Just Sayin’: In Front of God and Everybody?

Exposed! Now there’s a loaded term and yup, we’ve all felt it from time to time.  There are all levels of exposure. But in reality, have you ever felt that you had no defenses behind which to hide? That pretty much covers the term. Apply it to any type of “exposed.” Financial, emotional, physical. It works for all of them. No place to hide.

I am a singer, a performer. Have been all my life. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve never felt exposed in front of an audience or a classroom;  rather it’s in front of an audience I feel the most in control.

However, I harbor a secret ambition. I state that desire in carefully defensible language. As in, “In my next life I want to come back as a stand-up comedian.”

What? Did I just say that out loud, in front of you guys and everybody in cyberspace? And to that you might just say, “Well, go for it girl. Try it out on your friends.”

You want to talk exposed?

You understand that when singing it’s usually someone else’s words someone else’s music. On stage, it’s the playwrite’s lines and plot. In the classroom or teaching studio, it’s predetermined content. Graphic art comes close, but it is still one step removed. People either buy your work or they don’t but you’re not necessarily there to see it. . . but comedy? Oh, my gosh . . .  it would be my own words my own sense of humor, my own timing . . . my own self . . .  no defenses behind which to dodge.  They either laugh or they don’t . . . right there . . . right then.

What if they don’t like me? That’s ME I’m talking about!

Oh, I have really, really tremendous respect for comedians. Good, bad, indifferent . . . doesn’t matter, they all lay it out there in front the world at large. When I expressed this trepidation about doing stand up comedy to one of my musician friends, he claimed the solution was easy: Just sit down.

That’s not quite what I meant.

Well, and now there’s this writing thing. Another arena of exposure. It might be my content and my words, but at least with writing for the public one gets the benefit of spell-check and an editor. Unfortunately, in comedy, there’s neither of those things available for my mouth.

Maybe in my next life.

Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Chamberlain, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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15 Responses

  1. Avatar CoachBob says:

    I thought this "next life" had already begun. I find you pretty funny when you're playing the piano next to me (is that what you meant?). Oh, and you were sitting down. Hmmm, maybe I need to rethink this. Actually, AJ, you have a gift of a sense of humor. Scary that we both seem to laugh at the same things.

  2. Avatar Jim Pope says:

    It is always nice to see you out and about, in front of God and every body! Your love for music and sharing with so many has always been extra-special and meaningful to me. As being a comic, I think you would and you do very well, no matter where you entertain for the folks~

    God bless,

    jim

  3. Avatar Canda says:

    Adrienne, I think you're a funny lady, and I love ya! I'm sure you're right, that stand up would be way different than writing your column, or just being spontaneously funny. We've all been to shows where the comedian bombs, and it's so embarrassing for everyone. I agree with Jim. It's always fun to see you out and about in town. Looking forward to seeing you again, and I always look forward to your column here on anewscafe.

  4. Avatar Stan says:

    With regard to graphic arts, it's true that you might not be there when a work is sold, but at craft shows you can here folks making comments about your work. Been there done that.

    I still maintain that if a person has some creative talent that it will force it's way out eventually—and it can take a lot of years sometimes. New discoveries happen in retirement everyday. You are close to being there. Ever watch Victor Borge? No, I'm not recommending copying him, but you could combine the piano with some comedy. Yes, you can!

  5. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Adrienne

    Stand-up comedian? If I had an unlimited number of guesses, I would have failed… I think because I tend to think of your selection in a personal way… is it something I would want to do? Terrifying is the word that comes to mind… it seems so personal when the audience laughs at your observations and even more personal when they don't. I'm impressed with your courage.

    Doug

    • Avatar AJ says:

      Well, I haven't done it yet . . . not even sure I ever will. But 'tis a tho't!! And yes, terrifying is an appropriate word there.

  6. Avatar Diane Knapik says:

    Hey, A.J.,

    You have two, no three necessary requirements to make your dream come true. You have a life full of hilarious stories, a great sense of humor and a few million friends who would love to laugh with you. You Go Girl!!

  7. Avatar Juanita Kinyon says:

    Polls show that speaking in front of a crowd is the greatest fear for most people. That certainly held true for me when my husband died after a long illness. A San Diego university asked me to speak to a group of med students about physicians' care for terminal patients and their families. I wanted to do it but was very, very nervous. After being introduced, I opened my mouth to speak and no sounds came out. It actually startled me and, after the room broke out in laughter, I was more relaxed. That was my inadvertent debut at "stand up comedy". I suspect you'll be great. Let me know where you will be appearing.

  8. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Go for it; the only bad part would be if no one laughs. Oh well, it is worth a try.

  9. Avatar Darcy Coon says:

    AJ – I know that from being one of your former students that there is a lot of fodder for the comedic stage. From my own teaching experience I could write a book about the drama and hilarity that comes from being in front of the classroom. You should go for it! You always did make me laugh and you still do! Even if you don't stand on a stage you should definitely put pen to paper and get out a book of memoirs!

    Love ya bunches!

    Darcy

  10. Avatar Grammalyn says:

    I guess I never really thought much about this, but you are right. Most of the performing arts involve one's interpretation of someone else's work.

    I have no doubt that you would be a great stand up comedienne. I don't think that there is anything much that you wouldn't do well if you really put your mind to it. Maybe you could practice on a small audience and see how it goes. (I have this vision of you at an assisted living facility keeping all the residents completely entertained).

    Love you, girlfriend.

  11. Avatar sheri says:

    You've always been one of the funniest people I've known.

    • Avatar AJ says:

      As my brother used to say, "is that funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?" Somehow I believe both of those "funnies" apply here.

  12. Avatar Budd Hodges says:

    AJ…go for the standup gig. I've seen you work and you're funny already. I agree with Sheriff Jim, you've got the born talent for funny and entertaining.

    A real test audience would be a group of lawyers including Doug Mudford, Dugan Barr and others. If you can make a lawyer laugh you've got an act.

    Break a leg Adrienne!

  13. Avatar Patty M says:

    Wow, very introspective. I've always enjoyed comedians. There's more to it than meets the eye (or ears, etc.) You have a great sense of humor and would be very succesful as a stand-up. You always make me laugh!!!