I have started to do this thing where I run up to the mic after the host calls my name like a game show contestant. I guess I thought it “brings energy.”
Last Sunday night I spoke about this to a young man who asked to interview me after an open mic (he said he likes to interview “random” and “homeless “people, so, I did not take this request as the beginning of my meteoric ascent). I also explained to him how I sometimes like challenge myself to do unusual physical things on stage, like yoga poses or dance moves, or take risks with undeveloped material, because the discomfort keeps me present and engaged with the audience as a human being, as opposed to a disconnected bobble-head joke-robot. I thought this all sounded very creatively wise and evolved at the time, which wouldn’t be a bad thing had not IRONY reared it’s head. When I say “irony” I mean the Oedipal kind, not the hipster racist joke type. By “irony” I mean where you talk about challenging yourself physically on stage one night and the next night you eat the stage for dinner.
The following night I went to, yet another, open mic (the glamour of this life can not be overstated) at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey. Boats swayed gently on the water while white people sipped drinks the color of Fruit Loops with pineapple wedges stuck in them. I contemplated the meaning of life and venereal disease jokes, until I heard the host call my name, at which point I began my game-show-contestant sprint to the stage. I soon heard a collective cry from the audience (this mic had an actual crowd) when the taste of the carpet in my mouth alerted me to the fact that I had not arrived to the mic, but had landed face down. The next thing I knew, the host peeled me off the floor with a concerned look and I wondered if I had just been roofied LSD. (Does anyone do LSD anymore?)
“I totally meant to do that,” I assured the crowd once I had realigned my knee sockets and wiped carpet threads off my face. “I’m awesome,” I stated.
That line may have been used by every public face-planter in the history of public speaking, but rest assured, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. I talked about the quality of my shoes and then launched into my planned set, but nothing was nearly as interesting — nothing will ever be as hilarious or brilliant — as an unplanned face-plant. It had nothing to do with me, personally and everything to do with the Lady Who Ate The Carpet.
I have a friend who spends money to do hallucinogenic drugs with groups of people under supervised medical care in the Hollywood Hills. He says it helps him release The Ego. Rest assured, falling down on stage does the same thing. For a fraction of the price! My comedy will never be so genius again.