It has been 5 months of unemployment already and by the way, things are going, it’s going to be 6 months before I know it. I can’t lie, this experience has been mentally and financially tough on me. The bills haven’t stopped coming through and since no money is coming in that means the bank acct. is being drained. I don’t know if it’s to be expected or disappointing, but some people have quit answering my calls or responding to my text messages and I know it because I don’t work in Radio anymore. lmao
It’s not easy and honestly, I have been depressed and sometimes I don’t want to do go anywhere or do anything. And there are times that it has been a little hard to even go and record the podcast with @paulwallbaby. But, despite all of that, I’m still going on and I’m still trying and I’m pushing through it and getting things done.
Here is the best example… This past Tuesday, I pushed myself and I stepped out of my comfort zone by participating in ‘open mic’ night at a local comedy club. Yes, it was unplanned, but I did it. I know me, if I had planned it than I would never have done it, I would have made excuses and chickened out.
Man, Comedy is a whole different world and I was nervous and I was scared and I know what you’re thinking, ‘WTF, he was on the radio! How was he scared to get on stage?’Well, it’s true, I was scared of failing, but people always told me that I was funny & said that I should do comedy…
Like 8 or 9 years ago when the comedian Ali Saddiq offered to take me under his wing, help me write jokes & help with everything that Comedians do, but I wasn’t ready for it at that time.
But trust me I have wanted to try comedy for years and I thought I missed out on a big opportunity. I missed out on 8-9 years of experience already under my belt, but like I said, I wasn’t ready yet.
So on Tuesday, I finally said screw it and I jumped right in.
How did I get to Open Mic Night? It all started one night when I met Wiley Edwards at a concert. Wiley tells me that he’s a comedian and he wanted to work with me and he’s been trying to work with me since then.
So, the other day, Wiley tells me that The Improv Houston has an open mic night and I considered doing it so I texted my friend Kira who works there to ask her the details. Kira tells me, yes and it starts at 6:30 pm. Good, I tell her that I’m considering doing it and Kira didn’t waste any time because she said, “I’m signing you up right now!” My immediate reaction was, wtf! wtf! Now, I’m nervous because I know there is no backing out now. Around 4:30 I decided to get ready to go to the comedy club, but then the news comes on says that I10 had an accident that shut down all but one lane. That was my window because the first thing that went through my mind was “hell yeah, this is my way out of going to open mic!” But no, that was just nerves and fear talking. I was just looking for a way out, but I decided to mention it to the group chat I have with the dog Kennel I belong to ‘Texas Premier Bulls’ and the guys were like “hell yeah! What time are we going?” That was a cross between encouragement and fear for me. It really got me scared… That fear kicked my ass already by keeping me away from trying comedy over the years.
Man, I had a list of reasons why not like to try it. I mean, what if I bombed my first show or I’m on stage and no one laughs at my jokes. My fear was real, my wife even asked if I wanted her to go… I said no because I was scared.
My thoughts were ‘Do Not tell anyone where you are or at what time you are going up.’ I finally told myself that I had to do it, I can’t be a chicken, I gotta go! I got in my truck, I drove down to the Improv and I even bypassed the accident by using the toll lane on I10. It cost me $1, but I was on my way there.
While heading there, I had to listen to 2 songs on repeat. These songs got me ready, gave me the courage and pumped me up. I don’t know why and don’t ask me, but one of the songs was BDA (Bounce Dat Ass) by Beatking lmao & the other song was Human by Rag’n’Bone Man.
So I’m driving there and when I get to the Improv I sat in my truck for 20 mins listening to those 2 songs trying to think of any excuse to leave, but I didn’t because I’m already there.
By 6:10 pm I walk into the Improv and sat at the bar and talk to my friend who bartends there. Man, I’ve known this bartender for like maybe 15+ years when we worked together at club Roxy. She asked me what I was doing there so I told her, I think I might do the open mic night.
