Stepping Out, Getting Trampled On and Still Stepping Out

It was around mid to late November.  I didn’t have a job at that time, was preparing for my trip to Los Angeles, but more pressing and immediate was wanting to get back to the professional comedy club stage in the spring before my trip.  I wanted to build a brand new half hour right from scratch.  But where do I start?

What’s more is the fact that I made up my mind to try and get booked for as close to Los Angeles as possible, thereby giving me several weeks to prepare.  Here is the point worth keeping in mind, something that no other comedian in Saskatoon or anywhere else would have the balls to do.

When I get back to the professional comedy club stage, I will have brand new material never before performed anywhere.  It will be brand new from start to finish.  Let me break down my reasoning.

First of all, I tend to hype things up better than most, with seemingly little fanfare along the way.  I get the least amount of actual support of the local comics in terms of actual people coming out to watch.  It’s always been like that, and sadly I don’t think that will change.  I would like to be proven wrong, but people don’t seem to be too interested these days.

I want to build a new half hour from scratch to show that it’s easy to write new material on just about any subject.  When the jokes are structured properly they will work when they are delivered.  I’ve heard comics say they are trying new material out that isn’t too funny.  Well, if it’s not funny, why not work a bit harder to make it funny?  Then you can get on stage knowing it will work.

I have done that many times, often debuting brand new material when I used to do the open mics on Wednesday nights.  Yes, I said used to.  I don’t do them anymore, due to a lack of respect shown to me by the current host and three other local comedians.  The one comic just sent a comment to me on a previous posting about Carnac, being very negative and slanderous (that means LAWSUIT).  The last time I was at the Wednesday night show I got trashed by one particular comedian right from the moment he walked on stage.  After the first two sentences out of his mouth trashed me, I walked out.

He didn’t realize I walked out until the audience made him aware of it.  I had friends who were there to watch me say that it was “the longest 5 to 7 minutes of my life”, that he had no material and continued to trash me while getting no laughs.  Then somebody from the audience said “bring back Trevor” and that got some applause.

I don’t trash other comics on stage or personally attack them on social media, yet every week I get dumped on, and the incompetent host seems to encourage it, because he does very little to stop it.  Also, I always went on first.  He has his favourites and they go on last.  I had been doing stand up the longest out of the comics there that night, but that didn’t matter.  I went first even though some comics were making their debut on stage, they went after me.  Even on my last birthday there was an open mic show.  Not only did I not receive a card, gift or cake, I got put up first.  If you bring new people down to watch you, wouldn’t it make sense on your special day to go on at the end?  Yeah, exactly.  That’s how little I am thought of.

So if nobody ever bothers to show up that I know while I get shit on by other comedians, why would I bother going?

This comedian that trashed me previously used to run a Sunday night open mic.  But two other local comics have since taken it over and grown it in size and popularity.  These two comics who run it now have never trashed me on social media or on stage.  They are two of the very, very, very few local comics who are encouraging and supportive.  However, after how I’ve been treated the last five plus years, I have my doubts as to whether or not I’d be treated the same as the other local guys.  I will go to check out a Sunday show one day soon, but won’t be a part of it for the foreseeable future.  How confident would you be to be a part of a new show when all you do is get trampled on every week?

Ask the local headliners if they would ever do a show with brand new material that’s never been done before.  They would probably all say no.  Then again, since none of the local guys want anything to do with me, who gives a shit what they think.  They have done very little, if anything, to help me or give me opportunity, so why start now?

The audience at a comedy club is different than a bar crowd, and that’s who my material is more suited for.  Plus, the Wednesday night host made the snide comment on more than one occasion “oh, he actually wrote some new material this week.”  For the record, I write circles around him and the others.  I have 30 pages since the middle of November that are brand new.  I bet you 30 pages is the sum total of pages written by the rest of the comics combined.  I would gladly show the other comics the 30 pages as proof, but since all they do is trash and ignore me, what I do is none of their fucking business.

I’ve sold out the pro comedy club room in the past, and I will do it again.  I just doubt that the majority of people in the audience that night will be people that I know.  I don’t have much faith in humanity these days.

Sure, I got a job with a five dollar an hour raise.  But outside of that, I am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and a bit scared of the prospect of going to Los Angeles by myself.  Just like Saskatoon where I do comedy for an audience with nobody I know in the audience.

I’m also struggling with forgiveness with two people who were, or are close to me.  Sure, forgiving is easy at the start, but it’s a process, one that I don’t always succeed in despite my best efforts.

Do you know what it’s like to give and give and give, sowing seeds of encouragement and positivity into a persons life and getting very little, if anything in return?  It’s demoralizing, frustrating, disappointing and sad, and makes you feel lonely too.  The only people who seem to sow into my life on a consistent basis are those at the churches I attend.  That’s pretty disappointing, but I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.

I have looked over my material daily since November, either editing or adding to the new material.  I’ve looked at it so many times I swear I’ll go cross-eyed soon.  It’s tiring, exhausting and my brain is just about fried, to be honest.  I am unable to break a joke down the way I used to, in order to get the laughs.  Now, I have to get together with my comedy coach, then take those 30 pages and whittle them down to 20 or so to make a half hour, then do my best to get a spot on stage before I leave for Los Angeles.

Then there is the stress of the new job and being on probation, hoping this employer doesn’t treat me like the others have.  I don’t think they will, but given my history, I can’t say for sure.  I’ve been told by more than one friend to “not screw this job up”.  That’s hardly an empowering comment to make, considering the fact the last few jobs I’ve had ended up screwing me over.

I take risks with my comedy, chances that others won’t take, from performing material never before seen to Carnac.  I also try to be a positive force in others lives, through my words or actions and it just falls upon deaf ears, deaf, unappreciative ears.  No matter what I do, it seems like I always get shit on, told no, ignored or turned down by various people in my life.  I am beyond tired and worn out at this point.  I just wish I could hop on a plane and get this over with already, because now the closer I get to my departure date, the more the uncertainty and loneliness of the situation with begin to encroach me even more.  Then there is the probable return to the pro comedy club, and all the emotions and uncertainty that go with it.

I know that may seem like an oxymoronic statement to make, and you’re probably right.  Every time I have arrived at the pro comedy club to do a set, right when I park the vehicle and turn it off, the same thoughts run through my head every single time.  “What are you doing here?  You are way in over your head.  how are you going to pull this off?”  When you get trampled on for over five years when you try to carve out your own niche while not hurting anybody in the process, well, your confidence would be a bit circumspect as well.

It’s tiring.  I am not getting proper sleep at all and my diet is kind of suffering as a result.

No matter what I try to do in comedy, it seems to generate very little interest that translates into putting asses into seats.  If you want proof, just take the other comics in the city and have them make the same announcement of a show that I do, and see how many come out to support me.  I’ll probably finish dead last.

Don’t get me wrong.  It would be great if the Sunday night comedy hosts treated me like the other comics and show me equal respect.  It would be great for the unforgiveness towards these two people to be resolved or things to be reconciled.  It would be great for a good number of people I know to come out and support me if I do get the opening spot at the pro comedy club in the spring.  It would be great for people to sow back into me what I’ve tried to deposit into them.

That would be great to be proved wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.

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