AT THE MIC – Mike Delamont

Calm before the storm

Tonight is the biggest show of my life. Where there was once worry and stage fright, now there is calm.

The quiet of the theatre is something else. It’s the calm before the storm. The crew and I work all day setting up lights, sound and projections. At 6pm everybody takes their dinner break, and when you get back, you get ready for the show.

I like to stand on the stage in those few minutes before they open the doors. Looking out over the empty 1,500 seats that will soon be filling with people and trying not to be overwhelmed by how far the journey has taken me since it all began five years ago. To stand in the same spot where Charlie Chaplin stood and wonder what he thought in the same moment.

After they open the doors, I sneak around the front and sit at the back and watch people come in. I chat with a middle aged couple about their day, and help an older woman down to her seat while the ushers were busy. No one gave me a second glance because they didn’t recognize me out of context. Why would I be sitting in the audience of my own show? I walk back to the dressing room and sit alone and wait until it’s time.

Five years ago I was living in a big city with big dreams and nobody would hire me. I decided to try stand up because it was easier to get three minutes of stage time at an unpaid open mic than it was to get an audition for a play. I worked small clubs writing terrible jokes, and then one day gave up. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t work this hard for nothing. So I wrote a one man show. My mom paid for me to fly home, and my friend Charles lent me $600 to rent a theatre for a night. I didn’t know if anything would come from it, or if anybody would come out to see it. But they did. Boy did they ever.

More than 100,000 people have come out to support what I do since all of this began. While I have worked hard and taken some risks, I still wonder if I would be where I am if some things hadn’t happened. What if I had never done Atomic Vaudeville and met Jacob Richmond? What if Christina Edwards hadn’t watched my video, taken a risk and given me my first real shot? What if Zoe Rabnett had never asked me to be at Just For Laughs? Where would I be? My guess is still selling furniture at the Bay. As it stands, I have a strange and wonderful career, a wonderful wife who encourages and inspires me, and what I can only assume is the world’s largest lucky horse shoe planted firmly betwixt my cheeks.

When this dream comes to an end, as I’m sure it will any day now, I will be thankful for the time I had. For the people who came out to see my shows, and the endless amount of people who helped me to make them happen. And to those who said I couldn’t or shouldn’t – I’m glad I didn’t listen. Thanks for the five wonderful years … who knows what the new year will bring?

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Most Read