February 1st, 2005

Twice As Lame

We had an improv show on Saturday (shows I’ve been in so far this year: 3), and we had a pretty good-sized crowd in spite of the weather. It literally snowed all day, so we weren’t expecting anyone to show.

It was a standard show, except for one thing: I was the Designated Jokester. Let me ‘splain. Normally at these shows we have two teams of four people each. For some reason, we only had seven people available for this show, so we had two teams of three, and I played for both teams whenever they wanted me to do so, switching shirts to match the color of the team I was currently supposed to be helping.

Secretly, it was something I had always dreamed about doing. It has the DJ playing in more games than he normally would, so that instantly makes it more fun. It’s also a sort-of sign of respect, an indication that the leader of our group thinks the DJ has the ability to play more and not be a detriment.

Turns out, there’s a reason a person ought to take a break between games he plays. If you’re “off” on a normal night, you’re in and out pretty quickly and it can be smoothed over. If, however, you play in all of the main games and they all are rough, well, it’s pretty easy to fill in the dots and figure out the common denominator. (Don’t you just love mixed metaphors?)

Turns out I was “off” on Saturday. Though the audience seemed to still be enjoying themselves, I felt it was in spite of me, rather than because of me. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever been, but when you’re the “Designated Jokester,” you’re expected to, you know, be funny. Maybe it was just a matter of too much pressure.

It ended up okay. People laughed, and that’s what we’re after. If there’s ever a next time for me to be the DJ, I’ll be even more nervous, I’m sure.

If you are ever the DJ, here’s a little hint: when the winning team is announced, quickly put that color of shirt on and join them in their celebrations. People seem to enjoy that.

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