Act II

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Unless something Earth shattering happens, this will more than likely be my last post of the old me. In case you haven’t heard, last month I made the decision to get an adult water baptism at church. That takes place this coming Friday night.

It’s kind of like doing comedy. If you think you should wait until everything in your life is good, or when you feel better about yourself, you will never do it. Your situations, circumstances and feelings will talk you out of it. I’ve learned that when you aren’t feeling your best, or when things aren’t as good as they could be, it is best to just get in the middle of the mess and conquer it. That is usually when the greatest victory, healing or blessing will take place when you aren’t quite prepared for a positive outcome.

We have the opportunity to share a brief testimonial before the baptism takes place. brief? moi?

I haven’t been able to figure out what to say, or more importantly how to say it. Nobody within the congregation of my newfound (church) family really understands the scope of the struggles that I have gone through. Maybe they should, then I wouldn’t be raked over the coals like I feel is happening at times with respect to my lack of employment success.

Part of me would like to really say what’s on my mind, but I might say it during my testimonial Friday night. Try as I may, I cannot write it out because for one thing I have no idea where to start. That’s a lie. I think that I have an idea where to start, but since the baptism is being live streamed to anyone around the world with an internet connection, why spoil it?

Although I will say that the content of a few comedians seems to bother me more than before. I have now made up my mind that if I’m asked, there are only certain comics I will grace their stage for shows they run. Sure, the stage time would be nice, and yes it would be nice to actually get promoted for a show with my quasi-handsome face on a poster.

But, in attending that church now for almost two years, the integrity, the values and the personalities of the congregation start to work their way into who you are. It’s as if the people around you are trying to raise you up to a higher standard, to one they have experienced and are trying to help you achieve.

You know what I just realized? The people that I won’t work with are the ones that don’t have any videos of their sets online anywhere. Isn’t that a coincidence? Yet here I am, with the most comedy videos online of any comedian in these parts. The clean comics have stuff posted because they can stand proudly behind their work. But if your humour is vulgar, tasteless, crude and not that funny, then why would you put anything like that online? You would think if comics were serious about their craft, they might post it and stand behind their work.

If I can get this Christian comedy thing off the ground and get a show booked at a church, I can tell you now that there are certain comics who will never get asked to perform on a show of mine with an audience with over 100 people in attendance. I guess some don’t realize that as a comedian, you need the ability to work clean. Most corporate gigs are clean and not offensive.

I mentioned to one comic that I will try to get shows on churches. He replied by saying “well, there’s clean and then there is church clean.” That’s not necessarily true. Clean is simply that. It’s clean. You should be able to take into account who the audience is and have your material tailored to the audience.

The interesting thing is that I was told by guys who aren’t clean that even though I’m a Christian I can still do stuff that isn’t squeaky clean and a bit risque. Isn’t that interesting how guys that aren’t clean are telling me that I should change what I’m doing.

They seem to forget that Dylan Williamson and myself are the most veteran of the current batch of open mic comedians by a few years. Also, in addition to being one of the two most tenured, I also took comedy coaching. Not only will I not change the direction I’m going in, but I can also tell you why my stuff works. Trying to talk to some comics about the how and the why of my stuff is like talking to a wall.

I am consistently the only comedian who is clean from start to finish. I am standing my ground. I have studied comedy more than most and I understand the dynamics of comedy, why things work and why they do not. There is no way I am compromising who I am or what I’ve been called to just so I can get better laughs. If you took some of the top Christian comics around and put them on any local show, they would get the best reaction from the audience by a landslide. Clean comedy can work, and people appreciate it.

I don’t know what type of person I will become on the other side of the baptism. I don’t know how it will change or effect me. But I’m not scared to find out. When I hear that someone from church watched one of my old videos that weren’t clean, it bothered me. I should know better. If you are an adult and can’t stop writing material that only consists of sex, vulgarity and drugs then maybe you need to expand your horizons. I believe that your content is a reflection of who you are.

I may not get the fall on the floor type of laughs at the moment. They may come down the road, and they may not. But I am going to continue down this road, trying to be the only one to enter and have the Christian/clean comedy market to myself. What if it works? What if it’s hugely successful? What if I have shows to book and other comics want to be a part of it because of the audience numbers? Then they would have no choice but to be clean. Would it work?

After Friday evening, if I’m on stage and feel the need to curse, swear or go into the gutter with material or a comment, or if I’m off stage (in my personal life) and feel the need to break from right living, all I have to do is remember who I am. Remember what I have done, and remember the promise and public declaration that I made to the world.

Today is a new day to set a new standard of right living, to be held accountable, to be mentored and guided to do what has been commanded of me.

Every time I have coloured outside of the comedy lines I have received some pushback. This time, the pushback isn’t spiteful or mean, but it’s still there. I’ll need help to keep those influences out of my thoughts and out of my life.

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