At this time more people started showing up and my nervousness was coming back. I was like damn if I suck on stage all these people are gonna see me fail. That was it, I went for liquid courage, BEER! I finished my first tall beer (An 8 wonder beer called Dome Faux) and then I ask the bartender how the open mic night worked. My friend explained that beginners have to sign-up by adding their names to the bucket on the left. So that’s what I went to do, put my name down and that’s when I see that the bucket on the left was for the beginners and the one on the right was for comedians that were invited to do the show. Yeah, so now I’m like fuck! The nerves keeping piling up, but I signed up and go sit down to order another beer. I’m not feeling it so I start scrolling My Instagram and I see that Ali Saddiq is hosting that Tuesday night at the Improv. This just freaked me out more because now if I really do fail he’ll have a front row seat to it. And I’m thinking that he’s gonna walk up to me and say, ‘I tried to help your ass but you didn’t want the help” or maybe he’ll crack on me. lmao
There’s no backing down now because the club asked everyone at the bar to go inside the show area and sit down. Ok, it’s getting real now… I’m like ‘oh shit, they are going to call us up on stage.’ I’m freaking out, I’m close to shaking and I can feel my heart beating faster while I’m getting more scared.
That’s it, I decided to text Wiley and tell him that I’m freaking the fuck out. Wiley was like, where are you? I told him Improv, Open Mic Night. Wiley replied, “I told you to tell me if you were doing it so I could go and watch you” then he said, “I’m on my way!” I’m like shit more pressure lol
After I finished my beer I went for another beer and sat back down taking a pic of the stage and posted it on my Instagram. I told my Insta, “So today I said screw it and I’m stepping into a whole new world. I’m nervous as f*ck but gotta start somewhere” and the comments start coming in. A lot of people were asking me where I was and when was I doing the show so they could come and watch me. I told them I was doing it “right now” and they asked why I didn’t promote it and my raw response was because I didn’t want anyone to see me fail.
After my Instagram post I decided to send a text my friend Kira and when Kira texted me back she asked me if I was there and where I was. I told her yes and she said, “Ok Chile, I’m going to put you on the main stage.” Wait, what did she say? So, I texted Kira back and asked what she meant by that and she sent someone over to me to tell me that they were fitting me in and I was going on in 5 minutes on the main stage… that is unless I wanted to still do the beginner open mic set still. A lot of my decision was because I was so nervous and feared to bomb, but I decided to do the beginners set that was starting in 10 mins in the bar area because… the other reason was that I didn’t want people saying that I was getting special privileges for who I was. It was around this time that comedian Wiley Edwards gets there and the two of us decided to check out the other shows.
It was time for a refill so I went for another beer and I decided to close my tab out, but when I went to pay I noticed that my check card wasn’t in my wallet. It’s ok because lucky for me I asked my wife for cash before I left the house so I didn’t have to stop at the ATM on my way out. So I had the $60 she gave me and I figured out that I must have left my check card at Lucky’s Pub West (in Katy) the night before when we went to watch the Rockets game with some friends. Anyone who’s misplaced their bankcard knows that freakout feeling, but I didn’t have too much time to freak out because they start drawing names out of the bucket.
It started, people were going up for their sets and I noticed that a lot of them were just as nervous as I was and they weren’t doing that great, but in my mind, I’m thinking, “Shit, I can do better than that.” But, I think my liquid courage was starting to kick in lol
At this time I’m still waiting for my name to be called and after about 10 people had gone up already is when I noticed that the crowd has gotten smaller. I was finally told that I’m the last person to go on. Hey, I’m ok with that so I text Wiley to tell him I’m about to go on since he was in the main room.
It’s almost my turn and I’m realizing that I don’t know what I’m going to say when I got up. I spent the last 3 hours freaking out that I forgot about the jokes I had written down and when my name gets called up I said screw it, its the Improv. I improvised and it’s ok because they only give you 3 mins to do your set and try your best jokes if you want to graduate to the big stage. So I get up and I introduce myself. I gave them my background of how I worked in radio and about getting fired on the first day back from vacation. I told the crowd that this was a new beginning for me and before I knew it the host flashing the light to tell me to start wrapping it up… I wrapped it up, I said thanks and that my friends were my first open mic.
At first, I felt like I did bad because I didn’t even try out the jokes that I wrote down, but then I realized that in reality, I won. It was the next day on Wednesday when I was getting text messages from people close to me. They were asking how it went and told me that they always wanted to try comedy too, but they were scared. The people on Instagram were also saying the same thing so then I realized that the fear of failing has been keeping me from possibly being a good comedian.
The plan now is to go back next week, but this time with more confidence. I’m going to try the jokes I have written down out and go from there.
Hey, I conquered the first one and it’s out of the way. I mean, you have to crawl before you walk right? I just hope that this helps someone who might be scared of taking that chance. Don’t let your fear win where it scares you out of being great or starting a new beginning.
I don’t know if I will ever be on a radio station again in Houston and only God knows that answer, but I know that comedy will take me to other places and as long as I have the support of my family and friends and the good people of Houston I’m good.