I performed at a party thrown by some rich people. I was watching the gardeners and one jumped up and did graceful swirling dance moves. A lady yelled, “Bravo! I’ll pay a hundred dollars to see that again!” The other gardener yelled, “Hey, Ed! Do you think you can step on the rake again?”
First let me say that doing an outdoor stand up comedy show can be rough. Doing one in front of rich people is almost a sure bust. Typically the gigs pay well so you take your beating, get paid and get out of there. Especially if the gathering is a wedding reception. Horrible. People are trying to talk to each other, so they have no interest in listening to a knucklehead comic like me.
I have a lot in common with most unknown bands. We’re both used to performing while no one is listening. It’s just background entertainment. The exception is that nobody yells “You suck!” at a band, even if they do.
It’s not easy trying to please wealthy people doing stand up comedy. Mind you, I’ve been successful on some occasions. The trick is to get and keep their attention. Once, the crowd was so noisy I did the only thing I could think of. I disrobed down to my boxers. I got their attention alright, along with the police officers that were called.
As I was being taken away I yelled, “Thank you! You’ve been a great audience! I’m going to jail now. I’ll be there all week!” Obviously things didn’t get that bad. I’ve done about two dozen outdoor events. One was at a beach where the waves were louder than the speakers, but the crowd seemed to like my mime impression.
At one point I started saying no to outdoor gigs unless they were at a fair. People actually listened to me there. Live and learn.
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