Reading Out Loud

This Friday, I am performing my first open mic ... kind of.

Through the Charlotte Writers' Club, I am one of about a dozen people signed up to read 10 minutes of my own material Friday at Mugs Coffee. The directions specifically say this is not for stand-up comedy. 


That's what I know. In a way, stand-up's easier: The laughter lets you know immediately if you're work's good, if you're connecting with the audience, if you're really funny. The energy emanating from you and the audience feels like it could power a city. 

If you're wondering why I'm not doing stand-up, read Ward Anderson's excellent novel about a typical, "successful" stand-up comic, I'll Be Here All Week. The "parens" around "successful" look "obnoxious" because that's what they are, like a judgmental, smug set of jerks. Most people think of Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Steve Martin,  Jerry Seinfeld, and others when they think of successful stand-up comics. The thing is, they are the Michael Jordans of comics. Most successful comics--and there are thousands of them--make a living traveling to clubs 50 weeks a year, living out of their cars, living basically paycheck to paycheck, away from any family they are lucky enough to have. 

As a woman and as the person I am, the thought of making a living that way wasn't appealing. I would always be worried about  getting assaulted and I wanted a happy marriage, kids, etc. Plus, I hate the hours of a comic: I'd rather wake up early to work than stay up late. 

Someday, I will write and read out loud funny stories and books that make people snarf their drinks. Right now, I have to write and use my humor to write about Alzheimer's  Just do, can't ignore it. For myself and for my mom, who died a year ago this month. 

Breathe (2 a.m.) - Anna Nalick

2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to

Jennifer Zajac