So I've been listening to a several podcasts lately which involve stand-up comedians interviewing other stand-up comedians:
One topic that keeps coming up over and over (aside from the fact that people who are emotionally stable rarely go into stand-up comedy) is that they all agree on the vital importance of playing small, crappy rooms a LOT and throughout their careers. Basically, the premise is that by playing many, many, low-stakes gigs, they get to bomb a lot, then slowly discover their voice. They throw out new material - most of which sucks, but are able to develop the nuggets that don't and by presenting and re-presenting the good stuff, they eventually come up with solid material that fits in with their developing voice and - eventually - builds a body of work that they can be proud of.

I've been wondering how that relates to what we do in the classroom. Yes, we run with off-the-cuff, improvisational ideas from time to time and develop them later, but we don't do it often. There's always that voice saying, "Yes, it's nice that you're developing your voice as a teacher, but taking the luxury of failure is playing with these kids' education and future." Yes, we model failure, which is important, but doesn't necessarily teach the material we're trying to get across.

So, I'm wondering if we should be taking more chances, trying more edgy things, or fewer. Should we be embracing the stand-up comedy model of pushing the envelope more often than not? Would that be fair to students, who - unlike club-goers wouldn't have permission to get up and walk out on a bad set.

What would it look like if we COULD do the equivalent of playing crappy, 2-drink minimum, open-mike gigs? What would that venue be like? Would it be possible to create something like that?

I'm actually kind of serious here. Would it be possible to have a nightclub for teachers where they could showcase a 20 minute presentation in front of a live audience? What would that look like?

Just wondering.