Thank you very much to Tim Noah and his Thumbnail Theater in Snohomish, Washington. The website for his theater, “your cozy home for the performing arts,” states: “Friday Nights are Open Mic @ The Thumb!” And that’s where I debuted my first stand-up comedy performance.
Click on this screen in order to watch it directly from my new YouTube channel* –
It’s a family-friendly venue. So at the end of our performance, the emcee gave me the biggest compliment. He said, “You have the ability to know right where the line was, and step up to it.” But not cross over it.
I had been to the open mic at the Thumbnail Theater before, but not as a performer. So I knew that the performers almost always were musicians. I never saw a comic. That’s why we included a musical theme in our act, because that’s what the audience was expecting, and it was also a little reminiscent of the Smothers Brothers.
So when I was signing up for the open mic, I asked if it’s all right to do stand-up comedy. Of course, they said, within certain guidelines; however, no comic had ever succeeded in finishing his act before getting removed from the stage – due to being too crude and vulgar.
That’s why the emcee’s comment to me was such a big compliment. I am the first stand-up comic not to get kicked off the stage of the Thumbnail Theater!
I definitely enjoyed it, but it was also hard work – the writing, refining and rehearsing. My son and I rehearsed every Tuesday night for about an hour for over a month. After I put together the original draft, then the rehearsals helped us either eliminate or polish the lame spots.
I was very pleased with this performance. While I was up there at the mic, I could tell from their responses that I really did have the audience with me.
A few months later, I went on-stage again, this time at the Curious Comedy Theater in Portland, Oregon. Many thanks to Gabe Dinger, not only for opening his venue every Sunday night for the open mic, but also for emceeing the show. This time, though, I introduced my new persona, Don Delfeen. Click on this screen in order to watch it directly from my new YouTube channel* –
This is a much shorter set because Curious Comedy’s open mic has a three-minute time limit. It is completely different from the routine that I performed in Snohomish. But most people tell me that this performance is far better than my first one.
Both routines employ my brand of comedy that I call “Boomer Humor” – referring to humor that Baby Boomers will appreciate. But Lee Cuesta’s style is more family-friendly, utilizing some double entendre – appropriate for theaters and lecture halls – while Don Delfeen is more crude – though not vulgar – appropriate for nightclubs and casinos. One viewer said that Don Delfeen is Lee Cuesta “being inappropriate.”
*I have launched my channel on YouTube, called Lee Cuesta Live, which looks like this: “leecuestalive.” By typing this into the search-bar at YouTube, you’ll easily be able to find my two comedy performances. And there will be more videos and performances coming from me on this channel!