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Standing up to Stand-up Jitters

On March 28th, 2023 I stepped on stage to do stand up for the first time since 2011. Although I only did 8 minutes, it took a lot of guts for me to do it. I performed at an open mic. Stevie Jay of Triple B entertainment put on the open mic nite. Stevie was amazing! Very funny. Man, even though I was rusty... it was great getting back up there. I was the first comic to perform. YIKES! Stevie Jay did about 15 minutes, then I was the first one to come on.


Caleb ( My adopted son), and I.


I won't lie. I was a bit nervous at first, but I got back to my old ways. Sadly...


I BOMBED. I did terrible! I sucked! But that's ok... you know... some jokes definitely hit. Some need more polishing. But still... I loved it! It was a lot of fun and I can not wait to do it again! I've been posting bits and pieces of my act on social media... mostly instagram and tik tok. I have this love and hate relationship with facebook that started a few years back. I swore it off because it was too depressing and the indie film scene just seemed very toxic. But I came back like a dog looking for a bone. I would never post this in full any where other than my website... So if you want to see me making a fool out of myself... My full stand up routine is below.



For your eyes only. My comedy routine. Enjoy.


I wanna thank Jimmy O for helping me A. give me the confidence to get back on stage and B. helping me draft a few jokes. I wanna thank Ryan W. Phillips for also giving me the confidence and helping me finesse a few of my jokes. Joe Pontillo, we play frienemies on Movie night but he really inspired me and told me I should get on stage again. Same with Caleb Marshall... not only helping me with my routine but also having the guts saying you knew me at the stand up comedy night after I did god awful. ( It really wasn't that bad.... I'm dramatic.) A couple jokes didn't hit... but the impressions did.


The only thing that disappointed me was... not many of my friends came. But honestly I didn't expect anyone to.... I was only doing 8 minutes. One friend had kidney stones, another's car broke down, another had a hernia... one guy just straight up didn't want to go. I didn't take it personally... but I feel it would have helped with getting the ball rolling on the laughter. Maybe not.


Lon Kieffer


I'll tell you a lot of the comedians were amazing. Got to see an old friend Tyler Dark do comedy live and that dude killed it! I am proud of that dude. He and I use to do theatre with the ocean pines children players years ago. To see him become a full fledge comedian is amazing. He is very much going to be the next Jim Carrey. Stevie Jay has impeccable timing! Plus his writing was really good! I'd love to use these guys in some sketches some time.


My sister nabbed this out of focus shot! Love it!


So, if I loved doing stand up so much, why did I stop? Well I always loved Stand up! I always loved comedy! When I finally found a good group of friends we would get together and crack each other up all night. In high school I worked on some jokes, the only comedy club in the area that I could think of was at the Princess Royale in the summer time. I got to see some great comedians come through there but one of the best was Davin Rosenblatt. That dude has been a hero of mine and a friend for a while. Funniest dude, quick witted. Just a cool guy. I was a dip shit though... a young dipshit. I do remember him saying I was kinda funny and if I wanted I could do five minutes. I was too chicken shit. It wasn't until a few years later I did some stand up at the Funny Bone during open mic nights. I only did like 5 minutes but killed with two jokes specifically... my Twitter Joke, and my Board game joke. It was these five minutes that got me a gig at a new night club. I had to audition for this gig, and what do ya know I booked it. Ian Cromer came to the audition and jokes with me about how he was there to support me when I leave crying because I would be horrible. I miss Ian, he was a good friend. Turns out he was actually proud of me. I did ok, I booked it after all. The gig was for a bunch of New York Wallstreet types that were in town on business and booked a party at this night club. I had a week to write new stand up material. I'll never forget that night. I go there... the club had a huge dance floor tables at either end. There was a stage to the left which I was on, and a stage to the right ( more on this later.) It also had a top floor/VIP lounge. When I arrived the floor was packed.... music was pumping... and on the other stage STRIPPERS! I went on stage.... they lowered the music... and I did about 4 minutes of my act to blank stares... well blank stares from those paying attention to me. Those men weren't here to watch a stand up comic... they wanted the strippers. No competition there. I got booed off... and the invisible hook came out to drag me off stage. My first big gig was depressing. I got paid I think like $250 bucks... a lot of money for a broke film student at the time. But even after that I still worked on material. I was at that point more interested in sketch comedy. I had shot a few sketches in high school and in film school and loved it. Some of them were popular especially my infamous anatomy project for Donna Koltash. It was insensitive as it was irreverent and would probably get me canceled today... most people hate jokes about Orson Welles. Just kidding. It was funny. I always believed comedy was about making fun anything and everything except the kitchen sink.



What really pushed me away from comedy is I had a teacher... they'll remain nameless... who told me I wasn't funny and I'll never be funny.... to focus on film making and acting. That is the straw that broke the camel's back and hurt me. I looked up to this guy and as a kid with out a dad saw him as a father figure and took what he said to heart. It was probably that time that I got a conscious and listened to people, and tried to impress and people please. As opposed to before I just did my own thing, didn't let much of what people said about me or thought about me bother me at all. I guess that I need to "Develop a thick skin." I love it when people say that... especially after being an asshole or straight up rude. "You need to develop a thick skinned." Naw, I have one... I just am not very tolerant of assholes. No need to be rude in any industry. Like Charles Roberts use to say "It's a big shit sandwich and we are all gonna have to take a bite of it... might as well do it together."




So what's the take away... don't let anyone tell you you can't do something, don't get into your own head, and keep practicing... keep going and never give up! Love you all.


-Wilby



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