Surprise, Surprise!

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I was talking with a friend last night about my stand-up career.  This person asked some very good questions, wanting an understanding of what it’s like to do comedy.  One of the questions they asked was if my comedy career up til this point has been fun.

Fun?  I had to pause before I answered the question.  I then came to the realization that I’m sure was probably obvious to the rest of you some time ago.

The comedy journey for me up til now I would characterize as disappointing, lonely, sad& frustrating.  Those emotions make up maybe 70% of the time.  The other 30% has been fun, like real, legitimate fun.  But those times have been rare.  I would even go so far as to say maybe 80% of the time sucks.

When I say it sucks, I mean in the general sense, from writing, to rehearsing, doing the blog, the pro comedy club, open mics and dealing with the comics in general.  In the last couple years the backstabbing, lies, laughing behind my back, trying to get my family to take an interest in my comedy, taking 18 months off from performing in Saskatoon, the legal issue, the lonely nights of writing, trying to come up with ideas that will stick after editing them for two hours, relationship/friendship challenges too.

Some of you may wonder why I am this open.  It’s not because I like to create drama, and that’s not what I am about either.  You will not find another performer around these parts who will humble themselves to the point of being this honest with all of you.  A lot of times you read a comedian’s bio after they killed themselves, to get a better understanding of the person behind the mic.  Now, I’m not here to suggest that I will kill myself.  However, it’s easier for me to communicate my faults and shortcomings as a comedian.  Lately the world has knows of my failures as a man too.  Sure, I may get funny looks from other comics based on the shit that I write getting too personal, but at least I can hold my head high, in knowing that I am not a fake.

I am not somebody who will be nice to your face then turn around and shit on you behind your back.  If I do say anything about another comic, it’s usually based on facts of my dealings with that person.  I do not trash other comics.  I don’t do it on stage.  I don’t do it behind their backs.  I don’t do it on Facebook.  If I do need to call somebody out, I have learned to not use their name and to speak in generalities.

I get many anonymous comments from fake email addresses to this blog, and it pretty much started a few months after I began comedy, and it hasn’t stopped.  If I have a problem with somebody, I will either talk to them about it, or I shall just not deal with that person.  Then enough time passes where time heals and I can re-engage that relationship again.

Going back to last summer comedy for the most part has sucked.  This summer I’m taking off and supposed to come up with brand new half hour material for the comedy club and the comedy festival in the fall.  Right now though, I have zero motivation.  None.  I wrote a couple of pages a month for a while, but I just don’t have the moxy to do it now.  These last few months have repeatedly knocked the wind out of my sails.  At some point you’d think God would give me a break and give me a moratorium on struggling, on screwing up, on being weighed down with being unemployed, having a broken relationship with my family, being alone and having my nose rubbed in every mistake I have made.  Then there is the trip to Los Angeles next year to perform at the Comedy Store which nobody seems to believe me for.  People don’t believe that I have connections through my hard work to get a spot there.

This sucks.  Comedy is not fun.  I think I’m the only comic in the city who would say that.  Then again, how many of the other comics have the type of life I do where people just throw me under the bus, use me have other comedians trash them on stage when they aren’t at a show.  I am the only local act who has never gone on tour our of town with the local guys, yet I can get booked to perform at the pro comedy club in Regina.  How does that make sense?

Yup, you guessed it.  I’m the only one.  I am the easy target.  It’s easy to shit on me.  It’s easy to leave me.  It’s easy to not believe in me.  Why?  Maybe it’s because these last couple of years all I’ve done is fight.  Fight to succeed in comedy.  Fight to gain some stability in my personal life.  Fight for acceptance from my family.  Where does it get me?

I’m drained, frustrated, upset, angry and hurt.  This shit show is not what I signed up for almost five years ago when I started.  Not even close.  When does the bullshit end?  When do the bad breaks stop coming my way?  When do the people who matter in my life, the ones that I need help from, when do they, or can they pitch in to lend a hand?

I’m not quitting.  I will be back in the fall.  It’s just now I don’t feel confident about very much, comedy or otherwise.  Instead of being treated like a friend, like someone who is valued as a colleague, I’m treated like a mistake, like someone who has screwed up so many times they don’t deserve a chance to fix things.

Thank you for the anonymous comments, for treating me like shit and walking away.  If that type of behaviour hasn’t stopped after almost five years, how can I hold out hope that it’ll stop in the next five years?  Chances are it won’t, and it will probably get worse.

Whether or not I get opportunity to be better in these next five years, well……..that remains to be seen.

2 Comments

  1. Ed
    Jul 19, 2016

    People like laughing at people who can laugh at themselves. . Take your pain and turn it into humour. ..

    • Trevor Dean
      Jul 19, 2016

      Thank you for your comment. I do use that pain as material. The key is how you write it and how it comes across to the audience. It’s trial and error. Sometimes you’ll take something and write it a few different ways to see what will work best. That’s kind of where I am at. The trick is to be motivated to write. Lately life knocks you down enough times and you just don’t care. The worst is over now and I’ve slowly begun to write again.

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