Stand-Up Without an Audience

If you’ve been following the blogs on this site, or our YouTube channel, or social feeds, you’re probably somewhat aware that we’ve been working on a feature film for the last 8 months.  We’ve trying to develop a style through a few of our short films, and we’ve been writing the film, and over the last month we’ve been trying to fund-raise to be able to rent the venue to film at.  It’s been a really interesting process, and we’re proud of what we’ve done so far, and we’ve been improving and growing, and moving closer to that goal, and a lot of that is thanks to you all.

The idea of the film is a combination of a monologue (itself a mixture of stand-up comedy style and evocative emotional elements), with vlog style visuals to hopefully culminate in one fully realized story.  It’s a true story, and it’s one that only I can tell the way I’m going to tell it, and so that is where I feel my stamp is on it.  Otherwise, it’s me trying to emulate comedians, and storytellers, and filmmakers that I admire.  There is an extent to that in most films, so I’ve focused on the three things that keep this particular thing mine; which are my story; the idea of mixing a montage/collage heavy style really showcased most commonly on the internet in short bursts, with a performance of a monologue; and the fact that I’m going to be performing this type of monologue without an audience.  I thought it was weird, and unique and honestly a little risky, a lot of times a laugh track, or an audience guide viewers at home, and help build energy, and so doing it without that was something I was a bit worried about.

Today, I was listening to an interview with Jerrod Carmichael, a comedian whom I really enjoy, and he mentioned that he had recently directed a comedy special without an audience.  He did a comedy special with Drew Michael, which is now on HBO, and has no audience.  There was a part of me that immediately thought two things: “well this guy is a legitimate comedian and so I won’t be able to stand out now that an actual comedian has gone audience-less,” and secondly I thought “maybe this guy just opened a door.”

Check out the trailer for “Drew Michael”

I mean, I loved the idea that I would have this thing that was so unique, and so strange, and so it’s slightly disappointing to see someone beat me to that, someone who will probably just by merit of his own comedy skills will probably have a better told story than mine; but it’s also a bit of a relief.  When I make this movie, if it’s well done, and the story is well told, perhaps some audiences will be more open to the idea of not hearing the laughter, or the “oohs,” and “awws” and other audible reactions that and audience does that guide or signal for the home or cinema viewers.

I’m a little torn on whether or not I want to watch the special ahead of time.  Part of me thinks it might be a great idea, to watch and make sure that I still stand out, and find something that really separates me, plus I love stand up, and love challenges to the form, and so it seems like something I might love.  But on the other hand, I don’t want to watch it and convince myself that he’s too funny to live up to, or worse, that the format doesn’t work.  I kind of think I need to wait until I’m done filming.  What do you think I should do? Tell me in the comments below.

We have about ten days left until the end of our IndieGoGo campaign, please check out our campaign, watch the video, and if you think it looks cool, please consider donating a dollar or contributing for one of our ‘perks.’  Thank you.

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