Stand Up. Make me Laugh.

Stand Up. Make me Laugh.

I have always loved stand-up comedy.

Louis CK,

Demetri Martin,

Chris Rock,

You name it and I’ve seen them in their element. I follow their television shows religiously and search YouTube constantly for clips of their priceless bits.

But there is nothing like the thrill of a live show. The knowledge that you are in for an original performance gets your heart pounding in a way that a recording or television special cannot.

Stand Up New York Comedy Club on the Upper West Side.

A night that proved to be memorable and hilarious.

As I entered the comedy club, I was struck by the similarities between comedy venues and theatre venues. Both (typically) have ticket takers, seating areas, and a stage where all of the action takes place. People say all one needs for theatre is an audience and a performer. This got me thinking.

Who is to say that a comedian isn’t a performer? They certainly entertain the crowd and feed off of its reactions and spirit. The same could be said for actors in a play who use the audience’s energy as motivation to better their performance. Why is one art given credit as theatre and one comedy?

With this in mind, I forgot the labels. It shouldn’t make a difference.

As the first act began, other details jumped to my attention such as the club’s use of lighting and music to cue each comic. Theatre is a collaborative art form with many unsung heroes involved in the process such as the lighting crew and the orchestra. Can’t the same be said for comedy?

Each comedian expertly demanded the attention of the crowd and I was instantly reminded of the more immersive theatrical productions I’ve seen (Sleep No More), where the actors refused to allow the crowd to be passive. The comedians I saw connected with the crowd and made us a part of their acts.

I left the comedy club in a bubbly mood. Each live performance is as good as you make it. Being in the crowd is a responsibility. Instead of sitting back and zoning out, allow yourself to be absorbed and the performers will do their best to return the kindness with quality entertainment.

- Gemma L.