Stand-up, fall down–I WILL RISE!

I had another bad experience at stand-up class last night.  It wasn’t so much the class itself this time.  It is clear that I am progressing.  I actually got a few laughs, which didn’t happen last time, and Bob, our teacher, stated that I had improved considerably, so I was satisfied on that front.

What is happening that concerns me is basically a social thing: my classmates are the problem.  Of course I am taking a leap here, but I believe they see me as a loser.  When we are gathered before class, they disregard me and will not include me in their conversations.  They act as though I am not there.  They look through me and talk around me.

For instance, I was in the room with two of the fellows, who were conversing, and they started talking about getting together before class to try out ideas on each other.  I said, “Hey, I’d be interested in doing that!” and they looked at me like I was from Mars!  I don’t recall their response, but it was not a friendly one, and they abruptly changed the subject.

Another time I was in the hallway, and passed another student.  I was expecting a friendly nod and hello, and instead I got a hostile, nasty look.  I was shocked.

While I was performing, I looked up from my papers, and was shocked to see that two students were not even looking at me.  They were not paying full attention to my performance (stand-up comedy involves gestures and facial expressions that must be seen, as well as spoken words).

After class, the students and teacher were gathered outside, and I stood there, hoping someone would approach me and speak to me, and after everyone ignored me, I decided to approach a couple of students.  I did so, and after a very brief exchange, the two students hurried off into Harvard Square.  It was clear that they had no interest or desire to speak with me.

I have no allies in the class, no friends.  Perhaps there is one among them that is not like the others.  I have yet to make acquaintance with this person.  May he or she speak up soon.

Why is this happening?  Is it my age? I believe I am the oldest in the class, 51, and just about all the students are in their 20’s.   Is it that they know I have a mental illness?  Is it because my first performance flopped so badly? Is it because I don’t own a television set, and haven’t seen TV since 2004, and haven’t a clue what they’re talking about when they talk about TV?  A combination of the above?

I came home and cried.  This time, I know the fault is not mine.  I am NOT a loser.  I know if I keep on working at stand-up comedy, I will succeed, the other students be damned.  They will not stop me, and I will not drop the class and forfeit my education because of them.  I will keep trying, and I will keep taking the class again until I get it right.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that next time, the milieu is friendlier.

Feedback and comments welcome!