The second love of my life that I have become obsessed with over the years, is stand-up comedy. I can’t get enough of it. I love listening to albums, podcasts, I love watching it, I love writing it, I love performing it! Every aspect of the subject, I have covered and studied and taught myself how to do it for myself.
I think since I was in the seventh grade I have been listening to stand up nonstop. I started with comedians like Jim Gaffigan, MIke Birbiglia, and Demitri Martin. Memorizing their albums, and regurgitating them back to my friends whenever I was at school. I think it was a way for me to get attention, since I didn’t have many friends in middle school, I decided that if I told people these comedians’ jokes, I would get attention, and therefore get friends. Dang, that’s sad.
Anyway, that didn’t work for a while so I decided to audition for the school talent show and become the school’s new class clown! And to do that, I took Jim Gaffigan’s bits about bowling and birthday parties from his album King Baby (an album that I still have memorized to this day), rewrote them in my own words, and auditioned. And I killed at the audition room. They loved me. I made people cry (from laughter) with my stolen jokes. However, a bunch of teachers have very different senses of humor than middle schoolers. When the day of the talent show came, I was excited. I had material that I knew worked (because it worked when Gaffigan did it), and I was sincerely confident that I would do well. Then I performed. And I didn’t know it at the time, but all I got were sarcastic laughs. They humiliated me, without my knowledge. It was genius and terrible all at the same time.
After that, I had figured I had made it in the comedy world. I thought everyone would know me and love me for it. They definitely knew me, but they sure as heck didn’t love me. I still get crap to this day for doing “crappy stand up comedy in middle school”. To which I tend to ignore that person for the remainder of my lifetime. Needless to say, that sort of turned me off of doing comedy bits in front of people anymore. For a while at least. Last school year I became determined to write my own jokes, and perform them at my church’s camp’s variety/talent show that summer. I wrote, I workshopped with friends, I rewrote, until I had a solid five minute set that I still value and use often. I get to the camp, and sign up to audition. The day of the audition, I go in, thinking that I totally had it in the bag. I thought small groups were the best because I killed so hard when I auditioned for the seventh grade talent show! But then I didn’t kill. It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. Not only did they not think I was funny, but one of the judges decided to fake laugh out of pity for me.
That experience should have gotten me to quit stand up forever, but it only gave me more motivation. Motivation to become a solid comedian and get big enough that those judges, and those middle school kids one day see me on TV or whatever, and feel the need to tell their friends that they saw me in real life when I was younger. That they use me as a way to brag to people. So that all of those people who humiliated me, and pitied me, and used me as the butt of a joke, can realize that they made me stronger and made me someone famous that they can’t escape from because I’ll be on TV so much. And I know that this is sounding spiteful and vengeful, but I’m not wishing anything bad on them, I just want them to maybe change their minds about whether or not I am actually funny
And if you’re reading this, you may be thinking, “Maybe it’s just that you aren’t funny! Did you ever think of that?” Maybe that’s true. But right now I’m performing stand up for small crowds every week, and they sure think I’m funny sometimes.
If you want to see me sometime or see a really crappy set of stand up I did to an audience of zero, go to my twitter @djarmstrong18, or click the link to my YouTube channel. I post stand up videos and comedy shorts that me and my friends make sometimes. I have a rap video on there that’s pretty good.
Crappy stand up that I did:
My YouTube channel: