How Nicki Helped My Material

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I’m not dumb, despite the mistakes I’ve made.  I have some really good qualities about me.  There are qualities about me that Nicki fell in love with before she knew I did stand-up comedy.  But despite it all, the one thing I have struggled with, as some comics do, is that I’m a bit of a tangled mess inside, that’s slowly starting to become untangled.

I’ve mentioned more than once that I got into comedy because I felt like I had the tools already within me to succeed.  Now, as the years have gone on and I’ve had to overcome certain struggles in my life, I’ve come to lean on comedy a lot to help me through these difficult times.

I have looked to comedy to help me get through homelessness, family neglect and job losses.  At the end of the day, no matter how shitty my day was, regardless of the worst life could throw at me, I always had comedy to look forward to.  It didn’t matter if I was good or bad that particular night.  I just looked forward to escaping my shit for a while and focus on trying to make an audience laugh.

Now, there was one more thing that I figured comedy would help me get through, and that was the pain and disappointment of being single.

For the first 2 1/2 years I was sort of oblivious to the reactions I received from the material I did about my struggles being single.  I mean, I got laughs, but it’s not like I left the stage that night thinking I exercised any demons in particular, nor did I come to a better understanding of my struggles.  It was material that I could sell, and it worked, albeit to varying degrees.

But then in the spring of 2014 I met someone that came into my life.  She came in with a hurricane-like force and made me rethink my material and my approach to being on stage.

At the start of my comedy journey for the first couple years, all I was capable of doing were jokes about failing in dating.  I couldn’t do any material about being in an actual relationship and the struggles involved.  Even if I made shit up I couldn’t necessarily sell it.

So once Nicki came along, it opened up my mind to new possibilities because I now saw the struggles from both sides of the fence, from being single to suddenly being in a relationship with the most amazingly beautiful woman in the world.

Before you know it, I was churning out a few pages with my comedy coach’s help to talk about my relationship.  Since the material was now coming from a real place, there was an element of truth to it which made it easier to sell to an audience.

I never ran the material by her.  My thought process was she would hear the jokes on stage first, that way she would pay particular attention to how they are phrased and delivered.  I was never told which ones about her worked and what she didn’t like, because after every show she always told me that it went well.  The second night of hosting at the pro comedy club was the debut of my material about Nicki, and I did it in front of her family and relatives no less!  From what I remember about last November, I’d liken it to “no news is good news”.  I figured it went over well considering the fact nobody said anything to the contrary.

At this particular moment, the material to do about Nicki isn’t fun at all.  So to compensate I’ve developed a bit of an “edge” to my attitude and material.  They always say that you should tailor the material to the audience and be aware of the type of people in the room.  It took me a very long time to figure out how to start getting consistency at the open mics.  Now that I will be meeting up with my comedy coach this week, hopefully we can branch out and get some new ideas developed and old ones tweaked for future shows.

It’s funny, but in life it seems like the more you want and yearn for something, you’re still never really prepared for it when it hits your lap.  The same can be said with me.

I also never let her in on the creative process, although she is the only person to sit in on a coaching session with me.  That was one of the prouder moments for me, to have her sit alongside me while my coach tried to deconstruct my material.  I have a problem still with doing crowd work and being able to interact and think on my feet while on stage, so my coach recommended a game that I could play with Nicki helping me to help me think on my feet a bit quicker.  Needless to say, that hasn’t happened yet.  I never let her in on the creative process either.  I never asked her what she was comfortable with me talking about on stage.  She was able to contact my coach and get a quicker response than I ever did!

I don’t believe she had a problem with anything I ever said, because her words were always positive, saying how proud she was of what I was doing.

I used to think that my coach in L.A. was the only one who I’d turn to for advice or guidance on my comedy journey.  I now know that Nicki should always be involved in that conversation.  She may not want to be involved, but she should always be asked first.

These last two posts, while they have been the most difficult for me to write, have also been very necessary.  Writing has always brought me an inner piece and the ability to sort through the most complex of issues I happen to be facing at the time.  A lot of pain has come to the surface in writing these two posts, but with it comes healing.  With it comes an understanding.  With it comes experience.

If somebody was to ask me to describe Nicki when we were dating, my answer would be maybe 30 seconds.  Ask me now what Nicki is like, and if I can manage to not have my eyes well up with tears (I got crying talking to my chiropractor about her when he asked), I would take at least five minutes to describe her.  Now that she isn’t here, the things I didn’t understand about her make perfect sense.  Everything makes sense.  Love makes sense.

I’ve done my best to pour everything I had into these last two posts.  However, there will be no more of these types of posts regarding Nicki or our relationship.  I ask for your prayers for not only myself, but for Nicki as well.







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