Had a show this past Tuesday night at Bay Path College in Longmeadow Massachusetts. The show was at 8 p.m., so I took to the highway at 3 and made it there by 6:30. They had a room for me at the Holiday Inn, that after missing the turn for, and being routed back onto the highway, I found, and checked into, by 7.
In room 406, after firing the thermostat from 62 to 78, I sat in front of the register and went over the show in my noggin. I was at the school in the parking lot behind the show location by 8:20, where I met my pretty and prompt contact, Chandler, who led me to the performance space, er, cafeteria.
Bay Path is an all girls college, and for cripes sakes I had no idea why they booked me. I guess a comedian is a comedian is a comedian.
I'm often asked if I get nervous before a show. No, is the general answer. More specifically I'd say if I was doing a play for the first time, or working on a film that required a great deal of memorizing lines for large scenes with intricate patterns of marks to hit, yes, I'd be a bit nervous. Not the type of nervous one is when having to sing "O Holy Night," at Christmas Eve service, when one is 16 years old, but still, nervous.
At Bay Path College I wouldn't say I was nervous, I'd say I was a bit anxious, anyway. There are few shows for which I'm not at least a slight bit anxious. You could be coming off a stretch of 20 sold-out/full-house, barn burning shows, and still not be totally sure the folks that night will like what you do. You're never sure - you're never totally sure folks will laugh. I think the rule is, if you're sure they'll laugh, you're losing your edge.