Wednesday, June 18, 2008
On Monday I took home the prize money awarded in a random drawing at Ochi's Motel open mic. The show is produced by John Morrison, hosted by Joe Powers and headlined by Sean Donnelly.
It feels fabulous to be a winner. I like to think I willed it to happen. Like the time I was 10 and participated in a cake walk at my grade school's Family Fun Day. I stared at a plate of homemade, chocolate chip cookies as we walked in a circle. Around and around the cafeteria to the tune of a blaring boom box, we marched on masking tape that formed jagged numbers on the floor. When the music stopped, a number was drawn from the hat, and the person standing on that number got to pick from the bounty of donated sweets. I was one of the last people to win, but when I did, my cookies were still there, as I willed them to be. If only I had used my concentrated brain-power to make them taste good...it might be a better memory today.
But I've still got it. The ability to make things turn in my favor. Granted, two other names were drawn before my own (they had left), and once I was called, instead of calmly nodding in anticipation of my victory, I jumped off of my bar stool shouting, "YES!! YES!!" amid a smattering of polite applause. I ran to the stage, and then, realizing there would be no acceptance speech, I walked back down the aisle. Then I figured they might want to ceremoniously hand me the money so I turned and inched toward the stage again. Joe and Sean were still talking to the crowd so I turned back toward the bar.
Not only did I get to eat someone's leftover fries, but I also got to see some hilarious up-and-comers and underground fixtures work out great material. From the girl whose first time on stage prompted her to ponder aloud, "I thought just talking about it would make it funny, but it just sounds like rambling..." to the countless tall guys with great jokes that bang their heads on the low ceiling. Not to mention some of the freshest, funniest ideas hatching in NYC. It's as fun to watch as it is to perform.
Comix (Ochi's Lounge)
353 W. 14th St (8th/9th aves)
Mondays at 6:30PM and 9:00PM, FREE
(comics pay $5)
©2008 John Morisson