Friday night. I did one thing I’ve always wanted to do and one thing I’ve done a lot of… at the same time.
I went to my first live comedy show. (That’s the thing I hadn’t done before.)
And I made new friends because I didn’t have friends who I already knew that could or wanted to go with me. (That’s the thing I’ve done a lot of.)
It felt especially appropriate that the show I went to was the live taping of Chris Hardwick‘s upcoming Comedy Central special here in New York City. I mean, could there be a more perfect first comedy show than one done by the guy who put the nerd in Nerdist?
I didn’t think so.
But aside from telling you that the show was awesome, and you should definitely watch it when Comedy Central airs it, I’m not really here to talk about the show content. Let’s just say it was nerdy. I laughed a lot. And my favorite parts may (or may not – I try not to be a spoiler of fun things) have revolved around moments in the show when technology decided to be a bit puckish with our fearless comic.
No, no, I want to talk about something else. Something I think any bookworm or geek has done at some point or another. If you haven’t, you’re missing out.
I went to a theatrical event by myself.
I walked up from the subway by myself.
I got in line by myself.
I chatted it up with people I didn’t know by myself.
(Hint: When the guy doing the comedy is known for his nerdiness, chances are you’re going to have something in common with the other nerds in line. If nothing else you can discuss the latest episode of The New Girl or 2 Broke Girls with the other line participants, right?)
By the time I had been in line for ten minutes, I no longer felt alone. I had made friends. I had people to chat with once we had tickets in our hands and were walking towards stadium chairs and trying to figure out how to position ourselves in the second line/cluster of people to get prime positioning for the show.
If you’re as nerdy as I am, you may read that paragraph above and say, “You talked to people? People you didn’t know already? Seriously? I cannot do that.”
You can. Trust me. Other people don’t bite. And talking to people in line at a concert or show is the perfect opportunity because you have a better than 50/50 chance they’re going to be excited about the same thing that you’re excited about.
Unless you’re not also in line to see the show or concert, and you’re just that random lonely girl who’s wandered up to a line of audience members and engaged them in conversation. If you’re that girl, chances are they will be avoiding eye contact and wondering if you’re planning on trying to convert them to your religion.
By the time we were in the theater, my new friends and I had discussed the following delightfully geeky topics: Firefly, Star Wars, the things we do for the shows/bands/books we love, fan fiction, the Dr. Who exhibit that used to be in Cardiff and is now in London, and the classic 90’s comedy, PCU. That was really how I knew I’d found friends: PCU was brought up in the first five minutes of our conversation.
Going to a show or concert alone has similar crutches for the shy geek as taking yourself out to dinner. Bring a book! You can always stick your nose in one of those to avoid eye contact with strangers. And when all else fails, your cellphone should have at least a simple version of Tetris on it if nothing else.
Don’t let the fact that you don’t have a posse of Plastics keep you from seeing a comedian, musician or any other performance. Let your geeky flag fly over whatever performer you’re seeing. You won’t really be alone!
And when you get home, check Twitter, like I did, just to realize you were sitting only a handful of rows behind Zachary Levi the WHOLE SHOW and didn’t realize it. And then kick yourself for being so blinded by laughter and make sure to use the hash tag #facepalm when you tweet your realization.
Photo is my own.