometime real soon.

    Love… Uncle Kelly

  4. jshady says:

    Awesome post, man. I like how it’s both funny and real. Those two things don’t often go hand-in-hand.

    See you soon, yes?

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