I was on this abandoned building the other day, watching a crappy band play. It reminded me of why I fell in love with Berlin in the first place. It also reminded me why I’m leaving Berlin as well.
For the first time in what seems like years I was at a cool event, with only a handful of people, and no bar, and no line to get in, and no door man, and no corporate sponsor or brand, or magazine pretending not to be owned by a brand, and no list or shithead looking me up and down, and believe it or not, no idiots.
Not once did I have to hear, “where are you from?”
“Oh my God, isn’t Berlin so cool. I LOOOOOVE it.”
It was just a crappy band with shitty equipment on a crappy roof with a few friends.
YES! FRIENDS RULE!
But enough of this positivity, because I did see the impending doom of construction cranes from every angle on that rooftop.
It’s coming people. They’re building a better tomorrow in Berlin and by better I mean way more expensive.
Get in line, pay to use the toilet, and say hello to the beer bike.
None of that matters to my mission though, because to be honest, if I could do stand up every night and work on my own personal growth as an artist, I would stick it out and fight.
But alas, the output in this country is not enough for me.
A good friend of mine just got booked for one of the only paying English gigs in Berlin, at the Strictly Stand Up gig at The Quatsch Comedy Club.
He gets a paid, ten– minute set, and best of all, he gets to gig with Terry Alderton!
The bad news is he has to wait until NOVEMBER to do that gig and also, none of you probably even know who Terry Alderton is.
He has to wait four months for one ten– minute gig. And, of course, in the mean time, he could always perform at one of the many open– mic type of shows that don’t pay people for performing, which coincidentally was almost the reason no one from Berlin was ever going to be booked at the Strictly Stand Up show in the beginning, but hey, let’s save that conversation for another time.
Of course, he could, like myselfme, set up his own show, and deal with those problems, like finding a venue, like doing all the promotion, like writing enough material for a full show, like people not wanting to pay for a show because there’s five shows a week that are free, like some people not wanting to see the same jokes, but new people being in the audience and obviously wanting to see your best stuff, and just the fact that doing a one– hour show at the MOST once a month is very challenging, and so on and so forth.
Comedy is meant to be done every night, i. It’s like skateboarding, you have to be doing it, or you forget how to do it. I spend most of my one– hour show remembering how to warm a crowd up and by then, OOOOOPS, show’s over. And while I believe performing at a show and not getting a paid spot is fine a lot of the times, the problem for a new scene is where to turn after that.
What does’s the future hold for the English comedy scene in Berlin?
What are the dreams of the new, up– and– coming comedians who perform in English?
What does the future hold for a half– decent comedian in this country, especially one who refuses to perform in the native language?
I’ll tell you what the future holds for me in Germany.
See you soon, whenever you visit LA.