Nicki Made Comedy Mean Something

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By now you should know about Nicki.  She was my girlfriend.  She might be again, down the road.  But it’s going to take a shitload of work on my part.

I’ve cryptically made references to her in blog posts and on my comedy page, but here, right now, I would like to tell you why we aren’t together for the time being.  You are probably wondering why I would do something like this to put it all out there for the world to see.  That’s a fair point.  However, I do have a bit of a following with this blog after four years, and I would like to let you in to the complicated mess (at times) that is my life.  You’ve seen the shows that go behind the scenes of your favourite comedians.  Consider this one of those episodes, only difference being you actually know me.

I guess the other reason I would do this is to have some of you hold me accountable if we did get back together.  I know it sounds odd, but really when you think about it, a person holds recovering addicts accountable, people losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.  So why can’t I have some of my friends whom I value and trust to hold me accountable as well?

We haven’t talked for a few weeks now, because we both need to take time to sort some things out.  In my case, sorting things out means coming home from work every day to an empty basement suite with nobody to talk to, nobody to share my day or problems with.

Once I started doing the pro comedy club in the city that’s when I became nervous, agitated, scared and unable to get a decent nights sleep.  Normally guys would share those fears with their significant other. I however, treated comedy like my own special clique that nobody would understand.  When she asked about how I was doing or what was wrong, I’d snap at her or just not say anything because I figured it would be too complex for her to understand.

That’s not the case at all.  She’s pretty, smart, giving, thoughtful, kind, generous, just an amazing woman.  When I announced that I got the first set of hosting gigs at the comedy club, she came to my workplace at lunch one day and brought me a cake that said “congratulations” on it.

That first night she brought out a lot of people to watch me, and she was very proud of me.  I couldn’t tell she was proud, because I specifically told her to sit towards the back of the room so I couldn’t see her.  Yes, the most amazing woman I’ve ever met who has this look that just gets to depths within me I can’t begin to describe, and I didn’t want to see that because it would be a distraction.  Yeah, that shows you where my priorities were.

The second night went better, and she still brought people out to see me.  She brought her family, and I did new material at that time that focused on our relationship, making her look better (meaning that I was the “butt” or the focus of the punchlines of the material). Then again, spend a couple of minutes with Nicki and myself, and you will see that it doesn’t take much for her to be the shining superstar in the relationship.

After the first set of shows we traveled together to shows in Regina and Lloydminster.  She was always there with a positive word, trying her best to be encouraging.  But again, I treated comedy like the caramilk secret, refusing to discuss much because the more I talked about it, the more agitated I became when I was still struggling to get consistent.

Then the second set of shows at the pro comedy club didn’t go as well as they should have, but again, she was right there beside me.  When I didn’t do well those two nights, she was there to look after me, staying up with me til 4:00 a.m. when I got sick, to tell me how proud she was of me for doing that. Then I searched all of her old posts that were on my comedy page, and I finally understand love from her perspective.  She was “all in” right from the start, and it took me a very long time to understand what “all in” exactly meant.  Her and her family of her mother, father and relatives were supportive of my comedy, it was the family support I so badly wanted but never received from my own.  When I started dating Nicki, within a few months it translated into an extra 30 – 40 likes on the comedy page.

Then we had some problems in the summertime that instead of me being there for her, I took a step back, at least that’s what I justified it as being.  In reality, what I did was shut my girlfriend out.  For close to a month.  Why?  I did it because I didn’t need the distraction when I was trying to write material, I somehow thought that her needing me would actually create drama and never get anything solved.

Then she tried to work things out with me, and in the process forgot about getting herself back on track first.  It’s a selfless, honourable thing to do, but in the end things just got to be too much and she did to me what I did to her.  I’ve been shut out since the first week of this month.

I’ve written more material lately now that she isn’t around, because I have nothing really to do with my free time but write.  The sets are starting to get better over these last few months.  I am starting to see that it doesn’t mean as much when she isn’t there.

She asked repeatedly to come to the open mics, and I told her not to because I wouldn’t be very good.  I didn’t want her to sit through my awkward sets of very little laughter, because I’d feel like when she complimented me, she would be doing it just to be nice.  But now it’s all I want.  I place her as the top priority in my life, above comedy.  That’s the way it should have been from the start, but it wasn’t.

So to recap, before I met Nicki my comedy wasn’t very good.  When she came along it got marginally better, and now that she isn’t around it’s gotten noticeably better, but it doesn’t mean shit if she isn’t in the front row or close enough to the stage to see that beautiful, smiling face of hers.

Like I said, you see a lot of documentaries on comedians personal lives, I’m just doing mine in the form of this blog.

Look, I’m not perfect.  Far from it.  The more I do comedy, the more I understand that I got into it for more than the initial reasons of “having the skill sets already to be a comedian.”  There are reasons of needing that acceptance and love from others that I never really got from my family at the key times in my life when I needed it.

When Nicki first came into my life I was able to write a bunch of material with her being the focus.  She opened up my mind to pages of new material, and recently she’s opened up my eyes and my heart to show me what’s really important.  Sure, comedy is important.  It’s good to make people laugh and feel good but it’s all secondary to life, to being happy, healthy and whole.

I don’t know of many comics who are happy, healthy and whole.  I’m far from achieving those three, but with Nicki in my life, she bridges that gap to make it possible.

You know what I just realized?  It came to my attention that when I told my girlfriend to sit at the back so I couldn’t see her, that means I’ve never seen her reaction to any of my jokes.  Ever.  She’s come to my shows for over a year and not once have I ever seen her face, her smile, that look, or see her laugh. That’s because I asked her to sit far enough in the back that I could never see her.  That’s not very nice and believe me, I see that.

When I get back to hosting at the pro club, I will make sure that she gets a table closer to the stage, because for once, I’d love to see her face when I’m on stage, to see how proud she really is of me.  I’m sure that one day she will come to see me perform again.  Whether or not we are together when she comes, well, that’s another story.  Though I’ve dug myself a deep hole, I have faith and I am willing to fight like I’ve never fought before, in order to get her love back.  What can I say?  This has been the most difficult month of my life.

In this month that we haven’t been talking, I’ve learned more about love, about sacrifice and commitment than during the year that I called her my girlfriend.  I’ve also learned that success in comedy, at least to me, doesn’t mean what it should if that special person isn’t around to celebrate it with you.  Sure, I am starting to have people approach me after the show and say things like “you’re fantastic” (that actually happened last night), but all the writing, the prep work and practice means more to me when that special someone notices that stuff too.

I know she’s aware of the open mics on Wednesday nights.  If I ever saw her there and she sat in the front row, that’s the best kind of distraction to have, because she would be the only woman in all my shows to look at me on stage as more than just Trevor the comedian.  She’d (hopefully) give me that look that says she’s into the real Trevor, not just the funny guy on stage.

I miss that look.  I miss a lot of things.  I’m in the process to work at getting things back to where they were.  Be blessed, and I will keep you posted.

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