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How A Bathroom Mishap Gave Me The Best Material For Stand Up

The funny story before I was going to say my funny story on stage

By Samantha ParrishPublished about a year ago Updated 10 months ago 10 min read

I am known as the punisher, the one-woman show, the Sami show that runs for 24 hours. I was told to do stand-up many times, and I toyed with the idea until I knew I wanted to do it for myself. I thought, "Why not, I'll do it one time".

The first time I did stand up, I had some material to work with and test it out. At the end of my first show, a professional comedian in my town of Virginia approached me and said, "You got potential," and I was like, "That's new to hear."

I learned there was a formula to being funny for those like me that have a funny bone but need to know how to jazz and zhuzh it.

What It boils down to is that comedy is a really weird situation someone finds himself in and they have to spice it up with exaggeration and make the story interesting. I've only had a few situations that didn't need much exaggeration to make it hilarious. With that said, it made it hard to figure out what parts of my life I could do to entertain people and make them laugh to the point they inhale and exhale at the same time. I would just settle for some wide laughs and a solid chuckle.

The second time I did stand up, has one of the best stories that I ended up using in my failure at the second time of stand-up ended up becoming the inadvertent success of the funny formula for the final time I did stand up

I say this as I shouldn’t pre-predict my future so that I could go back to stand up, but we all learned that some things just aren’t meant to be for our routine, and I am much better at making other people laugh without the pressure. I like doing it for me and my entertainment, and not for the sake of critique. But the story is something that I love to tell, and it’s something that I will never forget.

These three minutes in a bathroom that happened before I went up on stage for the second time of my short-lived stand-up comedian ended up becoming the best story to tell. It also served as my final story for my last redemption, as well as my retirement from stand-up.

I made a promise to myself that I would return to stand up before my 24th birthday, I even had a whole line of self-deprecating jokes, and I went over my material all day long.

April 25, 2019.

I was feeling great, my best friend Becca stopped by to give me an early birthday present, and one of my friends came to support me at the comedy bar. He had always wanted to see me perform comedy.

To be honest, I tried too hard to be casual, I’m a girl that loves wearing skirts and cute tops, wearing jeans, and wearing a T-shirt, it wasn’t my uniform or my battle armor so I was automatically at a disadvantage.

I got to the comedy club, an hour and a half early, and I got there on purpose so that way I could be there before my friend got there, as it turned out he was there waiting for me and I proceeded To try and get out of my car without using my logic of opening the stupid car door and I rammed my head against the window. I’m a Taurus so I’m just gonna chalk it down to the fact that I was trying to be like my zodiac and ram the door down.

My friend, Thomas, and I are sitting down and the thing I appreciate about Thomas is that he did not make me nervous or say any clichéd things, he knew that this was going to be a very tough thing for me to do. he was a performer for the open mic nights, so he’s very aware of how it feels to go on stage. He is aware, that it’s virtually useless to tell someone that it’s gonna be OK if they have stage fright or if they’re not familiar with going up on stage.

The way the comedy club worked as it did not matter if you were the first person there, they are going to scramble the names. I remember that from the last time (The first time) I did stand up. On this night, there weren’t many performers. So in a way, it made me both nervous and relieved. I was relieved knowing that I might be going up sooner so I could go ahead and get my material out of my head. I was nervous knowing I’m still going up on that stage even though that’s the whole point of me being here is to go up on that stage!

We all got the rules, you can’t say racial slurs, if you have to say the F word, you had to make it count, you get the flashlight indicating you have to get off the stage or wrap it up. And of course, the comfort rule, if you don’t feel good about your material it’s OK to walk off the stage. Those rules are very easy to follow.

I saw my name was at number five, which gave me some relief and knowing that I had more time to rehearse, but even better admit I could go to the bathroom before I went up on stage. I told Thomas that I was going to the bathroom and I’d be right back, the third person was on stage, and because of the minimal amount of people, they were given five minutes. It would not take me that long in the bathroom at all. So I went to the bathroom, And the thing about this bathroom is that it’s awful. They have a mirror right in line with the toilet so you watch yourself doing your own business. So I try to avoid eye contact with myself. Next thing I know I hear my name being called!

“Up Next Sami Parrish!”

I’m still on the toilet!

