Heaven and Hell are on my mind tonight, like the angel and devil that sit over my shoulders and tell me to do things. Actually, angel and devil aren’t quite right. It’s more like the productivity cheerleader over one shoulder, and the other shoulder has a guy who just wants to watch Daily Show episodes online and play old video games*.
Also, I might be thinking of Heaven and Hell because today (July 31, 2011) is the scheduled date of the apocalypse, according to some very scientific calculations that I made up in a column titled Apocalypse Soon. Some say the world will end in ice, some in fire**, and if it ends in fire, you’ll want my tips for staying cool.
But the main reason I’m thinking of Heaven and Hell is because I experienced them both this weekend.
Friday was Comedy Heaven. Performing locally just a few minutes from home, my improv troupe and I put on a fabulous show, culminating in an incredible musical nightmare scene where a teddy bear came to life, poisoned the dog, revealed itself as a demon, and was killed by earl grey. And then I had a 10-minute set during the stand-up portion that went very well, everyone laughing at all of my jokes.
Saturday was Comedy Hell. As the opening act, I had 15 minutes of material prepared. I arrived at the (farther afield) venue to find the headliner had an emergency, and I was the whole show. I did 15-20 minutes of surefire material, and the audience was dead like Jerry Garcia. The only thing they’d responded to was my rap, so after a brief intermission, I came back and did a lot of freestyle rapping, but even that did not impress them. An hour after I’d stepped on stage, I’d exhausted all my material and my voice, and judging from audience reaction you wouldn’t think I’d outperformed the salad.***
I think any comedian has stories of comedy heavens and comedy hells. I sure hope to get more heaven stories soon. But I guess I better hurry up; I hear the apocalypse is today.
*Like Diablo2, while I wait for Diablo3 to come out. Oh, Diablo… maybe it is a devil on that shoulder.
**And some say it will end covered in lobster thermador au crevettes with a white wine sauce and shallots. Gastrocalypse now.
***To be fair, burlesque is always popular, so people like to watch salad dressing.