Last night I went to the closing performance at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival because two of my favorite comics in the world right now, Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter, were going to perform there. The show was totally amazing, and after listening to Eugene and Michael SO much on Last.fm for the last many months, it was such a huge pleasure to see them on stage up close in real life.
There were many huge highlights of going to this show.
1. During his set, Michael Showalter talked with me about The September Issue for about three minutes and it was totally hilarious. He’s a bit standoffish once he gets off stage, so it was totally amazing to have him looking me right in the eye and talking to me and asking me what I thought about various things regarding the movie while 250 people in the Bell House laughed at our conversation. The whole time I couldn’t really believe it was happening, and having been a fan of his since I was a little kid watching The State, it was a bit overwhelming. As we made eye contact I couldn’t help but think about how amazing it was to be looking him right in the eye, in real life, and about all the things that eye had seen and been through over the last two decades that we the fans would love to know about but never got to see. The rehearsals, the conversations with collaborators, the writing sessions, the personal ups and downs–everything. There was a real sweetness and sparkle and warmth and beauty to his eyes that I’d never seen before and it was so wonderful. I looooooooooooove moments like that. So awesome!!!
2. Reggie Watts, the musical comedian, is just such a joy to watch. His personality, his look, his talent and his music are just so easy to enjoy and get excited about. He was unbelievable and you have to go see him live–you will have the time of your life. I haven’t wanted to be friends with someone so badly in a while, hahaha.
3. The biggest take-home message from this show for me was: if you keep going at whatever you’re doing, you will get really, really good at it. All the comedians that really knocked my socks off were in their mid to late thirties, and some were in their forties. I thought about how if I saw them when they were 22, they probably wouldn’t have the same ease and comfort about them on stage, and they probably wouldn’t be at all as funny, and I probably wouldn’t like or admire them as much. These were people who had been working on their craft for ten to twenty years or more, and that’s why they were so amazing. They had totally found their voice and persona, and more than that, they had gotten to the point where they were so comfortable doing what they do, that it almost didn’t matter if they had prepared any material, because they knew what they were doing so thoroughly that they could wing it for 30 minutes and have the audience crying laughing. Also, they were all friends who had come up together and known each other for years, and it showed in the great admiration and respect they had for each other, as well as affection. These were people at the top of their game, surrounded by equally talented friends who had their back 100% and were all rocking a packed house together. You can’t really do that as a 22 year old, unless you start when you’re about 10. And I thought to myself, “Wow. This is a place that you only get to with time and work. And this is a place I would really, really love to be.” And it put things in perspective for me. A lot of the time I worry about my age or my progress, but the truth is, I enjoy where I am right now. I enjoy doing shows with friends in small venues around town and earning every new fan I can every time I do a show. I enjoy practicing recording and writing and producing as much material as I can and getting better at it over time. And I enjoy thinking about the fact that the longer I do all that, the more friends I’ll make in music, and the better we’ll all become, and the more we’ll help each other out, till we find ourselves in our mid to late thirties, rocking a packed house of our fans, and laughing about the time we had to fight to get 20 people to come out to a show.