Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I entered the staff washroom at work to see my name on the door. As I was moving tables after my first hour of work my boss pulled me into her office. “You probably know by now,” she said, “but I wanted to congratulate you and let you know that you were our teacher of the month for November.” Before that day I was unaware that we even had a Teacher of the Month, but with our District SomethingorOther High Honcho visiting I was mildly surprised. And why was it me? I didn’t ask, but I’m sure it was fairly arbitrary as we have some really stellar teachers but suspect it had something to do with me being the one to enthusiastically teach our one Autistic student.
I certainly didn’t expect anything from the recognition, but Hermineh handed me two tickets to the Laugh Factory as a reward for my hard work. I was really excited, we’ve been wanting to go there! (No, not to heckle Michael Richards…)
We finally got babysitting arranged and reservations made and set out on our first real date in so long (um, I’m afraid to admit it may have been our first real date in 16 months) and went out December 15th. We were really fortunate to get in on a night where we were familiar with a couple of the performers (Paul was, I only knew one of them.)
The emcee for the evening was a morning news anchorman from the local ABC network. He was there promoting Spark of Life, the Toys for Tots-like campaign that his network does with the LAFD. He was about as funny as you can imagine, but entertaining enough given that he was totally out of his element. The funniest thing, though, was that he took off after introducing the first act. A local radio personality happened to be there (I guess he had given away a lot of tickets for that night as part of a promotion on his station) and filled in for the rest of the show.
Paul Rodriguez was the first performer. I wasn’t familiar with him before, but Paul was – I guess the guy’s been doing standup for the past 20 years or something. He was really funny. He did a good job of making us laugh and making us think. We even got to chat with him for a bit outside while waiting for the valet and he was just as cool as just some guy (and then he hopped into his Porsche.)
Alonzo Bodden followed, and he was someone we had watched on Last Comic Standing, and rooted for as he was funny without being too crude. He was so much funnier in real life than he was on tv! He did a great set and left us all in stitches.
He was followed by a girl whose set was so poor and material so inappropriate I won’t list her name. She was clearly having an off night, but I don’t pity her as even on a good night I don’t see many people laughing about her childhood molestation.
Alan Stephan finished the night. He, too, was a comedy veteran and had a very entertaining set. We talked with him outside while waiting for our cars. He was very casual and comfortable. Paul made reference to something he had said in the set and made a quick quib which made Alan laugh and say, “I’ll have to remember that and use it next time.” I always knew my husband was funny, but it was pretty cool to hear a professional comedian ask to use something of his as material.
It was a wonderful evening, capped by a report from our babysitters that Little Red did not make a peep the whole night. We had tricked him with an early nap, earlyish supper, and an early party into going to bed early. And it worked!
Working at Sylvan has been a really interesting experience for me, it’s so different from public school and private tutoring. But in neither of those other venues was I given $20 tickets to a night in Hollywood! I guess corporate America absorbing education isn’t all that bad…