Friday Night (A Look Back)

Simply put, Friday night was a blast.

And it went by so fast, I can hardly remember what happened just a couple of days later.

The week approaching my off-Broadway debut at the National Comedy Theater, I was pretty nervous. I don’t usually get nervous before a show (what I usually feel is probably best described as anxious), so the fact I was finding it hard to sleep on Tuesday night was a new experience.

It’s hard to say how much of it was nerves and how much of it was that familiar anxious feeling. I was just eager and excited and ready to play. I’ve been to pretty much every show since I’ve started rehearsing with them a couple of months ago and after weeks of watching some great improv week after week I wanted to jump up there and play with them.

As Friday evening rolled around I found that the closer it got to showtime, the calmer I became. It was like entering a Zen-like state without all of that annoying Zen stuff. Of course, what helped the most was knowing that I was going to be up there with a great team of people whom I knew had my back. Their support over the last few weeks has been amazing and to have that level of trust like I have with them over such a short time is a blessing I don’t take for granted.

The players scheduled for that night also included Kramer, Chris, Tyler, and Michael Jeffrey Cohen. That’s right. It was going to be a two-on-two improv competition. When I got to the theater I got word that Gary Cohen, one of the players not scheduled to be there, was going to show up to play the first show. I was stoked! Cohen has been a great support and made me feel right at home on the team and the fact that he wanted to be there to play my first show really meant a lot to me.

You know all of those shows I’ve been attending over the last few weeks just as an audience member? Well, it paid off. I played a bunch of games that night that I had never played before and I had a blast! Because I’d seen the team play them before, I had a general idea of what was supposed to happen.

It was Tyler and me in blue “against” the two Cohens in red. Kramer was the ref and Chris was the DJ (Designated Jokester). We played Emotional Symphony, Blind Line Fairy Tale, Dinner at Joe’s, Five Things, Beastie Rap, and Story. And that was just the first show.

It was a really good crowd and I experienced everything from the “deer in the headlights” to genuine laughter and it was a great ride. Afterward I told Kramer I couldn’t believe how quickly it went. Thankfully my buddy Paul was up in the sound booth taking pictures for me to help me remember what I was doing up there (I’ll post the pictures as soon as I get them from him).

The second show was a much much smaller (and quieter) crowd, but I was still riding the high from the first show so it didn’t bug me much.

All in all, I was happy. There were some things I would have done differently and some things I was happy with. I think the people who were there left the theater glad they had come and had smiles on their faces, and that’s all I ask.

Let’s keep this E-Train rolling!

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