Thursday, March 4, 2010

Look, Ma! I made it past Round 1!

The third and final group in the first round of the Open Mic Finals at Tommy T's hit the stage last Monday night...and I was part of it!

In case you're new to this blog, here's what's up with the Tommy T's Open Mic Finals.  Every Tuesday night is Open Mic Night at Tommy T's in Rancho Cordova.  At the end of each night, management selects a winner (or sometimes two).  Those winners are then entered in the Open Mic Finals, and get to come back and compete with all the other winners from that period.

My first open mic there was January 5th, and I won that night.  So the finals finally began a couple weeks back, with groups of comedians each Monday night facing each other with 10-minute sets to see which ones advance to the next round.  When names were drawn, I was lucky enough to draw group #3, which meant I got to relax and take my time working up my set...AND get to watch the first two groups and see what each did right...and wrong...and learn from their experience.

As this first round of the competition was based on audience voting to see who advances, I learned fast the importance of bringing some of your people along.  So I got the word out, and got a great group of friends and family to come on out and cheer me on last Monday.  A couple of the others did the same (we all had free tickets given to us to give away), and between us all, we managed to near-fill Tommy T's.  This would end up being the biggest crowd that I've played for yet.  Very exciting.

So Group Three ended up being me, Raj Dutta, Kristen Fritz, Sam(antha) Key and Jake Ward...all of whom I've either shared a stage with or watched on stage before, all really funny people.  My boy Jason Tate was plucked to be the host for the night, and it was great to see him get a shot at that.  Knew this was going to be fun.

We drew order numbers before the show began, and I drew #2.  Whew!  Not #1!  I hate going on first.  Kristen was the lucky winner who got to pull THAT duty.  After her 10 (where we learned about cats and, not with cat breasts), my buddy Tim did his wheelchair-lifting duty and got me up the backstage stairs.  Jason did my intro, I got up and did my 10.  Was very happy with it, mostly with the fact that the new stuff worked.  Felt like I gave a strong showing.

After that came Sam Key (who taught us about aging rock stars and Slurpees), followed by a guest set by none other than Mr. Willie Mac (woo hoo!).  Raj came up next ("How about Gandhi...?"), and finally Jake Ward closed things out (with some words on threesome etiquette and a song on his guitar about boners).  And then it was time for all of us to get back on stage for voting.

Audience voting in a case like this doesn't involve ballots or any kind of meters.  We do things the old-fashioned way at Tommy T's.  Lou got up on the mic, and had each of us in turn step forward to receive applause.  He did this process twice juuuuust to be sure.  In the end, Sam, Jake and I advanced.  However, there was also an "alternate" spot that had opened up along the way that management had the selection to fill, and Kristen ended up chosen for that, so she's going to the next round as well! 

The drawings have been done for Round 2, and they break down thusly:

Monday, March 8, 2010
Boogee, Kristen Fritz, Joey Gonzalez, Michael O'Connell, Delfino Reyna

Monday, March 15, 2010
Ty Anderson, Sam Key, Willie Mac, Jennifer Rutherford, Jake Ward

Yeah...I've my work just a LITTLE cut out for me Monday night...

Thanks to everyone (no matter who you came to root for) who showed up Monday night and cheered us on!  Packed house, great crowd, lots of laughs all around.  Thanks to my fellow finalists who braved the night with me.  Bye bye, Round 1!  Here comes Round 2!

If you're reading this and thinking about coming this Monday night...stop thinking and DO IT!  What a lineup!  And what a chance to come and cheer for me...ME, you hear me?!  I can't stress this part highly enough!  Would love to see if we can pack Tommy T's to the walls again.

Support local comedy!  Know what the best way is to do that?  Come out and cheer for ME!  This will benefit local comedy in ways I'll have to explain to you at another time, after I've given it some thought...

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