Today I became part of the cast in a web series called “House Arrest.” Given that I am not a natural born actor, this was a different experience for me. The plot of the show is a comedian, who has been placed on house arrest, and relies on his comedian friends to come over and entertain him.
Last week, I received an email to be a part of it from the producer. She had first seen me in an online competition that she held in March earlier this year. While honored I was selected, I felt a little sidelined by the fact that all attendees were invited as well. Nevertheless, I was excited for the opportunity.
Entering the set, I held my tongue a moment to get a feel for the other comedians involved. While every human being there was ready for comedy, everyone still has their own style, humor and demeanor. To give you a little bit of insight, open mic nights can be an eye-opening experience for the newcomer. While looking around the room at comedians attending open mic sessions, they are going over material and have little time for conversation. Sometimes, they are so focused on their performance that they would rather not talk to anyone. The competition can be so severe that the tension in the room could only be eased by a few laughs in the crowd. Placing these performers into a hot room filled with cameras equals a bit of relaxation hovering over a layer of competitive intensity.
The best thing I felt about today was seeing my competitors as regular “Joe’s” which made today an enjoyable experience. The conversations, while hilarious, are not exactly appropriate for this blog. However, the laughter was nonstop throughout, which made spending the afternoon in a sweltering house bearable.
Many comedians enter the profession because of their own insecurities. For me, it is my way of covering up my imperfections. There is nothing more exciting than getting on stage and hearing the crowd applause and laugh at your jokes.
About the author: Patrick O’Hara is a Chicago based comedian and cancer survivor. He uses his experiences with cancer as inspiration for his comedy. When he is not doing standup, he is taking courses at Second City, learning improv. His web series debuts in September. In the meantime he's on twittter @patrickocomedy.