Last night, Melissa and I got on stage at the Verdi Club and told the story of the Lesbian Cruise for the Porchlight Storytelling Series. We were last minute fill-ins, and very nervous about hopping on stage to tell a weird story without any notes or memorization. We begged our friends and family to show up, and as we stood around the Verdi Club before it began, Melissa looked around and said, "This isn't our usual demographic."
For example, one of the other storytellers was Matt Gonzalez.
I had never met Matt before, but he marched right up to us before the show started and said, "I watch your show. It's very funny."
So immediately, I thought, "Oh, I love Matt Gonzalez. Who knew?"
Anyway, Melissa and I spent the previous hour practicing or story in my living room, but I was still very nervous. I am generally always very nervous before getting on stage, mainly because I am worried I will fall over. I realize this fear makes no sense, but in my head, I just see myself keeling over.
So we were up after intermission, and Porchlight co-founder Beth Lisick introduced us by first announcing that the original people scheduled to perform couldn't make it.
The audience reacted with gasps, sighs, and palpable disappointment. At which point, Big Chris looked over at me and mouthed, "Awesome."
And with that, we walked onstage.
I have found that all I need to feel comfortable on stage is one laugher. If I can get one laugher, I play the whole thing to them. On stage behind us was a piano player, there to play the storytellers off stage after they hit 10 minutes. And the first guffaw we got was from the piano player.
Getting the piano player to laugh is kinda like getting the crew to laugh. It's validation. And I could just tell, 20 seconds into the story, "Oh. We've got this."
All day long, I was nervous. And I got nervous again after getting of stage. But for 8 minutes, under the lights and with a microphone, I was INSANELY comfortable. I can't exlain it. It also helped that people seemed to have incredibly low expectations of us.
So anyway, if I say so myself, we kinda nailed it. And then after us, Matt Gonzalez and his law partner, Whitney Leigh told a story of traveling together in Guatemala.
They. Were. Hilarious.
I want to re-register as a member of the Green Party, they were so funny. I want to make a collage representative of my feelings about their performance, it was so entertaining. My father sent me an email last night, congratulating me on a great performance and then detailing the various nuances of Matt Gonzalez and Whitney Leigh's story. He used the phrase "laconic comedic timing."
I thought all of the storytellers were great, and I was honored to be among them, even if we were last minute additions to the initial great disappointment of the audience. As a woman said to Melissa and me afterwards, "I was all set to hate you two, but you were really fucking funny."
I have a whole Julia Sugerbaker rant about that hipster bullshit, but I will keep it positive and merely report that if you ever need someone to show up and the last minute and tell a story involving Betty Degeneres, an 80-year old lesbian couple and Schindler's List, you know who to call.
That's right. Matt Gonzalez...