She's white, he's Mexican, she's old, he's young! Who cares. ..."
Scanning the Tabs, March 22th, 2005
Please advice the court that if Randall Terry or any House Republican tries to galvanize the nation to keep me alive, I want to die. If CNN ever runs a picture of me, mouth agape, drooling on my feeding tube, know that I want to be shot to death immediately.
Now, onto life, which I currently enjoy to its fullest.
The job started last Monday! We only worked three days last week because of March Madness. Finally, college basketball is useful to me. This show involves much more writing than Tough Crowd ever did. I like desk pieces the best, they're conceptual and once you figure out your template, you can get creative. On Monday, a writer used one of my jokes for his desk piece, so I had one line on the show on my first day, and a full desk piece on Wednesday's show.
Monologue jokes are my least favorite, cause they're current events, and it's hard to write a fresh Michael Jackson/ Martha Stewart/ Robert Blake joke. Everything I write feels like a variation on something that's already been done. I try to look for other stories
, but you have to hit the big stories too.
We have a writers' meeting at around 9 am. I get to my office 15 or 20 minutes early, to scan USAToday
, which practically hands me ideas, with its retardo graphics and multi-colored sections. It's a very collaborative atmosphere at the writers' meeting. Someone throws out an idea for the evening's show, the rest of us try to tag it and find a few more beats, to see if the idea can sustain more than one laugh. If it looks viable, we submit jokes to that writer later that morning. He sifts through them, picks what he likes and writes the script. That's how I got something on the first night.
For my own desk piece, once I settled on the jokes, I had to approve graphics. (It was a prop piece.) If the real laugh comes from an accompanying image, you have to be real specific with the art department. They only have a few hours to do everything for that night's show, and you don't want to lose your laugh because you didn't explain your idea properly.
The day goes by quick. I had two desk pieces scheduled for Wedneday, but one got cut in rehearsal because a music cue was off. Since it has enough shelf life, we may do it next week. We only need about fifteen minutes to fiddle around with the music.
We tape at 6 PM. All the writers' contributions are done in the first act, so we can leave at about 6:20 or 6:30. It's nearly a ten hour day. Last week, I was so tired, I didn't do any spots on work days. On Wednesday night, Chris and I drove out to an open mic in North Hollywood, but we got there too late, so the few free hours I had were killed in traffic.
I have to prioritize.
The job comes first. It's good money, it's comedy and it's satisfying.
Standup comedy, well, I'm not sure. It's hard to get spots, and I'm too tired to introduce myself and also, I don't feel like it. "Hi, I'm Laurie Kilmartin and..." Who cares. Whatever I say about myself to get onstage sounds like a lie.
What's my goal in comedy? Leading up to Aspen, I was working on material, breaking personal barriers, etc. Then I did it, and no one cared. I have all that material in digital form, ready to burn to a CD. I can prove I was relevant, once, in case anyone asks.
I'm not working on a development set. I'm too old for a sitcom, and they don't make sitcoms anyway. Its useless for me to mine the non-controversial details of my personal life for an ABC executive.
She's white, he's Mexican, she's old, he's young! Who cares.
If I don't have a goal for each performance, why do it? Comedy in LA pays nothing and costs time. Well, I have money, and no time. Why drive an hour to do old material? Nothing in me now is burning a hole in my joke notebook. I'm even bored by the idea of slamming my old arch nemesis, Islam.
I just want to scan the tabs and look for things I can put on TV that night.