Went out to a comedy show tonight at the Chan’s Red Dragon Lounge in Spokane. As my friends all know, I love comedy. In fact, I have been doing it as a hobby for a couple years now – just Open Mics, strictly amateur.
Tonight was different. I was just another audience member, and the nearest word to describe it would be an Audition for the Seattle Comedy Competition. From what the MC said, this was the first year that the competition was considering comics from Spokane, so it was a big deal for all 19 participants. Each competitor got to present their best 5 minute set.
Both Faith and I enjoyed the show immensely.
There was a wide spread of comics, most of whom I’ve seen at Open Mics in the area. There were a couple that stood out in my mind. One of these was a young kid named Tom Something-Stamos (yes, his name is hyphenated, and the middle name is hard to remember).
I’ve seen him before, and there’s something about him that I find incredibly apealling as a comic. I’ve seen him on some of his less successful open mics, but even in those I thought his stage persona was amazing. I don’t know why, but I immediately expected great things from him; and when the jokes didn’t materialize, I felt perhaps I missed something. After all, a kid this confident MUST have great stuff.
He’s a young comic who, if he sticks with it and works hard to hone his craft, I honestly expect great things from.
Perhaps there’s just something about me that makes me hope for the best whenever I see young kids with so much potential (I’m the same way when judging design portfolios – I’m full of hope and optimism), but I never seemed to witness a truly amazing performance from Tom at the open mics I attended.
But tonight at the comedy show, I saw Tom at his current best. I think he can be even better, but tonight was a wonderful vindication of my hopes for him as a comic. In my opinion, he was one of the top three comics of the show.
I made a point of seeking him out after the show to tell him what I thought. I think I may have overdone it – I mean, a drunken old guy staggering up to a young kid and heaping praise on him can imply a number of unseemly agendas; I just hope he saw the sincerity in my words and didn’t immediately dismiss me as some old drunk.
I actually gave him a business card and told him to contact me if he needs any help, a truly weird and creepy thing to do. In my defense I must say that the bartender was very generous in his measurement of Jameson shots, because I ordered two and drank the equivalent of four, so I was a bit more expansive and generous in my interactions (translation: I was drunk. Mrs. Sigmadog drove me home.). But the desire to help was real, and if I can help him in any legitimate way, I will.
The night got me thinking of doing more comedy work. I think I will visit the Red Dragon again for Friday Night Open Mic sometime soon to see how it goes.
Having done only a few open mics, I’m hoping the comedy competition will happen again next year, because if so, I’m going to practice my stuff and sign up and give it a shot, if only to see what happens.