Hey! This Thing Came Without A Manual And Now It’s Broken! Can I Get A Refund?

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How far would you go?  To what lengths would you try to improve something in your life, whether it be a hobby, personal trait, relationship, family, job, etc.  when all the evidence around you says you can’t achieve significant breakthrough?

That is the question I find myself pondering now, as I undergo this “process” that I’ve been referring to.  I know that most of you have no clue what I am talking about, so I will try to give you a bit of background information on this, then you’ll have an idea why I was asking myself “what have I gotten myself into?”

Due to legal/copyright issues I am unable to comment on any specifics of this process.  To the best of my knowledge, I am the only comic in Saskatoon who is taking advantage of this opportunity.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There is another local comic who is partaking in this process with me.  Needless to say though, this process is a serious game changer, it really is.  I have only been maybe 20% through this process so far, having spent at least 2 hours a night last week engaged in this, but I feel that already it puts me on a different level than other comics because of the knowledge base I am able to understand comedy from.  It’s very in-depth and detailed, yet last night when I ran karaoke, in my down time I was able to write thirteen new jokes!!!  The amazing part to me, is that I was able to do this all in ten minutes.  That’s right, it just took me ten minutes, where it usually takes ten minutes to write out one joke.  I’m able to do thirteen.

As I get further into this “process”, it will get more detailed and require an increasing commitment on my part to create and sustain this lasting change that I seek in my writing and overall performance.  Right now though, it’s starting to get busier at work, and that requires attention to detail, to be sure.  Being part of the team past the probationary period though makes it easier to relax and have confidence going forward to do my job without having to worry about being fired.  Right now I don’t know if I will have the ability to go all out on my job and with the comedy revival too.  I just don’t know.  I may end up burning out or driving myself to succeed so much that the job and the comedy may suffer because I’m trying to spread myself too thin?

I should say right now that this process I’m undertaking is something that was made available to me that I cannot get from anybody here in the city.  That isn’t meant to knock anybody, or to say that the mentoring and coaching I’ve received thus far has been shit, because nothing could be further from the truth.  I like to say that sometimes you need to hear the same story from a different messenger at times, if only to get a fresh perspective on things.  I sometimes head back to a United Church I previously attended, where I still maintain contact with its congregation.  Now, the church I attend and this United Church could be talking about the exact same topic in a certain week, but both pastors have such different personalities, I mean their hearts are the same and their values may be identical, but it’s the way in which they communicate the message to their audience that is different.  It’s not to say that one pastor bores me and the other one doesn’t.  I happen to be open-minded enough to crave different messengers for the same topic because you can take away something different from each that would give you a greater understanding, had you only received the message from a single source.

Am I making sense yet?  No, well don’t worry.  I never made much sense to mom and dad either on a good day  🙂

So, back to this “process”.  How long will it take, and what will the results be?  Well, I can’t tell you that, because the results of this process will be ongoing and will need to be diligently applied daily, weekly and monthly for as long as I move my comedy career forward.  Going through it I sometimes wonder what is easier to do, whether it’s studying for a university final or going through this process?  Each requires time, dedication, commitment and being able to tune out the distractions around you to succeed in the end.

It’s a blessing that I was asked to stay away from the comedy club for an unspecified amount of time.  I know that may sound dumb or ignorant to say, but it allowed me to do two very important things.

  1. It allows me to fully concentrate on my job and become an asset to the point where if I’m not there for a day, the team would fall behind because of the duties I am responsible for.
  2. I was able to take a step back from comedy and give some serious thought about what my next step was.

I think part of what really helped was the fact that sure, I received some help from Dez about stage presence and writing, but I really didn’t do much in the way of helping myself become better.  I’m the type of person that if there is something available to me, to help me succeed I will give it a whirl.  I don’t like to give up on something, especially when I know that  I haven’t exhausted all of my options yet.

I could get back onstage tomorrow and probably do noticeably better, but I choose not to.  I’m thinking it will probably take another month before I have completed the process I’m currently involved in, it may take several weeks even.  What I can tell you however, is that I won’t get back onstage yet because the empowering and the knowledge I’m gaining on a daily basis is ongoing.  It would be counterproductive, I think, to attempt to put into practice what I have learned thus far without completing the journey first.  This is where practice comes in handy and is so important.  Now that I have a mirror (let alone my own place), it will be easier for me to practice and figure out my persona and timing of material.

Life has humbled me enough that I certainly don’t ever act like I know it all or that I’ve got it made.  Nor do I allow comedic success to define who I am as a person, as I’ve seen it happen to some in the comedy arena, and in life in general.  I have my critics and doubters, to be sure.  They became such because I gave them a reason to exist by not having the right work ethic at the start.  Sure, I had work ethic from putting in the time and practice, but it’s like the saying “work smarter, not harder”.  I mean sure, comedy is hard work.  But when you work smarter it almost doesn’t seem like work (to me) because you are seeing the success come from your deepened knowledge base, making it fun.  

When I get back on the comedy stage, whenever that is, Dez, the other comics and more importantly the new comedy audience I will expose my comedy to, will see the improvement, the passion, the polish and the laughs.  While everyone in comedy would like to be exposed to the opportunity that’s presented itself to me, very few would follow through with it because it’s in-depth, hard work and it takes time.  In the beginning of this process I was made aware that most would give up and try to do things their own way, because this process is difficult.  I can see why, but then again, I wasn’t born to give up and quit when things got hard, even with the chaos and extreme instability that was my life last year.

It’s like Dez Reed once told me…. “you have a choice. you either get better, or you quit comedy.”  

I’m not a quitter, so I guess we know where that leaves me    🙂

Again, bless each and every one of you who subscribes to this blog, or to those of you who follow it through the link to my Facebook comedy page.  Feel free to leave your comments below, and to click on the “follow” button on the right hand side of the page to get e-mail updates when a new post is published.

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