Relaunch Into The Same Deep Waters – With The Same Rickety, Leaky Boat

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When you pursue your passion, something that you enjoy it should bring you and those around you joy, revelling in the good times and plowing your way through the bad times.  When you are a comedian and you struggle, it sucks.  I don’t care who you are, nobody likes to fail even occasionally, even though failure is a necessary teacher and friend most of us need.  Have that happen 90% of the time where you struggle to get the laughs and it can start to erode your confidence base.  Now add a woman to the mix and it really messes things up.  When it’s me this is happening to, you know at some point I’m going to either fuck up really big or succeed really big.

At the time of this writing, I am single.  Kinda.  So yes, I fucked up royally.

I screwed up relationship #2, and both only lasted a year.  It should be nothing new that a comedian happened to mess up in the dating realm, because we do it all the time!  It’s part of the internal struggle that clashes with our creative forces, making for interesting material at times.

This is probably the most in depth I will get regarding my relationship, admitting things that some of you may already know, and telling you things that you weren’t aware of.  At the end of the day, I would prefer not to get beaten up about this.  I will admit my mistakes and my insecurities, then I would like to move forward.  The only ones who won’t let me live this down are the ones who want to see me fail or who think I am a piece of shit.  While that is a fair comment which I cannot deny at times, those people are better off keeping those comments to themselves.

So, what happened with Nicole and I?  Yes, I prefer calling her Nicole (given name) instead of Nicki, because a new attitude and outlook coincides with calling her a different name and being different.

When we first started hanging out together she willingly drove me to Regina for fundraising gigs and to Lloydminster for The Sticks (awesome room for comedy).  First road trip we took I was doing a benefit in front of some of the Riders.  I didn’t want her to watch because I thought if she saw me struggle that it might affect her opinion of me.  So, while she visited with relatives in Regina, I stood in front of the Riders and dozens of others shitting my pants.

From there when I said we should date, little did I know what was in store for me.  She did everything all out, because it’s the only way she knows.  I wasn’t back in the Saskatoon comedy scene when we started dating in June of 2014.  Once I somehow talked my way into hosting at the comedy club in the Park Town, she got me a cake.  My family could care less, my brother didn’t know I did comedy (considering the fact my brother and dad work together he sees my parents a lot more because of it, they never mentioned anything to him.  Shows you what priority my family puts on being supportive).

The first show was nerve wracking enough because it was the first time back on the Saskatoon stage in 1.5 years, not to mention at a nationally known, professional comedy club.

The first night my legs shook.  I was convinced that I’d have an Oprah moment and start bawling, thankfully that didn’t happen.  The people talked overtop of me making it hard to do my set.  The opener and the headliner did their jobs, so the night was a success when you looked at it from a team concept.

The next night I debuted material about Nicole and I, with her family, co-workers and friends in attendance.  I find Saturday night crowds to be a bit better, more lively.  They were attentive and receptive to me, which I obviously liked.  Some of my friends after that show remembered what I was like when I started and they were proud of me to see the growth.  Not just happy, but proud.  That meant a lot.

So, around that time I started doing Pass The Hat in Regina and we went together to that as well.  During those shows I asked her to sit in the back because I didn’t need the distraction of her watching me with loving eyes.  That’s just it.  I should have welcomed that.  She deserves to sit wherever she wanted, specifically at the front or the middle, where she deserved to be seen.  Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Comedy for me isn’t easy.  Of all the local comics who have been around for a while I am the only one who has never been asked to perform out of town.  I will never be asked to assume that much responsibility in the local scene, and I do not belong on the special pro shows, only the open mics.  It’s what I’ve been told, and I understand that I will always be on the bottom rung of the comedy ladder.  That’s just par for the course.

Of the local comics currently performing, of which there are many, I get the least amount of laughs about 90% of the time.  I write better than some, I might get to the punchlines quicker and have structure to my material, and be able to tell you the how and the why that something’s funny, but it just doesn’t translate to the stage being funny.  I’ve tried, and will continue to try.

I always feel bad for Nicole when she has to sit through a night where it’s not working maybe as well as it should.  The majority of my nights are like that.  There are many, many comics who have the same struggles, this is nothing new.  Even after the last show at the Park Town when I felt nauseated, defeated and alone, she sat there with me at my place til probably 4 a.m. telling me how proud she was of me.

I didn’t understand it at the time, but I do now.  She was demonstrating love.

She doesn’t return my texts in a timely fashion like she used to.  It hurts.  I’m sure that I deserve it for how I’ve been.  The days leading up to a big show had me shut out all distractions to focus, including her, when the exact opposite should have been happening.

If I had more success on stage I think it would have translated into me treating Nicole much better because in turn, my attitude and confidence would have been better.  But that’s not a valid reason.  It’s an excuse.  Excuses have eroded and destroyed what’s taken a year to build, and what will take some time to repair, rebuild or just leave in a mess on the floor.

A friend of Nicole’s mentioned to me that she is way too good for me and that she deserves better than what I gave her.  I have to agree with that statement.  She does deserve better, so does her family, friends and relatives.  Everyone deserves better, but in the end the only person I need to apologize to is Nicole.

Somehow through this month apart I’ve seen what a moron I’ve become through the material I’ve written.  It’s funny, sometimes the very thing a comedian wants, the one thing they need the most, the one thing they focus their material on…..when that thing falls into their lap sometimes it’s the hardest thing to keep hold of.  When you read a few bios of comics whose lives ended far too soon, it usually revolves around relationships.  I can at least take some solace in the fact I’m not the first comic, let alone first guy to make a royal mess of something.

I tend to learn things the hard way, all the time.  I’d like to think it makes me battle tested and wiser, others could say it makes me ignorant, selfish and a jackass.  Both opinions are correct.  At the end of the day, I need to take a less adversarial point of view towards comedy, just have fun with it and embrace the experience as a whole.  At the end of the day, regardless of how I did, I always had somebody there for me.

Now, I just want my best friend back.  Shit!  I was supposed to tell her that.  Oh well, I guess it’s out there now.

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