Failure – MY Trusted Friend In Stand-Up Comedy

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Some of my friends have told me they admire me for sticking it out this long and continuing with the comedy.  They also watched as I struggled to stay afloat when I was homeless and living at The Salvation Army.  People have also watched as I went through three jobs in a year, not being able to make probation in any of them, not having a car, being flat broke, and more often than not finding the wrong lady to date.

I have many friends and acquaintances from work, comedy, previous employment, church, and karaoke to name a few.  A good number of them are successful, in the sense that they have a job that pays more than 27k/year, a car, money in the bank, etc.

It seems like I can never keep any positive momentum on my side.  Anything good that comes along usually doesn’t last within a year, or if it does happen to last beyond the first 365 days, it’s a lot worse than when it started.  I am sure mom and dad aren’t too proud of my place in life right about now, they wanted me to work with my brother running dad’s company and be paid what I am worth, in addition to having some security.

But, things never quite worked out that way.  I’m now the only one in my family who doesn’t have a new car (let alone one at all), the longest job I’ve been at was working at Superstore for 4 1/2 years.  I get beat up verbally at work at least once a week and treated like a child on the worst of days.

I supposedly fathered two kids from crazy, psychotic women (that’s not exaggerating, they’re lunatics), been arrested at a job and lead out in handcuffs, almost went to jail for it, been assaulted, sucker punched, homeless, had collection agencies after me, been fired, laid off and quit jobs, been bullied at the workplace on numerous occasions at different jobs, had things stolen from me that meant a lot, lost quite a few things that had some sentiment to me, and now that I’m 40, the older I get the more unhappy I become because I’ve been alone for 90% of my life and some days I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel at all.  My grandparents are gone when I wished they were still around to learn from them and cherish who they were, maybe tithed only once in all the years I have gone to church (methinks it’s been more than that, but certainly I can count the times on one hand in the several years I’ve gone back), all the sports teams I was on as kid in ball and soccer we lost every game.  I’ve also embarrassed myself in karaoke leagues and finished dead last more than once, pulling out all the stops to try and feel like I was on equal footing with the others.

Why did I tell you all this?  Well, for one thing unlike some of the other local comics, I am NOT insecure and I am NOT a bully.  I don’t delight in others failures and call them out publicly, I don’t bully or bash people on Facebook either.  I’m supportive, encouraging and easy going.  If somebody says something about me, instead of sticking out my chest and going up on stage to cut that person down or trash them on Facebook, what I do is rely on my faith.

the people who don’t mind, matter…….and the ones who mind, don’t matter

I know what God says about me, and how I am viewed by Him and my congregation at church.  I don’t pretend I’m someone that I’m not, I don’t go looking to start fights either.  I don’t go to peoples workplace and threaten them, and I don’t act like a friend one minute and complete asshole the next.

Life has kicked me in the teeth and kept me down for most of my life.  Right now I’d say I’m not fully upright, maybe at a 45 degree angle.  Some days I get knocked down a bit, some days I stand up a bit straighter, it’s a never-ending struggle.  I’ve stood in front of the church and told them most of what I’ve wrote here, inasmuch as what my life has been like thus far. I am sure I’ve been a failure at some point as a son, as an employee and as an amateur comic (at times).

Failure in comedy will make you better if you learn from it.  Bombing is a necessary element in a comics development. When you fall flat on your face from getting no laughs at all, at least for me it’s easier to get up on stage and make myself the brunt of the jokes to get those laughs.  My thought process is one where I say to myself that it can’t get any worse than having no laughs, so let’s give the audience a chance to laugh at me.  People have been talking behind my back and laughing to my face for decades, so why stop now?

But at the end of the day it’s the people who are close to me who matter, and they tend to see me the way God does.  That is why I let my comedy coach help write material that makes fun of, no….that highlights my struggles.  I’m not insecure, I accept what’s happened up til now and know that it’s the will of God to change things in His time, not mine.  I keep moving forward knowing there are people in the world who wish for, who would die for the chance to fail as much as I have done given the freedoms that us North Americans share.  All you can do is take one day at a time and build on the small victories from the day before to parlay them into something bigger and better.

Hmmmmm….you know what?  Now that I have re-read this all, I think there’s some new material to be written.


Goodnight, and be blessed.

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