I have had the pleasure and trauma of working as a professional improv comedian
on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for 14 months. At the end of my time there I was
physically unable to return to Canadian weather, and so ended up in Thailand.
My time on the cruise ship gave me an interesting lesson on the true nature of fame.
Each cruise lasted about a week. It would begin in a US port like Miami or New Orleans.
In the morning, you would rush
off the boat and head to the local CVS store to stock up on toothpaste, shampoo, and your
favourite snacks that weren’t available on the ship.
Heading back to the ship, you would enter through the staff entrance but would soon find yourself trapped amongst the new passengers, who would meander around the ship, in awe of its shippy amazingness.
All you wanted to do was get back to your cabin and dig into the snacks you just bought. You would politely push your way through the crowd, being ‘that guy’ that everyone
quietly thinks to themselves, “What’s the problem with that guy?! Why is that guy in such a rush? What a loser!”
During the first day at sea, I had no responsibilities. I was just another passenger. I was just the guy in line in front of you at the buffet.
But day two, as a member of The Second City comedy sketch show, I would perform in the large 700-seat theatre aboard the ship. Everyone in the audience is there to have fun, having lubricated their senses of humour with a day full of drinking and burning themselves in the sun. The shows were always very well received.
The next day, I was that guy who looked a lot like the guy in the show last night. “Is that the guy from the show?” the cute women would giggle to each other (or at least that is what I
assume they were saying). They were a bit impressed and intimidated by me, so they would do their best to pretend to be disinterested in me. Surprisingly, they were all very good at it.
Two nights later, our team would perform our improv comedy show. This is my jam, and it was always much better than the very successful sketch show. Because the show was improvised, we got to interact with the
audience a lot more. The cute girls would whisper to each other, “It was that guy from the show! We need to meet him!”
The next day, I was famous. People would smile at me as if they recognised me and kinda expected me to recognise them, like they wanted me to say, “Hey, you’re that person from the audience of 700, right?” And they would offer to buy you a drink. (Having
people buy you drinks is part of your job on the ship, as the cruise companies base their
profit model on food and alcohol sales, not on the cost of the cruise.)
Anyway, the next night I performed with some of the comedy cast as part of an impromptu rock band.
Several of us can play musical instruments, so we would take over one of the several bars on the ship, and rock out.
The next morning, I was a bonafide rock star. Cute women would be interested in having sex with me. (You can’t. It’s not allowed. I know, lame!)
People would ask about my career and when I was gonna be on Saturday Night Live, ‘cause I am good enough. No, I’m better than the cast of SNL, and they can’t understand why I am not already on the show! I assured them that if SNL called, I would refuse the call! They took down my name, got selfies with me, and promised to look me up on Facebook and the internet. They were my fans! They loved me!
Then we would pull into Miami. I would wave to everyone and accept their best wishes and thank-yous for the incredible shows as we got off the boat. Then I would go to CVS to pick up snacks.
Returning to the boat I would find myself trapped amongst the new passengers meandering around the ship in awe of its shippy amazingness. All I wanted to do was get back to my cabin and dig into the snacks I had just purchased. I would politely push my way through the crowd, being that guy that everyone quietly thought to themselves, “What’s the problem with that guy?! Why is he in such a rush? What a loser!” …
This month at the Comedy Club Bangkok
Mar 2 - Tinder Hell: The Return
Audience horror online dating stories retold
on stage with tasty embellishments by our
improvisors. Tickets B400 in advance B500 at the door with drink and drink specials.
Mar 9 - Stand-up Comedy Eleanor Conway
A comedy about sex, sobriety and the modern addict. A true story of triumph. Eleanor is bringing her show to Asia and Bangkok! Tickets B600 in advance B800 at the door with drink and drink specials.
Mar 23 - Stand-up Comedy Chris Henry
Scottish comic, Chris Henry, is back with a
brand new show. Tickets B400 in advance B500 at the door with drink and drink specials.