The Truth HAS Set Me Free

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There are some guys who read this who might have a beautiful, supportive wife, may (or may not) have kids, great job, new vehicle, great house, travels lots, wonderful friends and never really navigated through any rough patches in life.  If we turn it around, there might be some women who have experienced this.  There are some of you who maybe have had the same job for many years, or you just started a job that will be a great career for you, that allows you to pursue both your personal and professional goals.  You may have money in the bank, a retirement planned for and a future mapped out.

This does NOT make YOU better than me.

I have been president of a riding for the SK Party for a few years, and was the first riding in the province to impliment the way in which the constituencies communicate with voters that is now used by every riding in the province.  I have also been a Deputy Returning Officer for Elections Canada for the past three federal elections.  A DRO counts the ballots and says which ones are rejected and which ones count.  If anybody has a dispute with this, my decisions can only be overturned by a federal court judge.  I have been an adult literacy tutor, sat on their board of directors for two years, and was one of 20 adult tutors who were among the first to be nominated for the adult tutor award.

This does NOT make me better than you.

I am sure some of you are wondering what it was that I based my new material on that I wouldn’t share with anyone right away.  Well, here is the truth.

My name is Trevor Dean.

I am one of Saskatoon’s newest stand-up comics.

I am also homeless.

Yes, you read that right.  I am homeless.  How things got to be this way is a fair question to ask, so I will deal with that one in sort of a roundabout way.

I currently work for $12/hr part-time, even though I have an HR diploma in Business Management that nobody will look at (from Career Campus a few yeasr back).  I have had jobs from the warehouse, to radio, hotel front desk, retail, advertising, sales, public relations and being in a call centre.  I have been punched out at work, lied to, jerked around, not given the benefit of the doubt, etc.  So, as you can see, sure, I’ve been through my share of jobs for various reasons.  I guess you could say that I’ve never found a job that can provide me with security both in the financial and employment sense that is a great fit.  The jobs I KNOW I can do, I never get considered for EVER, yet some people can come right off the farm out of school and get jobs at the crowns (for example).

So now, here I sit, at 39 years old, single, unsure of my future not knowing when I will be able to get a job that will pay decent money, allowing me to buy a new car at the very least.  But, back to the homeless thing……

Yeah, I’ve moved around a bit.  I don’t like living with others, at least not anymore.  I’d like my own space now, you know?  Things start off good at first, but once the honeymoon phase is over, you really want your own space!  So the basement I rented out gave me notice at the start of last month, because the owners relatives were moving into the basement (relatives have medical issues).  During that month I was unable to find anything for myself alone, in a reasonable rent range.  Working p/t, unsure of hours from week to week, it’s sort of tough to sometimes budget for living expenses. 

So I am now homeless.  I stay at the Salvation Army mens shelter.  I would tell you the rest, but you won’t get any more out of me, because I am using my homeless situation as part of my new material. I tried it out on Tuesday night at Lydia’s, and that is sort of a tough crowd to perform for, for obvious reasons.  They are there for music mostly on the open mic, so having a comic there is a bit of a crap shoot.  Some are indifferent to it, some like it, and some tune it out.  So, the real and true test was for Friday night, where the “official” debut of the material took place.

About an hour before I was to go onstage, I wondered what I was about to do, and how wise of a move it was to expose the truth like that.  How would people react? 

more importantly…….. would they laugh???

Well, the club was half full, but an outstanding audience, aside from the fact they couldn’t keep quiet as we were telling the set-ups to the jokes.  But right after the first joke and I admitted that I was indeed homeless, there was a hush among the crowd.  Some looked at me with disbelief, unsure if the homeless revelation was part of the “act” or indeed real.  For the rest of the set the crowd was great, and I was able to educate them on how the Sally Ann operates and about the people that go there.

Do I need money?  Yes.  Do I need a place to live (preferably a basement suite)?  Yes.  Do I need a full-time job that pays better than 30k/year, so I can work both jobs?  Yes. 

Am I comfortable in my own skin and feeling optimistic about things?  YES

You see, even though I am homeless, and the fact that my family has given up on me and don’t believe in me…well, they never did really to begin with, but anyhow…. I am fine with talking about it now.  I don’t feel ashamed to discuss it, because I’ve learned that every homeless person has a story.  Some of them have shitty luck and things go against them, others sometimes put themselves in this position.  With me, it was a combination of both factors. 

I had a friend mention to me about a place that fit my parameters of what I was looking for right after I got to the Sally Anny, but not only was I short of the money, I felt as if it wasn’t the right time for me to leave; like God had another plan for me and wants me there for a while.  From the moment I got to the Sally Ann I instantly had all this material come to me ab0ut being homeless, about 2 pages worth!

This has given me an opportunity to give homelessness a face and a voice that is not often heard.  I had people after the show ask me if that homeless thing was part of the act or real?  I did a great job in getting laughs and selling the fact I was homeless, even if it was just a joke! 

If anybody can help, or wants to talk with me further about this, you are more than welcome to message me.  After all, I do have two Facebook pages you can find me at. 

Just remember, we are all equals and just because my circumstances change, it does NOT change WHO I am as a person.  Treat me the way I treat you. 

You want to help, great.  You want to judge me, not so great.  Either way, I’m your equal.  Deal with it.

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