Chapter One: Diary Aha Moment
I’ve been doing stand up comedy for 24 years and still feel like a total loser. Not sure if it’s admirable or embarrassing I’m still chasing my dreams, but the 90’s seem to be trending again, so I might as well attempt to throw my amateur comedy career in the nostalgia mix. It hurts a little knowing you could fit six Midge Maisel careers in the span of mine. Does this blog already feel depressing? Stay with me. I’m actually a positive person. Watch me turn this around.
When I still had a day job, I felt guilty calling myself a comedian- I’d say comedian/bartender. (You don’t have to do that, btw.) Now I’m back to feeling uncomfortable declaring I’m a comic, cuz like most of us, I’m barely even doing it right now. The future is a wild card, the present feels numb, but the past is sitting all pretty, waiting to be graded.
I’m sure the last year has been both introspective and retrospective for us all. Having created an act bragging about being single, you know I spent a LOT of time alone in 2020. (I moved to New York on March 1st, so you know I have impeccable timing.) But I wasn’t totally alone. I had myself, in different versions. An entire book shelf of me. I’ve written in diaries since I was eleven. I’ve dragged them all back and forth across the continent multiple times as I try figure out what fucking city I’m meant to live in. I tell myself I’m lugging them through life because obviously I’m going to write a book one day, but it could be that I just don’t want anyone to find/read them. I don’t even trust USPS with them. I FedEx’d them here. And if you’ve ever shipped a box of books, you know it ain’t cheap. (It’s also a workout carrying them up your five story walk up.) But sentimentality can’t be replaced. Plus there’s no way I would remember half my life without these diaries. I’m simply prepping for Alzheimer’s. I can’t wait to re-read the story of my life when I’m in the old folks home spreading STD’s, as I hear they do. (It’s socially acceptable after 85.)
I have a tradition I do by myself every New Year’s Day: I pull a diary off the shelf and read the entire thing. I think it’s smart to start your year reflecting- figure out how not to fuck things up this year. Having no job currently, I had time to real them all. (Sadly there was no option for me to put this on my Goodreads page.) That’s when I had my inciting incident for this blog:
Sure I can’t DO comedy right now…
But I can tell the STORY of my comedy…
It’s something. And it’s Covid compliant. Plus, the Internet lets you put anything on here. Have you seen it’s work?
This blog is gonna be quite the ride. If stand up comedy is a game I’d say I’ve played all the levels:
Hide all signs of being a comedian from family
Move to Hollywood too early
The shows you called “The road” but really you just drove five hours for fifty bucks
“Sent” back to Canada
Optioned my own TV show
Dated comics (could be a full other book)
Two more podcasts
Move to Hollywood too late
Performed for the troops overseas
Cruise ship act (THE FINAL LEVEL!)
I’ve done everything except save the princess. (You know, become famous.)
Having my own personal George Bailey moment re-reading all these diaries really put things in perspective. They almost made me mad at myself. (Again, positive person, I will pull it together in the end.)
I feel like I said “no” to all the things I should have “yes” to…
I feel like I said “yes” to all the things I should have said “no” to…
So here I am, re-reading my life from the point I was literate. How did I become a comedian? Why am I still doing it? Am I trapped in the dream of my 18-year-old self?
These blogs I’m going to release are chapters I’ve been compiling for years now. If you know me, you’ve heard me say I’m “writing a book” for at least the past five years. (Sometimes I bail on comedy shows saying I have a “deadline.” LOLOLOLOLOL.)
Somehow my work ethic for the long term has been interrupted by the instant gratification of social media. A cute pic. A funny Tik Tok. A clever tweet. You convince yourself these sort of posts are a pretty good work day, then go back to doing nothing. But then you wake up the next morning and waste hours looking at other people’s posts until you feel like that avocado you bought when it wasn’t ripe yet, waited too long to actually use, finally cut it open and now it’s rotten. I hope this blog doesn’t make anyone feel like that. If it makes you feel any better, I’m 42. It’s taken me this long to figure shit out and I’m only half way through the pile.
There was part of me that was thinking,
“Don’t do another blog…. You’ve exposed your personal life online enough…”
But then I thought:
“I also don’t want to forget anything when I finally publish a book. Might be good for all the people from my past to add their memories and/or fix mine. I’d like to save myself from a few law suits if possible, so feel free to tell me what you think I’ll get sued for.”
So in the spirit of my Tinder Tuesdays, I’m going to post blogs every Tuesday. Even though these stories are more about comedy than sex, I promise…
There’s a LOT of over lap.
Move over Bridget Jones. I know more Hugh Grants than you do.