A New Beginning - Jan 3rd - 2006

A New BeginningTuesday, 3rd January
Welcome 2006! I hope everyone has made a New Years resolution and will go on to have a great upcoming year.

The big change is that the show I've spent the last year on has come to an end. There are rumors that we might go to another network, but until that happens I want to thank all the viewers who watched Showbiz India Extreme on AZN. It's been amazing to have random people approach me and get e-mails from girls who want to marry me. To create and be on a national TV segment has been one of the high points of my career and the experience has been awesome.

With that said... this past week I was contacted to perform at a New Years Eve party. For most people, New Years means a time to get together with family and friends, for comics it means selling your soul and making $$$$. Every season I'll get random offers to perform at company christmas/new year parties.

I've done a lot of weird gigs in the past. I remember one time an indian family hired me to perform in their basement somewhere in New Jersey. It was one of those desi parties where everyone was over 40, and I had to perform using a karaoke machine. Another time I performed on a cruise ship for a high school prom at 4:00 in the morning. Nobody even knew I was doing stand-up until I was about 15 minutes into my set. A few years ago, I said enough is enough. I refuse to have any involvement in lame comedy shows.

So this this past week, I was invited to perform at a New Years party. I ask, what type of crowd? He says, 300 mexicans. Not my ideal audience. Where? In the basement of a restaurant in Los Feliz. Not ideal working conditions. How much money? He gives me a figure that's like a week's salary at the television show I used to work at. SIGN ME UP!

Cut to: I'm at a bar at 8:20 doing shots with the bartender sizing up the room. Like forty tables in a highly done up basement. Along the walls are half-lit x-mas lights from the week before. In the middle of the room is a dance floor with two amps. Everyone is mexican except for one table that has an older group consisiting entirely of Indians. (aka the owners of the company)

I'm having an existential moment. I'm supposed to make a group of strangers, most of which having nothing in common with me, laugh for 40 minutes. Why did I agree to this?

The bouncer comes up to me. "Are you ready?"

"Let's rock"

The dj stops the music and pulls out a wireless microphone. 'Ok, I hope everyone is having a great time, and we a special guest!

(Who can it be... George Lopez?)

"TYROON SMETTY!" Techno music plays, I walk out. The crowd is definitely confused. A man yells out. Who are you!? I'm Tyroon Smetty! Don't you recognize me!? Your boss hired me to perform while you get smashed off free liquor.

I start banging out the act I've been working on this past year. Some sets are easy, the audience is with you. This one is tough. They all having amazingly low attention spans. If I lose them for 5 seconds then I lose them for the rest of the night. I don't give up. Never. Just keep hammering them with jokes. If I go down, fine, but I go down swinging. People are shouting stuff out during my premises

"I used to live in NY..."
"Go Jets!"
"Great. Thank-you so much for thoughtful insight."

46 minutes later, I slip off stage to a half applause. Thank-God this is over. The bartender passes me a drink. "I bet you weren't expecting this!"

Indeed I was. After all I am a comic. This is what I do and I've had this same show like 100 x's before. Still, there's a part of me that had fun. The rush I have right before I perform is still there. If it's not there, I should quit and find another career.

I sip my rum and coke and relax in the corner where nobody can see me.

Happy New Years.
Tarun ShettyComment