Monday night we had some stormy weather here in Michigan. As luck would have it…I was also going up on stage at a local bar for an open mike night for stand up. Now here is true confession time…I may have mentioned this before…I have terrible, almost debilitating, stage fright.
Yeah, I know, why the hell am I doing this, is the question of the day.
I will have to get back to you on that.
I was sitting at the bar, glass of water in front of me…no alcohol as I already had a Xanax on board, and well, I’m really trying to not drink anymore…a few guys I know were sitting next to me…my instructor from my advanced comedy class was nearby…and my phone rang. Who was calling me after 10pm???
I looked down and saw that it was my dad’s girlfriend. I thought “Oh shit” and thought the worst for a second…because, let’s face it…my dad never calls me, and I had already called him for Father’s Day and done my daughterly duty.
Imagine my surprise to hear my father’s voice on the phone. “Teena?” he asked. “Are you still awake?” Ummm, yes…He asked what I was doing and if I was aware of the weather. Because I was tired and because I wasn’t thinking, I replied that I was at a bar and getting ready to do stand up. “STAND UP???? Stand up what???” he asked. I explained that it was stand up comedy…he snorted..and asked what I was going to be telling jokes about (sigh…because, that’s what stand up comics do…tell jokes..). I said that my current bit was about the perils of menopause and what it was doing to my body. He said, “OH, so you’re not doing any NEW material. NOTHING THAT HASN’T BEEN DONE BEFORE.”
I stared hard at my water-glass and gritted my teeth. I did not order the Grey Goose and soda with lots of limes that I REALLY FREAKING WANTED BY NOW. In my head, I called my dad an ASSHOLE. On the phone I just said, well yes, I suppose that was true, silly me. (and called him an ASSHOLE again).
See, here is the thing. My father is a full-blown narcissist. My mother was also mentally ill…just imagine how lovely my childhood was. This combination creates adult mid-life comics or just smart asses in general.
Then my father, no longer interested in me, turned the conversation back to him…and how he had always been right to worry about the weather. Because YOU NEVER KNEW WHEN A TORNADO COULD STRIKE. And then he asked if I wasn’t worried about my oldest daughter, volunteering at Muscular Dystrophy Camp, right in the line of the severe storms.
Thanks, dad, for making me feel oh so much better. (ASSHOLE)
And then he hung up, his goal of striking fear in my heart accomplished.
I did make it up on stage that night. I did my bit, even though there was maybe one woman in the audience. AWESOME. So nice to talk about my ladyparts to men. They can totally commiserate.
My teacher assures me that I will get over my stage fright once I go up on stage enough. I replied that he didn’t have a clue as to how neurotic I really am. And gave him THE LOOK.
I’m an introvert with extrovert tendencies. Yeah, I know. I’m complicated. Whatever.
What do you expect with my background???