My Experience With Stand-Up

Alexander Blaide, Reporter

     As I talked about in my article on “The Hall” and stand-up comics, I admire standup comics and have tried my hand at it. I want to get back into it after an almost year long hiatus. Dealing with school and work and theater, I’ve just been a bit preoccupied and hopefully with the summer coming soon, I can get back in the game. It sounds more fun when you say it like that, I’ve been told.

     I first did stand-up at 14. I didn’t really prepare or know exactly what I was getting myself into. At the time, it was this thing I liked and thought, “What the hell, I could give it a try.” It was at the Roxy theater early on in my freshman year and I went up there talking about school lunches and how bad they are. People laughed. They not only laughed, but they applauded and there were times I had to stop because they’d laugh when I wasn’t expecting it. The five-minute set up there went so smoothly, it was insane. People came up after the show to congratulate me and encouraged me to keep going. 

     COVID hit and, like everyone else, I had to put my life on hold. I had to finish school and once I was done with that, I just had nothing to do. I couldn’t go back and perform because the heavier restrictions were still in place, so I just kind of fell out of stand-up. I absorbed a lot of it, watching at least one special every other day or on YouTube or even scrolling through TikTok. As restrictions slowly lifted, shows were allowed to happen again at the Roxy and even at the ZACC. I went to a few of them at both venues and slowly got the confidence to try again. Unfortunately, with how complicated the school year was, I wasn’t able to at all my sophomore year. I was thinking of ideas for the time, but now they wouldn’t be usable or would need to be reworked.

     During the production for “Little Women” was the last time I did stand-up. I tried out some new material that I thought would work (it didn’t) and reused the school lunch thing I had written two and a half years earlier with some new twists and changes. The thing about writing comedy is that you’re always finding a way to improve an idea or make it a bit better. That’s why you sometimes see comics tell the same jokes at different shows or on TV. They’re working it out to find the best version of that joke or bit. The school lunch part of the show went well, and I still had people encouraging me to keep going, which I plan on doing over the summer with new ideas and bits in tow. Things like working and still being in high school or weird laws in Montana. 

     Comedy is a weird art form to do but is so fulfilling when you get laughter. It’s all about tenacity and putting yourself and ideas out there. People will either laugh or they won’t, and that’s all there is to it.