THE ART OF BOMBING – Bo in the trenches / by Bo Gerard

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First of all, I hope the title of this week’s blog doesn’t get me on to an NSA watch list.  The bombing I am referring to is restricted to those of us who attempt to be funny on stage.  Also known as Dying, Flopping, or Laying an Egg!

Let’s assume that you have a great show, that you always look great, that you are always prepared, that you’ve done a ton of shows, and that know how to read an audience.  Sometimes things can STILL go awry.

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I can be situational, like the audience has been throwing back drinks for two hours, and are no longer able to tell the difference between quality entertainment and Rush Limbaugh’s home movies.  Or sometimes your show was immediately preceded by some unfortunate event, like the CEO announcing layoffs.  Or the wait staff has finally rolled out, and are putting the main course on the table!  Or the lighting or sound is bad.  Or, all of the above - at once!!!

Even if you rule out every reason that might possibly involve blaming yourself, you will still occasionally have trouble connecting with an audience.  It comes with the territory.  No two audiences are the same, but over time a performer can craft his act to work in almost any situation.  I said ALMOST.  For nothing can prevent the occasional laying of the proverbial egg.  And nothing can prepare you for the feeling of having the same material that killed the night before, fall flatter than Rush Limbaugh’s arches.

But, hey, it’s part of the job!  And no one is forcing you to be in show business.  Deal with it.  More importantly – learn from it!  Anyway, you know what happens when you bomb? – nothing.  You’re still alive.  You didn’t actually die.  (Although it feels like it for a few days.)  You live on, to entertain another day. 

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Your next audience will be intelligent, attentive, and only slightly drunk.  These people get you.  These people know how to have a good time.  Unless your next audience is….