Ten years ago today...

On this night in 2007 I nervously scurried up on stage at what was then Werzel's Comedy Lounge at the Hyde Park Hotel in Perth, awkwardly took the mic out of the stand and told 5 minutes of awful 'jokes' that nobody would ever see again.

Trying to hold the mic in my sweaty hands, I started with a Ray Romano impersonation, calling out the similarity between him and Bert from Sesame Street. (genius.) I also did an Ernie impersonation which bombed pretty terribly...
I can't for the life of me remember what the hell else I talked about, but whatever it was, it was equally as 'funny'. I walked off stage a sweaty mess, and people politely clapped.

But I'd done it. I'd finally got up on stage and done stand-up comedy (what could vaguely be described as stand-up comedy) and not completely blown it. I was pretty happy with myself.

I got off stage and sauntered confidently over to the bar where Mike G, an established comic was standing. I drowned myself in beer while watching the next act, Andrew Horabin kill with a song about wanking. Mike leaned over after a few minutes and said, generously, "You did okay. It wasn't completely terrible."

My spirits were lifted. Then he added, "I mean, you looked like you were wearing a fucking nappy up there, but otherwise it was okay."

He was, of course, referring to the fact that my ill-fitting jeans bunched up around my crotch to make it appear as if I'd been smuggling a sack of water balloons.
It didn't help that I already looked like a complete moron wearing a giant blazer with big shoulder-pads over a shirt, as I thought all comedians wore. (I'd been watching a lot of old Seinfeld episodes in preparation...)

 

My good mate Michelle "Baggas" Baginski -the only other cartoonist/stand-up comic hybrid I've met- drew a (much nicer) caricature of my first time on stage and gave it to me as a gift.
 

I've kept it to this day:

Chatto By Michelle "Baggas" Baginski.

 

Fast forward a decade...

I'm lucky enough to have a supportive manager, a great comedy agent and a voice acting agent in Manhattan. I get up on stage 2-3 times a night, every night of the week and go on the road to perform at clubs all over America.

There've been a tonne of insanely awful gigs in the interim and I know there are plenty more ahead, but I'm just insane enough to stick at it for another decade or five to see what happens.

That first set taught me what a hell-of-a-lot of work comedy is. I'm still only just starting to get good enough to not be completely embarrassed to tell people to come and see me.

Speaking of which: 

Come see me do jokes!