As you should know, I suffer from performance anxiety. When I told this to a headliner friend, she told me that a lot of comics take beta blockers. So I started taking them before important shows.
Fast forward to this Friday night, where I was showcasing my incredible talents for this booker in Connecticut. I did a great 12 minute set. Unfortunately, I was onstage for 15 minutes. The problem? I forgot to take a pill before the show.
Around the 12 minute mark, I forgot what I planned to do for my next bit. A normal comic would probably be able to just think of another joke in their repertoire, but I couldn't. Even though I have about 30/35 minutes of material I'd feel comfortable doing in an A club, I couldn't remember any of them. I started doing crowd work, trying to remember any joke. The only jokes I could recall were either ones that I hadn't done in a couple of years and ones that I had just written and hadn't even put up on any show yet.
Of course on the tain ride home (which took forever), I thought of all the jokes I coulda/shoulda done, including my jokes about having stage fright.