Hi! I'm Jake!
I am in Seattle now, getting ready for the 31st Annual Seattle Comedy Competition. I am an Eagle Scout so I really personify the motto: Be Prepared.
Comedy contests involve a ton of preparation to combat stress, anxiety, distractions, and anything else that can psyche you out when the time comes to show your stuff. Besides being funny, a comedian needs to be healthy, mentally even, and in the moment. Here is what I am doing to get ready:
Taking Care of My Finances
Finances are a huge source of stress for most comics. Take care of your finances and take care of the stress. My credit card is maxed out. The initial 0% interest phase is over so I need to transfer to a new card. I can't transfer to a new card because any new cards will be mailed to my home. I will not see my home until December. Good news though: my bank account is $800 in the hole. Sweet! Now I can give up hope about fixing my finances. No hope means no stress.
Traveling to the Gig
To do the show properly, you have to get there. Some comics fly. Not me. I like to put miles on my car so I can pay for the gas and maintenance. So far on this tour, I have driven 1350 miles . That took 21 hours and $150 in gasoline. I haven't even done my first gig on this tour. That means I haven't had any income yet. Anyway, I drove here. Check.
Picking the Right Lodging to Ensure Peaceful Rest
Ancient Chinese war strategist Sun Tzu talks about how you can ruin your enemy by screwing with his rest. I am paraphrasing. To ensure I get the proper rest, I am staying at my friend (let's call her Lady #1)'s place here in Seattle. Last night I slept on her floor. Another comic, (let's call her Lady #2), slept on the couch. She snores. Loudly.
I stayed up until 3:10am after talking conspiracy theories with Lady #2. She says that the government has a program which sends jets all over the place to spray chem-trails. They spray poison all over the place to ensure only genetically modified crops survive. That way, only the companies that make genetically modified crops can provide us with food. That is a good restful topic to fall asleep to.
Just as I was about to fall asleep, Lady #1, our host, came in after driving back from a gig. It was good to see her. Unfortunately, she is really really sick. She has some sort of cold/flu thing. Right before a contest is a good time to test your immune system.
Another comic (Lady #3) and her daughter sleep in the bed downstairs. The daughter had to go to school at 6:00 a.m. 6:00 minus 3:10 is 2 hours and 50 minutes of sleep.
The 2 other guest comics both smoke cigarettes. The door to the patio is right by my pillow. That is a good place to lay my head. My dreams are blanketed by a fog of feet and carcinogens.
I haven't been exercising. I used to. This past year I had to sell my weight bench to pay rent. I do have a great bicycle, but you can tell I haven't been using it. I am a skinny dude with a gut.
To exercise properly, you need a routine. My routine got severely jacked up this year because of all my travels. You don't take a bike to Kansas City or Indianapolis. You take your arteries so you can clog them with food grease.
Last year, I biked around 2000 miles. This year, I may have biked 200 miles. That is an optimistic estimate. I like to lie to myself to make me feel better.
I drove out here with a cooler that stocked with the following accoutrements: turkey pastrami, cheese, another kind of cheese, and some carrots. Cheese is essential to proper nutrition. Constipation helps reduce bathroom breaks.
Also, I drank a lot of tea. That made sure I could increase the frequency of those bathroom breaks back again. My diet is balanced.
This week, I cut my own hair again. Why spend $20 on a haircut when I am perfectly cable of using clippers and scissors myself? Professionals are for babies!
On my way out here, I stopped off in Utah and cut my hair in my brother's poorly-lit basement bathroom. Because it was almost dinner-time, I made sure to rush it . Since I hadn't eaten in several hours, my hands were just shaky enough to hack some choppy dents in the back of my head. It looks like a monster took a bite out of me. Also, when I trimmed my neckline, I cut it crooked and an inch higher than normal. Just to be on the safe side, I made sure to accidentally slip so the clippers could leave a divot. It looks like a first-time golfer sliced into the green. The foreign golf course maintenance guy isn't going to be happy about that! Whiteys are always causing trouble!
Meditating and Preparing Psychologically
I like to do Kundalini yoga before any show. It gives me peace of mind and a sense of purpose. On this trip, I tried something different, though: I spent 21 hours in the car yelling at construction-caused traffic jams and telling myself that all the other competitors in this contest have TV credits, agents, and sustainable incomes. I made sure to remind myself that my best TV credit was my nationally televised rejection on Elimidate, a TV show that got canceled years ago. Fortunately, my negative train of thought kept getting interrupted by semi-trucks who needed to slowly pass the other semi-trucks. The fast truck was going 55 mph. The others went 54 mph. I could see why the fast truck needed to pass. He was in a hurry.
Now that I am poor, poorly groomed, tired, malnourished, and completely psyched, I am ready to compete! I am surrounded by an ironclad self esteem. I am a virtually impregnable fortress. Fortunately, the competition doesn't start until November 3rd so I have 2 weeks to impregnate myself with the facts that I turn 33 this month and I still sleep on a mattress on the floor.
Bye! I'm Jake!