I could have sworn I’d posted about this before, but it seems not. So, here’s Tig Notaro telling a story about the time she met Taylor Dayne.
Having a story this long and this good was always my dream when I did stand up, and I never got close to it. Tig says that it was originally a half hour story, because she’s met her so many more times, and that as she honed and refined it, she excised a lot of stuff that wasn’t holding the audience’s attention. There’s a lesson in editing there, and the blinking noise of a bored crowd is an excellent way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
And when she blanks, that’s real. You can see it in her eyes, and the way she rides it is a brilliant piece of crowd control.
That Conan appearance was right in the middle of … I was days away from finding out I had cancer. I was newly out of the hospital, newly burying my mother, and that day my girlfriend and I broke up. I was still very ill. I went onstage to tell this story that I had told a million times and that was completely factual, and my brain just went away onstage because I had so much on my mind. It was really a leaving-my-body moment. Onstage I was thinking, These people think this is part of the bit, and I really didn’t know what I was going to do.Vulture
I lost the audience for a bit, but then, the more I made fun of myself for forgetting it, they came back. When I got offstage, the producer came up, I said, “I’m so sorry. I’m like really in a weird space and I forgot the story.” He was like, “No problem. We can just edit all of that out.” I was like, “You know what” — and it was partly because I felt, like, “Nothing matters,” in an inspiring, exciting way because I had lost everything, and also in this rock-bottom way of like, “You have come face-to-face with somebody that does not care” — and, I said, “Don’t edit it. Please leave it in.” Because I also knew for myself, it would excite me to see another comedian struggle like that.
Here’s some Taylor Dayne for you.