By the time weeks 3 and 4 of our comedy class rolled around, it was time to get down to work. I’d written and performed about 2 or 3 original jokes by this time, and even if I did not have my classmates rolling on the floor with laughter, I’d realized that it was highly unlikely that I’d actually contract Death By Sucking.
This was hard work. Especially on the days when I’d written what I believed to be the most brilliant piece of comedy ever known to man and the teacher responded with comments like, “That’s the third time I’ve seen that joke and I still don’t get it.”
It was especially hard for me because I so Want To Be Right. And I believe that I am right, and that if I just will it hard enough I can convince the world that I Am Right and They Are Wrong. That my work is funny, and they should be laughing at it. (I’m sure you can imagine how well that worked.)
I finally realized that I had a choice here. I could be “right” and miserable, or I could be willing to be wrong, willing to learn what actually works in comedy, and learn how to write jokes that actually would make people laugh. But I really had to think about this before I could decide. Like, for months.
But I finally decided to swallow my pride (Important Side Note: Pride? Does not taste good, even washed down with regular Coke) and admit that I was going to have to be bad at this for a while before I could learn how to be good. And, I was. And, it sucked. And, I did not die.
And then, one day, a miracle occurred. I wrote a joke, and lo, it was funny, and the class, they did laugh. And it was very good.
Especially since the teacher is just as much of a smart ass as all of us, and every time we grudgingly came around to doing things his way he’d say things like, “Hm, it’s almost as if I know what I’m talking about.”
So I’m off now to the Dress Rehearsal. If I can still form a coherent thought when I get back, I’ll let you know how it goes.