I've performed all over the world but sometimes going to a comedy club I've never been to before can feel like the first day at a new school. So I was glad to see Mary Kennedy when she breezed into Flappers. She showed me to the green room and I was grateful because there were so many twists and turns it felt like a trail of breadcrumbs situation.
There were a couple of people in the green room, but with masks on, I didn't recognize anyone. When I looked at the lineup, I got excited and squealed (yes, squealed): "Oh wow! Jimmy Brogan is here?!?" After an appropriately-timed pause Mary turned to me and said, "He's sitting right there." I looked up and yes of course, the well-dressed gent behind the mask was Jimmy F'ing Brogan. Who else could it be? But my embarrassment was eclipsed by my excitement (and relief that the rest of my sentence wasn't, "Jimmy Brogan is here? That rat bastard!").
I was also flattered that he remembered me and where we'd last worked together: The Tree House in Connecticut. I was featuring for him that night and could've left after my set but I stayed to watch him. I'd of been a fool not to.
For me, watching Jimmy is a master class. He makes crowd work look effortless. He makes connections with people in the audience that aren't built on cruelty and maintains control without being condescending. Then he somehow brings it all together at the end with the feeling that you were just part of something cool and special. I really admire comics who do crowd work well.
Later, I was floored and flattered when Jimmy Brogan complimented me on my set. (He'd stayed to watch. What? Wow!) Okay, look: the laughter and applause from the audience is always great, but the respect of your peers -- especially the ones you admire -- well, that's something special.
It's good to be back.
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