When I first popped up in the tiny, modest scene of Columbus comedy I never felt like I could get on any shows or move up in the food chain, my lack of talent aside, I always felt like there were already favorited, talented people and there was no demand from someone new and insignificant. Then something happened, I got asked to do spots where I never thought I could get on to do, part of it was because I worked my ass off to make sure I had some little talent to offer, but something else happened all the pros and big names moved on to bigger cities for successful careers or slowly faded away. The Old Guard was leaving.
Instead of an ominous, elite bunch of six or so comics who ruled and decreed people funny by how much comics made the back of the room laugh, there was instead a new dozen or so up and comers who took stages in Columbus by storm. Was I one of them? No, I still sucked. However because of this new group of welcoming and open-minded comics the scene grew way larger for them than their predecessors, the Old Guard, did because they made comedy in Columbus fun. These Avengers for Comedy really proved that talent was way more important than kissing ass. Each of them became finalists in the Columbus Funny Bone competition, hosted their own shows, got to open for bigger names, and made a few bucks along the way. This era of Avengers for Comedy has given the biggest growth to the scene and although some have anchored and became “pillars” to the Columbus scene their era is now fading as well.
As I get better and reach out to do more shows I meet more amazingly funny people, but as much as I admire and appreciate their work and who they are I also have to accept the cold truth that it’s because they’re so good why they won’t be around forever. I’m sure the same is true in every profession. Earlier this year I’ve seen a lot of Avengers for Comedy generation either move on or fade away along with people from my era or even people who started later than me, it sucks to see people I’ve loved and worked with go. When the Old Guard left I was more than happy to say “Bye-bye fuckers!” but the Avenger’s for Comedy “I bid thee a farewell.” We lost three of them this week there are more announcements of more and more people going away to continue on their career. Over a dozen will leave this year, which is kind of a hit for a smaller scene like Columbus, so where does that leave the rest?
I’m not sure, but here are some of my observations, younger people are doing stand-up. I’m still one of the youngest comics in the city but now I see young guys and gals who are joining and only a couple years older than me. Some of the Avengers for Comedy who stayed here are flourishing by running fantastic shows all over the city. A website like columbuslaughs.com along with the friendliness vibe that’s been implanted here by the Avengers for Comedy gives people better access to join the comedy scene.
I miss my friends, but I wish them the best of luck, I know at least one of them is gonna make it big. I plan to stay for awhile longer, there is still so much more I can work on and perfect here before I go out someday as well. I’m glad I’m here where everything is going so well and the new people are being given their chance. Perhaps it’s my chance to step up and become a “pillar” of Columbus comedy, but I’d rather be a “floorboard” that’s here to have fun and always be a part of what’s going on because I’ve learned lessons from both the Old Guard and the Avengers for Comedy that I think will allow me to stay connected to the new and help me “age” awkwardly-but-with-grace until I make my step towards a bigger comedy city. Let’s make the next few years funny Columbus.
With so much love, Brian.