Tony Vinh


Clocking In.


I hit 3 open mics last night. The most I've done in one night was 5, but 3 was pretty good for a Monday. They were pleasant, fun rooms, too. Still, I hate doing mics so much.

They can be very judgy. You can doubt not only your jokes, but your whole existence. And the waiting around for your name to be called is unbearable. But in this world, there are no shortcuts or magic potions to make you good. You just have to do it. It's like getting abs. You just gotta do your sit-ups and crunches.

So I have to remind myself that this is my job now. These rooms are my office. The stages are my cubicle. The microphones are my keyboard. My mind is my boss who constantly wants to fire me and never gives me a raise. The few, if any, folks who aren't staring down at their phones and are paying attention are my clients. And my product I'm trying to sell them is a stupid pet rock I'm hoping will inexplicably be a hit someday. Why a pet rock? Because there isn't a more ridiculous epitome of the American dream, which is what this stand-up thing feels like most days.

The funny thing is, with every real job I've had in my life, I've shown up late to work almost every day (us people of color call that CP Time). But with this job, I've always shown up early. Sometimes way too early, like when white kids would anxiously wait for the new Harry Potter book to come out.

Guess I'm still excited to go to work and wait my turn.