THE THRILLS OF PERFORMING
Last night I opened for Reggie Watts at Rififi and had a strange experience.
I was performing, and these two girls were sitting up high on a bench so they were above the rest of the audience. They were talking very loudly, enthusiastically gesticulating and drunkenly chattering. They talked through the host's opening, then through my set. So I joked around with them a little and tried to get them to shut up, but they kept talking loudly. So, I tried to joke with them some more, but it didn't clam them up. Then, I told them they were being distracting and asked them to stop talking so loudly, but they just kept yapping away, like they were sitting at a coffee shop. They weren't even heckling me, which would have at least been fun. Finally, other audience members yelled for them to shut up, but I bet you can guess what they didn't do.
So, I did something I've never done before - I actually kicked them out of the show! I politely said, I'm sorry ladies, but you're going to have to go. I also gave them the opportunity to come up and sit on the stage instead of leaving. But they opted to leave. It was pretty outrageous. They were kind of shocked and probably pretty embarrassed, and I almost felt badly for them, but they got exactly what they asked for. The audience (and I, internally) cheered at their leaving. I couldn't focus with them being so high up and so loud. After my set, I talked to another comic about it and he said he'd been in the earlier show and he said he thought that the same two girls did the same thing through their entire show, too!
Well, at the end of the show, Antonio (manager of Rififi) came over and handed me a note that one of the girls had written:
I laughed about it, because I know Evan and Jason of Steinberg Talent, and they've always been really nice guys to me. They work with a lot of my friends and we're very familiar with each other. So, when I got home, I dropped them an email explaining what happened.
Evan and Jason promptly wrote back to say that she was an impostor. Here's a segment Evan's very nice email:
"I am sorry to hear that you had such disruptive audience members the
other night and it sounds like you handled it in a very diplomatic and
professional manner. As you can imagine I have little patience for a
disruptive audience member myself."
"I do not know who this person is and I seriously doubt that they have
any afiliation with our company...there is no Laura."
"It is certainly not the way I want our company to be portrayed or represented."
Yep, they're decent guys over at Steinberg Talent. They represent Patrice O'Neal and a bevy of other very talented "main-stream" comics.
If you are a comedian performing at Rififi and see two loud girls sitting up high and talking, kick their asses out! Tell 'em it's from Jessica Delfino.
I will be keeping that note and framing it, perhaps to hang in my ladies room. So I can always remember this very special time in my life.