Too Much, Filters Out Not Enough

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There was this woman I talked to for a while.  She’s in her early to mid 30s, no kids and a great career truly making a difference in the lives of others.  I met her several years back while with a previous employer.  Around the time of my birthday we reconnected and chatted.  Things seemed okay, as we made plans to go grab a drink and catch up.

But then it happened.  No, I’m not talking about the pandemic.  I am talking about telling her too much, beyond the comedy realm.

I mentioned that I work in retail at the moment, with designs to go into the management trainee program down the road.  Every business, whether it’s a grocery store or a large company needs managers in its line of succession.  They can make a decent living, though it’s a lot of work behind the scenes that rarely gets publicized.  In addition to that, you learn about food quality, margins and dealing with people.

Maybe I shouldn’t be working at a grocery store as a regular employee when I’m 47.  Then again, there are several employees out of the nearly two dozen that are older than me.  We all seem to enjoy our work, and each other.  This is the first place I’ve worked at ever, in my recollection where everyone really does get along.

Guys traditionally are supposed to be the provider, and when they aren’t, regardless of the reason, they are looked down upon as being a failure.  Sometimes guys can’t even provide for themselves even though they work.  Minimum wage doesn’t go as far as it used to.  People say we could increase wages, but then it would cost a lot more for the things you want to buy.  It’s a cycle with all of the parts connected.  There is no easy answer.  At any rate, it’s a good job to have, even in the midst of such economic uncertainty because everybody has to eat, in addition to the employer providing a great benefits package.

So, back to the story.  Once I mentioned about my day and working at the grocery store (it’s a retail outlet really, but I’m in the grocery department) and that’s when the conversation stopped and I got removed as a friend on Snapchat, where we were talking.

Rejection like this happens to me a lot, like 9.5 times out of 10.  It used to bother me, but then a strange thing happened.  I turned 47 and stopped giving a shit.

It’s true, I can’t find a better job in terms of pay, even with the experience I possess.  I just can’t do it.  One whole paycheque goes towards my rent.  All of it, less $60.  Kinda hard to live on one paycheque a month to get all your essentials and bills taken care of, yet I manage.  It helps not having the added expense of a vehicle either.

Sure, my brother (supposedly) is running a successful business he started.  I’m pretty sure my dad gave him the startup capital.  I don’t hear my parents complain about him, and they help him because he hasn’t seen as many ups and downs as I have.  So I sit here without a vehicle and no immediate prospects of bettering my situation anytime soon.

But I do have this ability that people in my church don’t have, and what a few comics have, but not to my degree.

I have the ability to create.  To take nothing and make it into something.  Not just something, but something of significance and of value to others.  Some comics get praised for their hustle.  Apparently they have been living under a rock, because I never get such praise.  Just take a look at what I have done in comedy and you’ll see it’s comparable to what everyone else has done.  Other comics go to L.A. for vacation but are too scared to break away from their family and attend an open mic, when there are over 40 a night.  What’s the matter?  Scared you can’t relate to people outside of the province?  That’s not my problem.  Why don’t you grow a pair and make yourself relatable to everyone, if you know how.

I created a character that has never been done before, with lots of hate in the beginning.  It took a few years but finally it’s at the point where people enjoy it.  I created this blog from the time I started comedy and have written at least one post per month.  It’s going on nine years now.  How ya like ‘dem apples?  Then there is the radio show that took eight months to get to air while building a shitload of goodwill towards the station.  I go above and beyond what’s required of any host.  Then you have the relationships I make with comics I interview and with former students of the comedy school in Los Angeles.  Now I have a rather large pool of mentors I can turn to for help in comedy.

The online shows I did have other comics impressed.  They talk about how many Americans I know, and the students of the comedy school are always consistently funny from start to finish.  I guess that’s what happens when you learn structure.

But my point is that there are friendships with a few women I have who value me not for the job I have, but for who I am.  I am eternally grateful for that.

I’m able to crank out way more material than any local comic.  I am in talks with other comics outside of Saskatoon to establish partnerships with going forward with certain projects.  Oh, and once I am done editing my new stuff with my comedy coach, it will take things to another level.  The only problem is that sometimes it takes a long time to get through the material with the instructor.  Like the last time, 4 pages took 90 minutes.

4 pages = 90 minutes

Most comics I know don’t spend that kind of time or know how to work their material for that long, to comb through it, adding laugh points.  But when structure is involved you go through each sentence, each word, and make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

Some women are into their careers and travel because they think that leads a fulfilling life, but they would be wrong.  Helping others, being active in the community, being a friend to those who need it the most and creating comedy to brighten people’s day, that’s a fulfilling life.  The best part is, I know there will come a day soon where I blow the lid off this comedy scene and be the one everybody talks about.  I will be the one that other comics approach me to work with because opportunities come my way that need others on the show.

It’s like that moment at Beily’s years back, when the MC/host that night ripped on me after each comic.  Everyone at my table of friends I sat with laughed at me.  The whole place laughed at me.  I just sat there, saying nothing because I knew people were watching for my reaction, and I would be judged on how I responded to this adversity.  In that moment, in my mind, I said to myself I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but there will come a day when I get better and make that host look bad.  That’s exactly what happened about a year later.

So fuck you, Courtney.  Fuck you and your empty, materialistic life.  When I become the talk of the town, y’all will realize you missed out on something special.

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