For weeks now, I've been feeling like I need to do something. To take control. And to maybe get some stress off my shoulders.
A couple weeks ago, as I sat in the parking garage at the mall, trying to navigate the internet on the free wifi I can get if I park in a very specific corner of the garage, something in my brain snapped and I found myself Googling for local Open Mic listings.
This "snap" might've been caused by how I was very likely to be listening to a podcast full of comedians at the time.
I like comedy a lot. I listen to a ridiculous amount of podcasts by comedians in the L.A. comedy scene. But I don't know much about the current Chicago comedy scene. It's something that's not easy to access when you don't want to spend money and don't have a lot of free late nights.
And the lack of free nights is why it took until last night for me to attend one. I just wanted to go to watch (a friend said he was going to go as well to finally go up, but he bailed), to see what the caliber was, to see what the environment would be. I still don't know if I really would want to get up- but part of me feels like I might need to. I might need that outlet. But not yet.
The Open Mic was in a truly tiny little dive bar. I chose that one as it was the closest to my apartment, but still a bit of a drive when you factor in how I couldn't find parking nearby to save my life, due to all the snow mounds taking up extra space.
The thing I didn't consider when I chose to go to the show was the Olympics. I showed up ten minutes after the show was supposed to start and there was one non-comic in the bar and only two comics besides the host even there. Eventually, a few more people showed up and three more comics. And when I left, just after eleven, I was sad to have to dash but concerned that 1) my car may have been towed or ticketed (it wasn't!) and 2) I had to be up at 6 AM.
I really wished I could've stuck around, as I wanted to pick a few brains and maybe, you know, socialize. Something I've done almost none of since moving back to Illinois in 2011. Yeah, three years ago.
At least, when I lived in Tucson, every week I'd at least go to one trivia night and see some friends. If I didn't see anyone at all for the rest of the week, I'd at least seem them at trivia. And it helped a lot. It also helped that I had super social friends that had amazingly large social circles that I could just attach myself to like a barnacle.
Maybe I can get that way with Open Mics. Maybe I can drive myself to commit my free nights to going to shows. Or, at least, one night a week. And maybe something earlier than a 9 pm show (or, at least, crowded enough that I won't feel bad if I leave before the show's over). Part of me wants to force myself to go to a show tomorrow night and maybe even Saturday night.
The other part of me knows that I need to do laundry and get my weekly one night of 8 hours of sleep at some point.