Taking Advice From Kenny Rogers

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I wonder what the thought process was that enabled Kenny Rogers to write one of the most iconic lines in music history.

You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.

That metaphor from poker can be used in almost every situation in life that you encounter. You have to know when to go for broke, when to pull back the reins, and when to just say fuck it and walk away. Not that I am at that point to say fuck it and walk, but things are a bit different now that I have taken a step back from the club for a few weeks.

The thing that I’ve noticed is that I have been busy getting used to the demands and responsibilites that my new job entails. It’s a totally different mindset now, in part because I have my own place and because of the working environment I am in. It makes a huge difference to the quality of your day when you can surround yourself with a great team of people who are more than willing to help you succeed, because a win for you means a win for the team. It’s taken me a while to get used to being treated like an equal member of the team, even though I am the newest person on board.

Since that, I don’t have comedy really defining, or helping to define who I am. The first couple days I was asked to take a step back certainly caught me a bit off guard, although I really should have seen it coming based on the poor choice of words I decided to use. But lately I’ve been too busy with work and enjoying being at home to worry about comedy.

I remember in the previous post that I practiced for three straight weeks the same material over and over and over and over again to work it into a ten minute set. Do I have the desire to do that at this point? I don’t think so. This doesn’t mean that the comedy world isn’t something I will let fall by the wayside either.

I saw a posting that the club put up saying the newer comics in Saskatoon they’d gladly put up against newbies anywhere. That made me feel a bit….I don’t know…I don’t want to say sad, but uncomfortable maybe, because I don’t think that comment was directed in part, at me. I may get told otherwise at some point, but for now it’s how I feel.

It isn’t much fun when for most of your life you feel like you’re on the outside looking in, whether it be from the dating standpoint, or getting a great job. No matter how hard I’ve tried at times things simply don’t work. It has created more than a fair amount of bullshit along the way. Maybe prayer is the answer? Maybe I need to pray for more than just a good day at work.

Some of the new guys like Steve Thomas are starting to take part in gigs with other comics throughout small-town Saskatchewan. It’s great for them, would be even better for me if I went because if someone other than Dez hosts, it might mean I won’t be trashed onstage again.

I get that with so many new faces that the talent pool in this city is deeper than it has been in years. You need to raise the level of your game as the club is becoming more legit in how its run and how the shows are set up. I can’t say with certainty right now if I will be let on the stage again at the new location. If I am, you can expect that I will get trashed onstage again. The other comics don’t get it anywhere as bad as I do.

All this has come at a cost, at least to those who view it from the outside. All the name calling and bashing one might think would take its toll on me. That isn’t the case at all. I’ve dealt with being treated like that for many, many years. Not that it gets easier to deal with as time goes by, but it’s like the conversations I have with my parents that go in one ear and out the other.

Don’t get me wrong though, things are good in my life as it stands, but I am missing something. There’s a void in my life (those who know me well might be able to figure it out) that I know comedy can’t fill. Do I want to be part of the team who gets lost in the shuffle?

I would like to say that I’m still going to do Vegas and find a comedy club for an open mic, or to be a headliner at the club, but with the change in venue, the one goal is out. I won’t be a headliner this year, or for the next few. At best, I might get more than a 5 minute set on my 40th birthday, if there is a comedy show that night.

As for the Vegas goal, I don’t have the confidence right now to be able to deliver the goods as required. That will come if I get an opportunity to perform at the new location, not just for a few people, but to perform for a packed house with a crowd that doesn’t know my act.

All I have ever wanted from the start of this journey was to try and fit in while being treated equally. At times I have accomplished one, or the other, but never both at the same time. Will it ever happen?

It might be time in the coming weeks to revisit the lyrics to The Gambler.

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