The Hammer is Not My Penis
When I started with Vilification Tennis, I was a vilifier. I was OK, I guess. I didn’t suck. But when I took over as the host of Vilification Tennis, I transformed the show. I didn’t transform it by making myself the star of the show. I transformed it because I figured out how to make the show look better to the audience.
I just have a basic understanding of how to run a show from the stage. There is a reason that I’m the front guy for The Dregs. Nobody has to tell me how to do it. I just know.
Every now and again, though, something happens that freaks me out a little. I get rattled.
We all get rattled sometimes. It can be a challenge as an MC because you need to be focused on the show and on the moment. If you are spending a bunch of the show worried about a choice you made, you aren’t in the moment.
At the Vilification Tennis show last weekend, an argument broke out in the audience. I couldn’t hear everything that was going on and I didn’t care because seriously – they needed to shut up. One dude was yelling at a couple of ladies and the focus was being pulled from the stage.
When I’m The Judge character, I’m an asshole. That’s my role. I saw these people disrupting our show and I had a decision to make. How was I going to shut them down? Shutting them down was my number one job at that moment.
I didn’t really think about it in the moment except to think “I’m the asshole and I have to be an asshole to these people or they won’t shut up.”
So I barked at them. Between the two groups, I had a good idea who was causing the problem but at that moment, my job wasn’t to mediate the argument. My job was to remind them that the theater was filled with a bunch of people who didn’t give a fuck about their problems.
I lowered the hammer pretty hard. I told them to shut up and if they couldn’t get over this bullshit and watch the show, I’d have them ejected.
Then, in an attempt to remind people they were watching a comedy show, I turned to the rest of the audience, smiled and asked them if they were enjoying themselves.
It worked, I guess. The audience laughed. The dude who was doing most of the yelling stopped. The two ladies who probably hadn’t done much wrong left. The show continued.
That moment, though, threw off the entire evening for me. I was stuck wondering if I’d done the right thing. Should I have been more polite? Was there a way I could have handled the situation that wouldn’t have resulted in those two ladies walking out of the show?
Looking back at the situation and rolling it around in my head, I can’t come up with what would have been a better way to handle that specific situation at that specific show.
Maybe that’s what bothered me most of all. I kept thinking there was a better way. I still think there was a better way. I just don’t know what that is.
I spent the rest of the show feeling just a little bit off. I was frustrated. I felt like I’d failed the cast and the audience. I’d failed those two ladies who left because there must have been something I could have said that wouldn’t have made them choose to walk out.
Then again, if I’d said the right thing to keep the two of them there, maybe the other guy would have walked out. Or gotten more belligerent.
That perfectionist attitude is probably what makes me good at my what I do. I never think I did the best job I possibly could have. I always ask myself what I could have done to make the show better.
I don’t think I gave the best performance I could have last weekend because I was thrown out of the moment. I was distracted by the choice I had to make.
But the next time I have to lower the hammer, I’ll do it. Because that’s my job. Whether I do that job well or poorly, everyone else in the show is counting on me to do it.