A Detour With No End In Sight. Maybe.

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As many of you know, I have a side project that takes up more of my free time than I originally thought.  For the most part, I have been really good in respecting the wishes of those in charge and not promoting or talking about it on my various social media pages that are comedy related.  But this time, I will talk about it.  It isn’t a bad thing, and it isn’t to discredit m side project in any way.

The side project (as I’m sure most of you are aware of) and my stand-up are complete opposites of each other.  The side project has taken less time to put together and has been way more successful.  In fact, dare I say that 95% of things I have done with the side project have worked out for the better.

The only difference being that the side project I mostly do alone, without an audience that provides instant feedback.  So, how would I know if I’m doing a good job?

Although it seems effortless at times (side project), it is a never ending hustle.  It is long hours, very late bedtimes, little sleep and lots of preparation, but fun as well once it’s actually done.

The question I am pondering now is, should stand-up be considered a waste of time for me?  I put all this effort into it and get very little in return.  Busting my ass over these eight years now, with little support or help from other locals, only to be marginally successful, if at all, where does it leave me?

Do I miss the creative process of putting material together?  Sure.  I miss starting with a blank page, starting with nothing and trying to create something from that.  It’s the story of my life, one I am very familiar with and accustomed to.

Unfortunately, with the job I have now, success in comedy really can’t carry over into my day and make it better.  My job is too physical, my body is starting to break down as a result.  Physio and chiro, with the occasional massage are monthly rituals for me now, in order to try and maintain a good level of health.  The money isn’t great, I can’t save anything because everything I make goes to me making ends meet, and nothing more.  Trying to get a better job isn’t easy either.  Sure, I could make my way into a manager role down the road, but at what cost, both from a physical and financial aspect?

I used to get a high, a sense of accomplishment from doing well at an open mic.  However, it’s been months since I have had that feeling, and I’m unsure if doing well on stage will mean much in the grand scheme of things.  Getting zero help or support from the local comedy community doesn’t make it easier.  Doing open mics aren’t as fun to look forward to anymore, not when friends don’t show up.  I would like to perform for my friends for a large function (ie: church show) but the chances of putting something like that together are slim, if at all.  Nobody believes in me enough and it’s tough to try and get any traction on your own.

Over the years I have taken time away from the stage, mainly due to my less than stellar performances which leave me discouraged, dejected and frustrated, in addition to the poor treatment I receive at times.  Now, it’s different.  I haven’t done comedy much in the past six months, having only been on stage twice.  Both times did not go well.  Plus, I have some stability in life that wasn’t there for a few years, really it hasn’t been there since I started this comedy journey of mine.  I now have a job that I kept and made past probation, with a future ahead of me.  I live in a nice place with no danger of losing it, a garden in the backyard I can use and a family upstairs that looks out for me and brings me down supper.

Then there’s church and the relationships I have made over the past three years with people there.  I might get a car in the summer too, sure, it’s older than the van I used to have but plates would be super affordable, even for a broke ass underachiever like myself.  Suddenly, I don’t have the same drive to do comedy anymore.  I will still write and try to get things better, but what’s to look forward to when you are constantly on the outside looking in, plus my safety cannot be guaranteed at the open mics either.

Things just aren’t the same anymore, and I can’t see them getting better.  I would like them to, but I feel like the deck is stacked against me to even be average.  I will write and get my ideas together, but it’s anyone’s guess as to when I will get back on stage.

One thing will be for certain when I return.  All the material will be brand new.  I have a couple of half hour sets that I could write.  But I don’t know how it will be received.  Will it be a waste of time if the audience reaction isn’t there, let alone my timing?  Only time will tell.

Did any of this make sense?

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