Improv #21: Seven Week Twitch

*Knock Knock*

Who’s there?”

“Making a living at comedy”

“Making a living at comedy who?”

“Who, me? No, not me at all. I’m nowhere near talented enough to ask people to pay to watch me. But, there *are* people that talented, and, lucky for us, they have taken those talents to Twitch. Also, in completely unrelated news, I am planning to make a fool of myself online soon to raise minuscule amounts for covid-19 relief.”

“Did I hear you say you are *planning* to make a fool of yourself online – or that you *just* did via that joke?”

We haven’t hit week seven of quarantine. Time had very little meaning to me before social distancing – and it has even less now – but I’m pretty sure we’re only in something like week four? My title is, thus, a wee bit premature, but if you go ahead and just plan to read it again in three weeks (you know you’ll have the time), I guarantee it will seem hilarious by then.

Just about anything will seem hilarious by then, after seven weeks of its only competition being counting cracks on the ceiling…

I’m pretty sure even the best comedians have forgotten most of what they ever knew about how to be “funny” after a month of social isolation. I’m pretty sure it’s hard to figure out what to joke about when much of the U.S. is approaching the (first) peak of the pandemic, yet our president shows no signs to date of approaching peak incompetence! I’m pretty sure comedy – a medium that relies heavily on audience engagement – gets really weird delivered remotely.

I’m pretty sure even the professional comedians are struggling with what it means to bring “levity” to our current situation right now.

Which, clearly, means that it is the best possible time for the amateurs who don’t actually need to be any good at it in order to keep feeding themselves to step in and attempt to raise a few dollars for worthy causes!

Because even though all of the above should make comedy harder, I’m pretty sure after four-to-seven weeks of not leaving the house, people will be loopy enough to find anything funny.

And that is exactly the kind of impossible-to-fail environment it apparently takes for my bully-of-a-brain to attempt to “livestream” anything!

It seems I may get the chance to join in one of many attempts happening across America to raise money for corona relief via being stupid on the internet. I will not, of course, be suggesting that my readers watch and contribute to my particular attempt. That would defeat the whole purpose of writing an anonymous blog.

I will, however, suggest my readers might want to contribute to someone else’s. Twitch shows put on by comedy, community theater, music, etc. venues around the country have actually gotten pretty good after four weeks (while that ceiling crack has completely jumped the shark, I fear…) And, there are enough of them by now that just googling “twitch livestream of [artistic endeavor you care about] in [your city name]” will likely provide at least a few nights worth of mental escape from the overall oppressive atmosphere of low-grade exhaustion, sadness and uncertainty that hangs over most of the world right now.

Twitch and other livestreams are also an easy way to contribute to worthy causes if you have spare resources. A lot of well-known arts venues are raising money for local coronavirus and economic relief efforts of various types through a “pay what you can” voluntary system.

Enough legitimately talented performers are taking their acts online that I can safely mention that I will also be doing a performance at a future time on a future channel to raise money and feel fairly confident that even my irony magnet gift won’t lead to anyone I “know” from here stumbling onto mine.

You’ll almost certainly end up watching someone who did know how to make a living at that whole “lightening the mood” thing for a fraction of the normal cost of a night out in the before-times with the satisfaction of doing something to help others from the comfort of your couch.

Stay safe and take care of each other, everyone!

Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out my Glossary of Terms.


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