Stand Up Journey: Surviving the Apollo

Mike Cronin did his first stand up set. For real this time.

I can now officially say that I have performed stand up comedy. Which is so unbelievably cool, the 12 year old me is just freaking right the hell out on the inside. I did my first stand up gig, and I survived Purchase’s Apollo Night, which pretty much makes me like astronaut Tom Hanks.

“I almost died in space, but I’m sure your 5 minutes of dick jokes was a comprable experience.”

Considering this was my first gig ever, the act went ok; even though I did get a few boo’s (more on that later). While I made a lot of mistakes, namely starting with a pun, the last part of the set managed to impress the audience. Makes sense too, since it was the only bit directly modeled after a real bit, Pablo Francisco’s “Little Tortilla Boy.” And while I was too nervous to maintain the voices as well as I would’ve liked, the end result is perfectly respectable for a noob. Here’s the video my amazingly patient girlfriend took for me below:

But about those Boos. As I pointed out in my last blog, Apollo Amateur Nights are basically when people get a chance to eat a performer alive as a catharsis for their shitty lives. This pre loaded audience terrified me, and while I seemed so upbeat in my last entry, I actually tried backing out of the show. I am not a brave man. But, I was assured by the event organizers that “this is Purchase, and that totally won’t happen. We’re not like that.” So, I signed on thinking it would be as close to an open mic as I could find. And she was right, the audience didn’t boo me. So who was booing? The event organizers.

“Welcome to Showbiz. Now bend over.”

Look, I understand what the actual Apollo Amateur night is, but this show was anything but. No one wanted to see anyone get up there and die, this was Apollo in name only. No one was rooting against you except the drama mongering organizers. Which was kind of messed up, I mean, if someone has worked hard to try and entertain you, why would you root for them to fail?

“Worked hard” does not apply here, so feel free to hate them.

In the end, it didn’t even matter because I actually won. I took home second place with 50 dollars, or in starving college student terms, 5,000 jillion rubles. How did my measly first time act manage this? As I found out that night, voting would be done by audience screams (a method so complex the organizers apparently felt it needed to be done-over six goddamn times), and the people who came out to see me happened to be opera singers.

Opera: A genre known for its extreme subtlety.

So really, I didn’t have the second best act, I had the second loudest friends. Which is kind of why I really hate judging performances, there is no good scale to do this. What should’ve ended as the performers feeling good on a good night, suddenly turned to 3 winners and a bunch of losers. Some things should have winners and losers, this is true. I hate when grade school sports give everyone a trophy for “participating.” That teaches kids that regardless of skill you will succeed; a notion which the real world happily uses to wipe its ass with.

Surprisingly, failed dreams are softer than the leading brand.

I just think that when it comes to performances, lets keep it simple. Don’t worry about judging or going to shows hoping for things to fail (Especially when you are the event runner). Just worry about whether or not you’re having fun. Believe me, if you see a bad act, simple silence is strong enough to send the message.

This is the main reason ninjas make terrible         audience members.

And I really did have a lot of fun in the show, but I can’t wait until I get out and do one where there is no hook at the end of the night. Just a normal comedy club audience, where everyone just wants you to succeed. And there is no judgment. And no one is ever drunk.

And at the end of the night, all the taxis will turn into unicorns, powered by love.

All bitching aside it was a great night, I can’t wait to do it again. Getting on that stage was nothing short of heart pounding, I loved the risk and the adrenaline. So stay tuned, and thanks for reading all this, you’re a cool cat.


One comment

  1. SUNY Purchase College · · Reply


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