Omit The Logic

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There are times in my life, at least once every four or five months, sometimes longer when I watch or read something that has a powerful effect on me. Enough of an effect to the point where it makes me really sit down and reevaluate certain parts of my life. One of those moments just happened as I watched the documentary on Richard Pryor called “Omit The Logic.”

I had it saved on my PVR since the end of Janurary but I just got around to watching it now. Maybe because now was the proper time for me to really take something away from it, and oh, was I ever able to draw some parallels to my own life and comedy career, albeit in an indirect fashion. Sort of.

The film wasn’t really a biography as much as it was divided up into two parts. The first part for about two-thirds of the film was about his meteoric rise in the world of stand-up comedy, and the social impact his comedy had upon a racially tenuous time.

Richard never gave up. Even when he became a big star and seriously bombed. No….bombed isn’t the right word. More like fucked up. He seriously fucked up a couple of performances when he was a major star and had headliner status. But he went back on stage the next night and kicked ass. From what I saw of the film, it sounded like his grandmother was his mother figure, and once she passed away that’s when things started to spiral out of control for him (again, this is only MY opinion based on what I took away from the film). Then he was married at least seven times. One person who was interviewed as part of the film mentioned that he married so many times because he didn’t want to be alone, then once he was married it’s like the thrill wore off and he wanted to try and find the next one.

No, I am not an alcoholic or a drug user like some comics are, but there is an important parallel that I can draw upon, that may take my writing in a different direction.

Then there are some forms of self-destructive behaviour that I engage in. I won’t lie to you and tell you that everything is coming up roses, because it’s not. However, I can sort of begin to see how that lonely, empty feeling a comic like Richard Pryor felt helped to fuel his comedy. Keep in mind though that he lived to be a performer but when he works, the show is maybe 90 minutes at the most. That leave 22.5 hours in the day for Richard to be Richard the normal person, not Richard the comic. I once heard it said that when a comic leaves the stage at the end of their show, they go back to being a regular person, not a comedian. This means that people closest to them or in the real world treat the comic like a real person. When the applause, love, admiration and respect isn’t there in real life like it is on the comedy stage, sometimes the comedian will try to replicate that feeling by doing things or associating with certain people who can give that same short-lived burst of love and respect to the comic, even though it’s off the stage. Does that make sense?

Where I am going this? Well, let’s just say that for me to do comedy well, part of it is to properly sell the material, in other words you need to put some emotion behind it to make it come across as real and relevant. I have an idea to build a set around getting a bit more personal to try and connect to the missing pieces of my life, and make them funny. I don’t have a problem sharing the parts of my life that I need to put under the microscope for observation. However, that’s a discussion I should have first with my comedy coach to sit down and develop this new direction I would like to explore.

I mean sure, turning the laughs onto myself is easy, meaning it’s easier for me to now write material that I know will work even before I get on stage. But this material I would like to explore, which there is plenty of, I need some help to unlock the door to write this effectively because I don’t think I could write deeply personal and painful material the same way I craft my other jokes. At least I don’t know if it’s possible.

I will keep that documentary fresh in my mind for a while and try to piece together some material that will help to free me of the burden that I feel I always carry around. It’s a burden that very few people see. I hope to give you an update on this new direction very soon.

Be blessed!

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