I Can’t Find The Lightbulb!

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First of all, I know there are quite a few new followers to my Facebook comedy page and to this blog.  The Stand-Up Diaries has been in existence for 2.5 years now and closing in on 10,000 views in just about 80 countries.  Just taking a look at the different countries that have read the blog shows the world is a large place with names of places I never knew existed.  The reason I embarked on the comedy journey was solely because I knew that I would have the support of my friends.  As time has gone on, I’ve attracted the attention of members of the media, other comedians and even a beginning comedian from Seattle.  As the likes grow on the comedy page, obviously my profile is increased.  With that comes the responsibility to be better each time out, to make the material clear, sharp, fitting to my comedic style and most importantly, to make it funny.

This last month has been one of change, encompassing both the good and bad (or uneasy) varieties.  The good is that a relationship has started and is in its early stages.  There is some new material to be found here and I look forward to developing it further.  The more time I spend with my special someone, the more ideas in my head about new material.

The flipside to the good change is the uneasy part.  Recently the house I rented was sold and I have new landlords now.  When the previous owner was in the process of transferring all her SaskTel services to the new house, somehow SaskTel cut the cable and internet access to the entire house the first week of June.  I told the previous landlady at the time that a couple weeks without internet and cable will be fine.  But in the process of the new landlords (owners) setting up shop my internet and cable won’t be hooked up for another week yet, meaning I’ve been disconnected of sorts for well over a month now.  You would think this to be the perfect time to write volumes of material, but it hasn’t worked out that way.

The thing about comedy, like any endeavours in life is that there isn’t a structured blueprint to success that everybody follows.  Some people like Louis C.K. for example was so scarred (according to Wikipedia) from his first time on stage that he scrapped his comedy dream for 2 years.  2 years!!!

Some like Bill Burr toil at it for 10 to 15 years, slowly developing successes along the way til all the momentum from the little wins culminates into a big win.  But a lot of comedians I suppose go at their own pace, honing their craft as they go, trying to squeeze gigs in between the responsibilities that life provides.

Even if there was a clearly defined path to travel down, not everybody would take that journey because the life we live today is much more busy and challenging with more things than ever before to take up our time.  This makes prioritizing and trying to achieve your goals in todays world that much tougher for some.

Here’s where I am going with this.  One comedian in Regina asked me a while back if I was doing any stage time in Saskatoon.  When I told him that I was not, he said I should try to get my name out there and get on stage.  While that is true, this person is looking at it from a different reality or set of life circumstances that I am.  This person is successful with a family and has made a name for themselves to a certain degree.  On the flipside of that equation is me.  Living alone, not the greatest pay to start but a good job where I have autonomy and the ability to make a difference, no kids, no vacations with relatives or close friends either.

I struggle sometimes to make ends meet, have been homeless, assaulted and put up with more verbal abuse in the workplace than most deal with in a lifetime.  It’s no secret that life has beaten me down a lot but I keep going.  I have no choice but to do so.  With comedy though it’s a bit different.  Comedy to a degree is separated from my “real life”, meaning that I can go on stage and forget about my problems for a while and indulge in some therapy of self by crafting material that is true about my life that generates laughs.

For me though, when comedy and life start to become eerily similar that’s when I draw back.  Aside from the comedy club, I tried to kickstart comedy shows in three different venues in Saskatoon over the last couple years.  One never got off the ground, one lasted a couple weeks at a new pub that opened up, and the other one went for several months before the plug on comedy was pulled.  I’ve been told no enough, and having the last couple years of my life still fresh in my mind, I feel like I do not have the energy to saunter on and push forward for a breakthrough in the city.

There are a couple reasons for this.  The first is that life is getting in the way.  It’s a lousy excuse to be sure, but the world we live in today is busier and presents more challenges than ever before.  Between my own struggles, my relationship and my workload, and the family relationship as well, it’s difficult for me to find the motivation required.  Plus, I haven’t talked to my comedy coach since February because of our busy schedules.

The other reason is that because I am not part of the Saskatoon comedy scene for the time being, I don’t have the name recognition that some comedians do.  I have YouTube videos that I am not ashamed of that people can view.  The biggest thing is that if I am starting a comedy night by myself I have to be funny.  No time to feel things out or nights that you struggle.  If I want to get on stage in the city, I have to be good right off the bat.

Now this doesn’t mean I will never perform in the city again, I just do not see myself at the present time trying to gather the resources to host a show.  I have been asked if I would be interested in an open mic but turned it down initally for the same reasons.  I may be part of a headliners show that will be in Saskatoon down the road for a few hundred people.  A scenario like that I can see playing out first before I’d go and host anything again.  But that may be a few weeks, or several months down the road.

For the time being I am content doing the shows in Regina on a monthly basis.  Sometimes life gets in the way of pursuing success, and that’s okay. It isn’t for anyone to tell you how to achieve it because while you can get suggestions from everywhere, in the end you have to do what’s comfortable —no, wrong words.  You have to do what makes sense for you to do.  Then once it makes sense it all becomes a matter of timing.  For me at this stage, it’s a better option to wait for the right time rather than trying to create an opportunity when it may not be there in the long run.

As always, you can comment on the posting below.  All comments get approved before they go online, so please don’t let that stop you from sending me a note.

Be blessed!

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