Do You Qualify To Be An Adult?

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This has been an interesting week, yet a very exhausting one at the same time.  I feel like at the present time I truly am living the life of a comic as I am both wounded and conflicted about my comedy and a couple key areas of my life.

Let’s start with the good, shall we?  This week I got to schedule yet another coaching session with my coach in Los Angeles.  Needless to say, he has mapped out an aggressive game plan for me to achieve comedy success.  It involves risk, confidence and faith by taking the road nobody else that I’m aware of is traveling on.  I won’t make those plans public but if things did fall into place it would mean Trevor Dean making a name for himself than anybody thought possible, even me.

This plan came about because of the work I have put in over the last year-and-a-half with the comedy.  All the money, homework, reading and studying of other comics performances have started to sharpen my writing skills.  Let’s not forget that success in comedy doesn’t happen overnight for some.  You can search the bios of many comedians to see that truth resonate with me.  I struggled for the first year, it took 1.5 years before my first set that Jerry co-wrote for me, then an additional six month, yes, two full years after I started comedy before I had the ability to write good, solid material for myself that I knew would work before I went on stage.

The neat part is when I meet with my coach now, there are some minor tweaks made to the jokes, or they are left the way they are.  I’ve come a long way since I started, and the material I have written within the last couple months is more material than some comics write in six months to a year!

The interesting thing is that before my comedy coach I was like the other comics I knew, where writing at times was a struggle.  But believe me when I tell you this: comedy is structure.  Structure = tools.  With the right tools it becomes a thousand times easier to write material on any subject,  You can take any situation and plug it into the comedy structure to have material that is funny that you don’t have to be afraid of whether or not it works.

Now for the sad part.  Not sad in tears but sad as in disappointed.

My coach made me aware that somebody wrote him an e-mail “out of concern” for me. He never got into any detail about the e-mail but that the person wrote the following day and said they shouldn’t have written what they did.  Not that it was full of malice, but maybe they just thought I was being fleeced or wasting my money on something that I won’t succeed at in the first place?

I find that with the exception of a few comedians in Regina, I am out of the comedy loop.  I am not invited to do any shows, nor do any comics from the city talk to me.  I’d like to initiate the conversation, believe me, but at times it’s like beating a dead horse when some of them choose to ignore your text messages or e-mails.  The other unfortunate part is that no other comics have asked me about the coaching or taken Jerry up on his offer of a free Skype session.

I have lots of friends who are making it big in the music biz recently and that’s great for them.  They get to travel, do all these great gigs and develop a very strong base of support while I still sit in the shadows, being left out, an afterthought and probably still being the target of jokes or being trashed through social media channels.

I first got into comedy for two reasons.  The first was that I believed I had the God-given talents and ability to succeed (good public speaker, funny, good writer, quick on my feet).  The other reason I got into comedy was because I thought it would be fun.

The last year or so hasn’t been as much fun as I would have thought.  It feels like I am doing comedy not because it’s fun, but it’s like I am on more of a journey to prove people wrong, to show that anybody can learn comedy and succeed.  Now what fuels my comedy?  It’s a burning desire to prove people wrong, also this empty sense like I’ve been tossed out and left to die on the side of the road while most everyone just keeps on passing me by.

The goals that have been laid out before me from the comedy coach are achievable, in his opinion.  That’s great, but we are in Saskatchewan.  This isn’t Los Angeles where there is an abundance of comedy clubs and open mics to take part in.

The chat my coach and I had I’m still trying to process.  It will require a lot of work and for me to put myself out there and take some chances, all with no help from anyone.  It’s not like I have my phone ringing off the hook, let alone ringing at all, with people wanting to book me for shows.  I honestly don’t know if I have the ability to achieve these goals right now.  Life from homelessness, to comedy, unemployment and finances has severely beaten me down.  Not only do I feel like I don’t know how to get things kickstarted, but I don’t know how things would turn out.  Sure, the material isn’t bad and the writing is getting better.  That doesn’t mean I’m supremely confident right now though.  I approach each set now with an intensity and somewhat of an anger that allows me to focus and really make every sentence count, to show that I am worth being on stage for.

The other part of the disappointment is that whoever this person was, they never came and talked to me about their concerns.  It’s just like my friends at the start of the comedy journey who wouldn’t tell me what they really thought because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

Really?  My friends who I have known for 10 to 20 years in some instances don’t think I am mature enough to have an adult conversation with an alternative point of view?  You aren’t giving me the benefit of the doubt now, are you?  I do not conduct my affairs in that fashion at all.  I don’t openly bash people on social media, nor do I bully others.  What I say or write about is the truth based on facts.  If I have a problem with somebody I can go to that person and talk to them.  Too bad some people won’t give me that same respect in return.

I don’t know what comedy goals I could achieve that would make me feel any better about things, or more confident.  I think the past is always in the back of my mind when I write, practice of perform.  It’s always there to keep me humble, but to keep me committed as well.  Throughout my life I have been made to feel that I don’t deserve what “normal” people have like a home to call their own, new vehicle, job security, an above average wage and a respectable savings account.  Even with success in comedy I will always have a part of me that feels like I don’t deserve it, but at the same time it’s not like me to just give up and quit, especially when I’ve been bullied and harassed the way I have been.

I know that is a blatant contradiction that makes no sense at all, and you’re right.  But that is me, feeling unfulfilled, left out and helpless.  Nobody has really had to deal with failure, negativity and being abandoned like I have. Everything I have dealt with in comedy and in life over the last few years, think about how that would make you feel, then multiply that by 100, and that’s what weighs on me every day.

When I reach that success (if at all), it will make for a great story to be sure.  But at the present moment, the journey ahead is scary, demoralizing in a way and confusing at best.  If I ever caught fire and achieved these goals that have been placed before me, there is only one person who believed in me right from the start that I would have to thank for making it all possible.

The fact there is only one person like that in my life makes it both a great feeling and disappointing at the same time.  Doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying though……

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