Playing An Ace From A Sleeveless Shirt

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It has been a long and exhausting day in more ways than one.  I don’t even know where to begin.  I should feel euphoric and elated at my accomplishments today, but the game of life is a marathon, not a sprint.  Sometimes you are too tired from the distance you’ve covered to appreciate how far you’ve come since the start, regardless of how many people you passed along the way, you always seem to remember the ones who passed you more.

I had the top comedian in North America ask for my phone number today, and she called me to record an interview for the radio show.  I know that I am not supposed to talk about the radio show on other platforms of mine, but with this pandemic all rules seem to have flown out the window and some have been rewritten entirely.  So here goes.

This interview took months, and I mean months to put together, going on nine to be exact.

This is how my day went.

I got up at 7:30 a.m. on my day off, which is virtually unheard of, to prepare for my interview with Tammy Pescatelli, the top headliner in America. Yes, she’s better than Gaffigan, better than Hawkins. Anyhow….

I had two problems to fix before the interview at 1;00 p.m. First, I needed to figure out how to fix the issue with my phone. I dropped it one time to many and its mic wouldn’t work. I stayed up past midnight to wait for my good friend and IT guy to message me. He said to get headphones with a mic that would bypass the phone mic. Great idea. Then I needed to find an app that would record phone calls, since Tammy had concerns about Zoom after her computers got hacked. Easy fixes, right?

I took a 20 minute walk to catch the bus to Superstore in Confed. I pick up what I thought would work for my phone. I get home, and realize I got an auxiliary cable with two male ends, for a vehicle. Shit. Spent ten bucks for nothing. So back to the bus stop, and take the bus to Superstore. Only pair of headphones left are a 35 dollar pair of earbuds from Sony with a mic. Fine. Get them. Get home. Try to install its app. My headphones aren’t on their list to register. Shit. Now what?

I hook up the headphones and call my dad for a few minutes. They work. Then talked to the caretaker at Faith Alive for a few minutes. Good chat. Now, 90 minutes before she calls and I need to find an app to record phone calls. The third app I came across finally worked.

Then she asked for my number by sending me a private message on Twitter. She can’t get through. The settings on my phone block unknown numbers. I turn that on.  Then we had a great chat.  I am looking forward to the station promoting this and listening to the episode.

I said all that to say this, and I will keep this brief because I’m too exhausted to write anything further, and I really need a Coke to drink.

I don’t say this to cause shit, it’s just the facts.  Comics still take shots at me on stage to get a cheap laugh, and they all seem to collaborate with each other on projects except for me.  Everything I have done in comedy, which isn’t much, has been done on my own, with nobody’s help.  I’ve had to seek help from outside the province (and outside of the country mostly), in order to accomplish what I wanted to do.

I had a headliner tell me that you have to be willing to be the 1% that does what the other 99% won’t, or can’t do.  That’s how you get better.  That’s how you get opportunity.

It seems like the things I try nobody else wants to be a part of, at first, if at all.  It’s frustrating at times and awfully lonely, but in the end I can at least feel some sense of pride in breaking new ground.  It’s been over 8.5 years now.  Comics have told me they want me on certain shows or to do projects with them, and they never honour their word.  I, on the other hand, always try to include others in my good fortune, even if nothing ever comes my way in return, which it doesn’t.

I may fail a lot and eat a tonne of shit in the process, but at least I’m the real McCoy.  I back up what I say.  I don’t flap my gums to appear great.  What I say I want to do, I end up doing.  Now, I may fail hard or have moderate success but at least I put myself out there in a situation that nobody else is willing to step into with me, at least in the beginning.  This pandemic is allowing me to take charge in a sense, because with everyone at home, there is nothing else to do.  So I open up my Zoom meeting room weekly for interviews with local comics and to do open mics.  Everyone appreciates what I’m doing, and it is nice doing open mics from home because it’s a safe environment.  I don’t have to worry about being harassed by drunks or punched out.

This may be my only time to shine.  It’s possible that when the pandemic is over and people are allowed to go out again, maybe my online shows take a nose dive in popularity.  But, mine is the only one that’s consistently on, week after week.  Consistency builds character.  Character is what will define you.  Comics frowned upon online open mics but now they do it because they have no other choice.  Sure, most of the audience mutes their mics because of distractions going on at home, but we have better audiences in terms of sheer numbers as opposed to those who attended open mics before everything got shut down.

Then, I found out that a good friend of mine had his younger brother pass away after a life that saw some wrong choices and hard living.  I did not know him well, but he always seemed to be in a good mood and sociable whenever I was around him.

I think a lot of this pandemic is bullshit and gone way overboard for what essentially is a flu strain, but with the world shifting to extremes on a dime, it got me thinking.

I have made this point before but it still bears repeating because some simply aren’t getting the picture.  It isn’t worthwhile to be a dick.  Ever.  Taking shots at people isn’t fun.  Don’t bully others.  Instead, go out of your way to be a class act and you will be amazed in what you get in return and how it affects the other person.

Tammy Pescatelli treated me far better than I deserved today.  She seemed genuinely thrilled and overjoyed to be talking to me.  Yes, I am a mediocre comic from Saskatoon that hasn’t amounted to shit that other comics won’t collaborate with, but for those 35 minutes I felt important.  I felt like I mattered.

I still sleep by myself and am single with nobody really close I can talk to, but for those few minutes I felt like all that hard work for those months paid off.  Every time I went on the air I acted like I expected her to appear on the show, and she did.

Some comics aren’t what they appear to be on stage.  Tammy is the real deal.  So kind and positive, she’s the type of role model that comedians should aspire to become.  Like I said though, as good as that feels, my friends brothers passing reminded me that we all must strive to do better, to be better to one another.  You can’t be nice to some and be a bully to others, or be nice to everyone but be a bully to one person.  Be nice to everyone.  Be helpful to everyone.

People will probably continue to take shots at me because some people just don’t know any better, but at the end of the day, I am the only comic in the province, I believe, that has some successful and popular comics in his corner.  They are relationships that I cultivated and have maintained, and ones that nobody else has followed suit with.  If I need help or guidance, I can reach out to these people who have had success on a scale that nobody in these parts can attest to.  I can call, text or instant message, and I get treated like a friend and makes me feel valued.  Isn’t that what all of us should ascribe to become?

I know far too many people who are small time yet have a big time attitude and treat others like they are beneath their feet.  Will it ever stop?  Probably not.  Will they be found out?  They already have.

It’s 2020.  Authenticity counts.  Be good to one another.  I’m going to sleep.

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