I’m still processing last night’s AMERICAN INVASION show at Mleczarnia. It was an enormous success, with nearly 200 enthusiastic people in attendance and all of the performers working at 100%. It took us months to figure out the formula to how we wanted to do these shows, and five weeks later we executed that formula well beyond our most optimistic expectations.
Mleczarnia is an amazing venue which presented a lot of new variables that came together to make us work even better, from the brick wall aesthetic to the bright lighting to the open stage with an audience surrounding it at 180 degrees to the wireless mics. I’ve had a great time at the previous venue, but this was a huge step up for us.
Terry Clark-Ward was a fantastic host, keeping the energy going from one guest to the next, while shining with his own jokes and observations. Peter la Villa started things off with some great material. He’s a character in real life, but when he brings his personality to the stage he becomes larger than life. Derrek Carriveau brought it once again with his specific brand of wit. It’s been wonderful watching him transform onstage. And Famous Jim Williams brought it all together by combining his unique worldview and his physical comedy to create a hilarious block of comedy. There’s a reason why he’s the headliner, and he confirms it with every performance.
Personally, I worked my ass off to get my material right, making tweaks up to the minute before I jumped up on stage. I scrapped two major sections the day of and I had one particular joke that I was uncertain about doing (I had even crossed it off the list right before coming up) which I eventually did when I realized that the audience was apparently on board with what I was trying to accomplish. My introductory material was re-written a couple hours before at the suggestion of my wife, who I’m eternally thankful to because I think I would’ve fumbled right at the start if I hadn’t. And despite all the planning and overthinking, there were about four to five jokes that decided to introduce themselves during the performance.
All that said, I selfishly write and perform hoping to achieve a moment of magic where the material and the audience’s reaction collides to create something new and I think I got that last night. It’s why I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. And it’s been a long time since I was able to do something like that and because of it, I’m feeling something akin to a spiritual rejuvenation.
It’s the next day and I still feel high.
I know I still have a lot of work to do, but last night I was the closest to the person I want to be onstage, which has been the question I’ve been struggling with since I decided to try stand-up. I hope to continue learning with next month’s big show (info to come!) and I especially hope that the audience will follow me on this amazing journey.