Just a cursory rundown today, I really need to crash so I can wake up relatively early and work on VRE. I have a workable hour right now that preserves the most critical elements, but I really need to listen to a recent recording to try to get some perspective as a listener. One of the things that drew me to stand-up is that there’s a fairly objective criterion for success*: if people are laughing you know they’re enjoying it. Here I don’t have that real-time, involuntary feedback**, and I still find it unnerving. I want to know if this is working for people, less out of an obligation to entertain those particular people*** than to just gather data so I can edit and rewrite in response.
* Obviously there are other criteria, but that one seems fundamental to the form
** I do get feedback after the show, but it’s a) usually non-specific (e.g. “I really liked that”) and b) of questionable validity given it’s volitional, i.e. people can choose what to say, and that choice may be informed by desire to be polite, personal sympathy or affection for me, etc.. There is another type of feedback I get – tips – but that requires a dedicated post to expound on.
*** Not because I don’t feel such obligation, but because unlike in stand-up, if they’re not enjoying themselves there’s not much I can do beyond just trying to really up the intensity of perfomance. I don’t have a bag of material I can reach into and pull out something else or change course with crowdwork, going dirty, etc.. The story is the story, for better or worse.