my 2017 #streamteam march

If you are following me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw this post last week.

I did this. Sitting on the toilet in a comedy club, moments before I went up for the first time. I have the terrible combination of LOOK AT ME AND LOVE ME combined with a crippling lack of confidence and dry mouth. But I took a class from a master because when you are lost and want to be found, you seek out the best teachers. Thanks to Jannice at @laughterzone101 I put my brain through joke boot camp. I was sick, overwhelmed, distracted by life and hardly needed one more thing on my plate BUT I DID THIS. Just for me. I met new people who were stumbling too, in that "I want this but am I good enough?" fog and we bonded and supported each other and made each other laugh with strings of funny words WE INVENTED. We practiced. We edited. We brainstormed. We told each other WE CAN DO THIS. It's five minutes. We won't die. 5 weeks of classes building up to a showcase at a comedy club last night. Every morning I turned off the alarm and my stomach plummeted as it was one day closer to actually doing it. I performed my 5 minute set while pacing the alleys around my office for a week. In the rain. I invited my friends and family who I knew would be good for a loud pity laugh if I pooped myself. I rubbed my brave ghost tattoo Bill and reminded myself how amazing this whole process was and then I got up and performed a set I wrote and I made strangers laugh. My mouth lost all moisture for the last 2 jokes and I cried when I left the stage. Then I chugged a glass of red wine and ate the best brownie in the world brought to me by the best cheerleader in the world. I made my friend Jackie do a spit take. My friends hugged me and said I was the best and I glowed like a street light. My brother told me he was proud of me and I cried a little bit more. Then I made Nuv tell me his favourite parts for 5 hours on the train while a gentleman beside us dressed and undressed himself. Everything you are scared of is bullshit, friends. I did this.

SO DEEP, RIGHT?

After years of being obsessed with comedy and stand-up and stand up comedy specials on Netflix (Mulaney, Louis CK, Aziz, Bill Burr, Ali Wong, Jeselnik ETC), I was invited to do a stand up set in a comedy show and immediately pooped everywhere. Luckily it was in my maternity underwear, purchased 6 years ago to be a safe wrapping around my post-partum downstairs zone BUT I STILL OWN AND WEAR THEM. At this point they could double as a one-piece bathing suit. They are a testament to how far good cotton can stretch.

If you know me at all, you know that while an idea might sound terrifying, once it’s embedded in my head, I can’t stop thinking about it and working it like a bread dough and wondering and then a soundtrack of "You’re old, what do you have to lose?" "Why are you such a scaredy cat?" "Just Do it" and "Will you die?" runs through my head on a high speed track on loop forever.

So, I said yes. I took a class first because I never leap before looking which explains my boring boring life most days. I learned all about the artistry and unknowns and details and work work work that goes into stepping in front of a microphone. It is NO JOKE. Even though it is all jokes. You get existential – who am I? How do I speak? Do I have a vibe? How do I want to appear? What details of my life am I shameless enough to share? Do they make clothing out of that new colour of black that absorbs everything around it because no cardio + late night Doritos = oh god, body, what have we done?

In the midst of pretending to know what I was doing, Spring Break and the worst cold of my life came swanning into our lives. With my blessed Mother-In-Law in town, and rehearsals and sinus glue and copious naps, I spent exactly 15 minutes with Stella in those 2 weeks. My nod to being a good parent was doing Fancy Lady Art Party with Dollar Store supplies, skittles for her and a giant carafe of turmeric tea for me. I think we didn't embarrass ourselves.

SO after weeks of preparation and determination and guidance from Jan at Laughter Zone 101, we had our showcase at a comedy club and GUYS, I DIDN’T DIE.

Leading up to the show I put myself on a professional comedy time-out because I didn’t want to accidentally rip off a delivery style or back out of the show because "oh my god these guys are so good and I am not fit to be the spit on a mic."

This sucked because THREE comedy specials I had been eagerly anticipating were sitting there on Netflix taunting me every day. Over the past few days I finally queued them up and I was NOT disappointed.

Dave Chappelle - The Age of Spin

I have only watched the first of the 2 specials released (a third is on its way), but, man, is it good to see Chappelle again. He looks different and feels passionately about different things but the way he can deliver a line with his whole body is the same and that feels like diving into a warm bowl of funny applesauce. (That…doesn’t sound good but we’re just gonna go with it.) Not every joke landed for me and I spent most of the special smiling versus laughing but if you are a long-time fan of Chappelle you don't need me to tell you this is required viewing.

Amy Schumer - The Leather Special

I will never tire of her full body embrace of raunchy no-fucks-given bawdy humour. Every lady part of me tingled with happiness.

Mike Birbiglia - Thank God for Jokes

Birbiglia has such a calm and gentle voice that sometimes it feels like his jokes are being told to a man about to jump off a high office building. He builds stories in unexpected ways, sits down, runs off, and bounds about on the stage, and completely charms you with revealing looks into the weird life of a comic. He revels in the quiet between words and it works beautifully.

~

In a new segment I like to call Watch These or You’re a Big Dummy, here are some new (and archived) movies I think are required viewing.

You should immediately watch:

Hell or High Water (This was in my Top 5 of 2016 List. IT'S THAT GOOD.)

Better Call Saul - Season 2 (If I ever tire of Odenkirk in this role, bury me in the sand.)

Jesse & Celeste Forever (Just enough sugar to offset the melancholy.)

Mystery Team (Before Community & Atlanta, Donald Glover was being gloriously weird in this.)

Grand Budapest Hotel (My favourite Wes Anderson movie - every tic of his is present along with a linear plot.)

Shows on My List That I Want To Quit My Job To Watch

On the docket:

Pete’s Dragon (My kid has ZERO interest. Her loss.)

Love - Season 2 (May it be as sweet and awkward and funny as the first season.)

OMG NEW Louis CK Comedy Special streaming on April 4th!

What have YOU been watching this month? I only have 48987584 shows on my List. I should probably add more.

As a member of Netflix Canada's #streamteam I will be giving you the straight goods on what I'm watching each month in exchange for a yearly membership. It's a match made in heaven, really.