Sometimes comedians will discuss a nightmare show; the "hell gig". Since we are all hungry for stage time, especially early in our careers, we take those shows. A show is a show. They are not considered when folks look at glorified life of stand up comedy. Whether its a bar that has TVs on during the show, rowdy crowds or white-clawing it through a snowstorm four hour drive through Wisconsin, they are all considered "hell gigs."
Unless you set your expectations low. Recently I had some shows that had been "hell gigs" for others and even myself in the past. I went into them, thinking that at least I am getting extended sets to work on my new jokes and my new hour. I also took the shows as part of a larger run of shows to fill schedule gaps. My personal experiences with one show made me prepare for the worst and having regrets even minutes before I started the show. My expectations were low, especially after having a run of amazing shows at comedy clubs.
Well, one "hell gig" turned into a really show with new super fans! Not only did I work on my new hour of material, but I had some new interactions or "crowd work" pieces that could turn into bits. I sold many of my "Better Call Paul" shirts, which donate all the proceeds to Parkinson's Foundation this month. Not all of the gigs have this happy ending and sometimes shows we look forward to, end up being the nightmare gigs. For now, I will take the wins where I can get them. I did a sketch about this a while ago with my friend Derick Lengwenus which I will post below. #mondaymotivation #careerchange #formerlawyer #standupcomedy
Hell gig --> https://youtu.be/CUoTD1RMJ_I
Paul Farahvar Comedy