The Day of a Show

Welcome to a day in the shoes (Ice Skates) of Canadian comedian Justin St.

6:16am: Time to get up – Alarm blares. “Fuck!” I say. “Fuck” is the first thing I say on most weekdays. My dream is to someday have a job where I can wake up and think, “Ok cool, let’s do this!” instead of “Fuck.” I’m a happy dude generally, but I hate waking up. That’s why I set my alarm for 6:16am. This is an exact science. I have to be out of the apartment by 6:30am or I’ll be late for work. 14 minutes is just enough time to brush my teeth, take a shit, get dressed, throw a change of clothes into my backpack (it’s a comedy night!), kiss my girlfriend goodbye for the day, then run downstairs to catch the tuk-tuk shuttle to the Syktrain.

6:30-7:30am: Commute – I ride the tuk-tuk shuttle to Punnawhithi Station, run up the stairs, go through the turnstile, ignore the security guard who wants to search my bag (they never actually search properly and don’t chase after you when you ignore them), and run up to the platform. I’m on the train by 6:40, so I’ll be on time today. It’s 15-station ride to the school where I work, so there’s plenty of time to read the news, play a game of scrabble, and write down joke ideas on my shitty Huawei Smartphone.

7:30am-4:00pm: Work – I teach second grade English at a Thai private school for boys. All my students are 7-year-old Thai boys. Because they’re 7-year-old boys, they have psycho amounts of energy. Because they’re Thai, they understand about 15 per cent of what I say. But, it’s a fun job. I can make my students laugh way more easily than any comedy audience. The hard part is getting them to shut up again. Until I can get paid a living wage to do comedy, this is a cool job that pays the bills and allows me to live in Bangkok. Plus, I have my own classroom with a computer, so I can write jokes, binge Netflix, and play mad Tetris when I’m not teaching. I also have a yoga mat and airplane pillow nap station behind the bookcase. A rested teacher is a good teacher.

4:00-4:45pm: The Boat Ride – I take the Skytrain one station Saphan Taksin, walk to the Sathorn Pier and take the Orange Flag ferry boat down the Chao Praya River. The boat ride is nice and pleasant despite the occasional sprays of Bangkok river water (it’s best not to think about all the foul ingredients that make up the nasty, brown soup that is the Chao Phraya River). It’s slow ride down the river, so I go over my jokes and plan my set for the night.

4:45-5:15pm: Dinnertime – I always go to Santi Indian Restaurant on Soi Ram Butri. The food’s delicious and the prices are reasonable. The nice lady who runs the place says, “The usual?” The usual is Chicken Tikka Masala, Garlic Naan, and a Lemon Soda. One of the tables has a little standing poster for The Comedy House Bangkok. The poster has pictures of all the resident comedians on it so I sit next to it. Yes, I’m hoping someone recognizes me. I wolf down my meal, pay the bill, say, “See you next week!” to the lady (I should really learn her name).

5:00-7:00pm: Fliering – I walk down to Bangkok Bar and say what’s up to the comedians and flier girls out front. Then I head upstairs to change into my street clothes in our green room. I go back downstairs for my least favourite part of the comedy hustle. Not gonna lie, handing out fliers sucks. Most people just ignore me or say, “No thanks,” or “I’m good” How do you know you’re good? I haven’t even finished explaining what an awesome comedy show is happening later. Fine, go ahead and buy another pair of elephant pants. On a good day, about 1 in 10 people seem interested. I’ll take it. I usually try to flier with Chris. Chris hits on any moderately attractive Asian girl who walks by and it entertains me to see him get rejected 50 times an hour. He also addresses every dude he hands a flier to as, “Mr. Big Dick.” If that’s not comedy, I don’t know what is.

7:00-7:05pm: Bathroom Break – I get nervous before shows and I had a lot of Indian food earlier. You do the math.

7:05-7:15pm: Pre Show Jitters – I walk upstairs and take a look at the room. There’s like 30 people in the crowd and they seem drunk and rowdy! It’s going to be a wild one! I take a look at my notes to make sure I know what the hell I’m going to talk about on stage tonight. The other comics are checking their notes and pacing around anxiously. There’s a weird electric tension in the air before show time, like the air before a thunderstorm. We’ve got a solid lineup tonight, so it should be a monster show. Cue the pump up music!
7:15- Showtime Baby! You have to come see us live to see what happens next!

Justin St-Denis

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