I was frantic to get out of the bathroom, I completely forgot the most basic functions of getting out of the bathroom, and I did everything out of order. Only I could pull that off. It was as if I had temporally forgotten something I’d been doing for 20 years. But that’s what panic will do to you!

I guess you could say, I was completely flushed (pun all the way intended).

I get up, wipe wash my hands, forgot to flush the toilet, and almost forgot the most important part.

Pulling up my pants!

Then, I made eye contact with the mirror. The very thing I’ve been trying to avoid once my butt cheeks hit the porcelain throne seat. As soon as I made eye contact with the mirror and saw myself pulling up my pants, I looked like I was ready for a pornography video, then to do three minutes up on stage. I finally get out there and I lose all confidence because of what happened in the bathroom. All I could think of walking at that stage was, “Did I flush the toilet? Is there a toilet paper stuck to my feet, I hope that my fly is up”

Of course, none of that was happening, The panic was so bad that I was imagining things that didn’t even happen in second-guessed stuff that I already did.

And the one thing that I forgot to do was to converse with my friend about getting a recording of my comedy, I don’t even know why the hell I brought up my notebook on stage cause I didn’t even use the damn thing at all of the entire bit of my comedy special! I talk it down to the fact that I brought it up for a safety crutch, I looked into that crowd of 10 people, and I said the first beds that I remembered, the parts that made me want to do the special which is making fun of my birthday being tomorrow!

“Tomorrow’s my birthday, thank you for clapping, I call it the day that God messed up at the office”

My whole joke was going to be about How I made fun of myself after a bad date I had when I took my hair down and looked like one of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. It seems like a stretch, but this is my material and I stuck with it. Even though the writing could’ve used more work, I still had to give myself points for still going with something and going on stage and doing it.

I felt that I wasn’t doing a good job. Half of the material I rehearsed was gone. The whole day I had rehearsed the same three pages, and something that I have been talking about for a month was immediately erased from my brain because of three minutes in the bathroom. I could tell that I lost the audience, there was no confidence coming at all for my voice, and that’s a key element, you can tell any story you want but if you tell it with confidence, you have a shot. I was about to walk off stage, I even tried to laugh at the fact that I was so nervous, and had a split second I had a decision to make, I could get off the stage or keep going

and I chose to keep going

I looked over, and I saw my friend Thomas and grabbed my phone, and recorded. Maybe he was a mind reader, and I had already accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to have any proof of evidence but somehow someway we were in sync and he did that for me. Knowing that he was recording my performance, gave me a little bit of confidence back.

Now, I knew that there was gonna be proof that I did do something I was nervous to do and kept doing something despite a mess up I had in the bathroom that took down my confidence.

I even created a new bit that came to mind right on the spot. I joked about how I wasn’t gonna be on the dating apps for a while, To save the men out there from the mess that I am. Self-appreciation is my game, and it’s something that I don’t even have to rehearse to make up something on the spot because it’s my forte, and the one thing I take out of this whole mess is knowing exactly what my identity is as a comic person. I’m a messterpiece.

“Trust me you don’t want any Sami-sauruses out here”

And I got a good laugh from the audience than the pity laughter that I originally got.

After I was done I made sure to do the courtesy of introducing the next person after me, I gave it to the woman, I don’t remember if she told me I did a good job, if she didn’t that I’d like to think that maybe she did. And then I got off the stage and hurried and I crashed into the leather seat as my friend Thomas congratulated me. He ordered me a basket of fries, and then we went outside for some fresh air and to have a smoke break. He knew I felt bad about my performance because he saw how nervous I was.

He said, “I thought you did a good job” and I immediately said to him, “let me tell you what happened in the bathroom, I look like I was ready for a porn shoot then ready to go up on stage”

When I got home, and the clock strikes midnight marking my birthday, I knew that I doubt that the next Friday I will go up on that stage and tell the story about what happened in the bathroom

And I did. Five minutes in the bathroom was the most stressful time, but it gave me the weirdest, and best story to tell for my final stand-up.

So I guess you could say, toilet humor saved the day.

Thank you you have been a wonderful virtual audience for reading this.


About the Creator

Samantha Parrish

What's something interesting you always wanted to know?

Instagram: parrishpassages

tiktok: themysticalspacewitch

My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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