How I Performed My First Stand-Up Set With Nude Comedy LA…And Nailed It
On September 7th, I did something I’ve never done before. Now, for anyone who knows me, I’m not really afraid to try new things. My motto’s always been, “I’ll try anything twice, because the first time might just feel too foreign or weird.”
My first naturist experience wasn’t like that. I took to it like a duck to water (please pardon the cliché). It never felt weird to be naked for me. I’ve always enjoyed it. When I was married, I used to prance around naked all the time, even cook naked. My ex, who was a “never-nude” used to tell me to put clothes on because someone might see me walking around naked, or I might hurt myself without the protection of clothing. The ironic thing is that the first time I ever gave him a haircut, I was topless…but no one else was, so I guess that was somehow okay.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. During the day of September 7th, I wasn’t feeling all that great, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to Nude Comedy LA at the Two Roads Theater, but JP and I had promised our friend, Amy Arrow, (who was MCing) that we would go. So, I “manned-up,” threw on some clothes to get there, packed some towels, got a parking spot right in front of the theater, and arrived just in the nick of time.
As it turns out, one of the three open-mic comics was a no-show. I hadn’t showered. I hadn’t shaved. I really just wanted to disappear into the crowd that evening…but that’s not what fate had in store.
JP and I sat together and we joked around. I suggested he go fill-in the open spot and he responded, “Why don’t you do it?”
At first, I was responded, “No way. I’ve never done stand-up before. I’m not sure I can do it.”
Well, within a few minutes of no one else volunteering, just as they were shutting the doors, and getting ready to start the show, I had a change of heart. I’m not entirely sure what changed my mind. But, I walked up to Allen, the owner of Two Road Theater and the coordinator of Nude Comedy LA, and asked if the spot was still open and put my name in.
Two gentlemen went before me and yet, for some reason I wasn’t nervous even though I had no plan, no set, no nothing. I was just going to do it. I did pick a topic to focus on – my love life from middle school to present.
As I walked up to the stage, I realized, I hadn’t shaved, I wasn’t exactly sure when I last showered…I stank. Great.
“Well, I better just roll with it, I thought,” and I did. I made fun of the fact that I had no plan for my set, I was gross and disgusting, and while I love my name, it certainly created plenty of fodder for teasing and harassment especially as soon as mean or horny boys started calling me “Cuntsy.” I made fun of my choices in men throughout my life and ended the set with the statement that if one of your nicknames is “Cuntsy,” it may permanently skew what you view as normal in your love life.
I got more laughs than I expected. But, there wasn’t a single moment where I felt nervous or vulnerable. I had been warned that doing stand-up is one of the most nerve-wracking tasks a performer can do, but doing stand-up while nude is even more intimidating. I didn’t feel any of that.
There wasn’t a single moment when I felt nervous. I don’t know why. I’ve been performing professionally since I was four years old. But, I’d never done stand-up. Not once. Never even really considered it. Frankly, I still have trouble believing I’m actually funny. Though I’ve always been the one in my group of friends to cause uncontrollable fits of laughter. I have no shame and no topic has ever been off-limits.
The time to hand out the awards came and I won. From where I was on stage, it sounded as though the three open-mic contestants had the same amount of applause, but I was assured by many that there was a HUGE difference between the applause I received and that of the other contestants. I almost felt bad…but not too bad.
So, in true Conci tradition, I’m going to try it again, and this time I’m even going to prepare.