Wayyyyyyyyy More Than 50 Shades Of Grey

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Things have certainly changed from the days when I first entered the comedy scene.  Some changes over the past ten years have been for the better, some haven’t, and some I don’t think anybody ever saw coming.  I doubt that the newer crop of performers now respect or understand the groundwork that was laid in the early years of the comedy scene.

What was once a stage that struggled to find performers now houses a diverse group of comics.  I am surprised by the diversity of the comedy community, but moreso of how the new acts are getting to the funny much quicker than I did.

The art of stand-up is like anything else in life, where some people will pick it up and excel at a quicker rate than others.  Then there are some, like myself, who take a bit of time to find their way and need some help to have the light turned on inside, where they figure it out.  They make solid connections with the audience and get good quality laughs consistently.

There are a select few comics that I would consider friends.  Loyal, trustworthy friends, without pretension.  When we talk at comedy shows, the conversation isn’t filled with the bullshit platitudes that you hear so often from other comics.  I prefer to have meaningful conversations with my friends, talking about everything else but comedy, even though we are both there to perform.

There are one or two that I worry and pray about, wishing I could see them more to hang out with, whether it be at a comedy show or elsewhere.  I have been around long enough to know that when you have those thoughts of a person, that nagging instinct to reach out or visit them, that’s when they die.  It sounds morbid and horrible to say, but that feeling has tugged at me on several occasions with different people.  Usually once they pass, then I think I should have followed through on my gut instinct to check up on that person.  There are people both in and out of the comedy community that do not appreciate or value me.  These people truly do not understand what they have in front of them.  I don’t say that with arrogance, but respectfully.  You should know about the type of person that’s in front of you.  Hopefully I won’t pass on before they do, for them to realize that people need to be celebrated, encouraged and just treated good.

But would that all be worth it?  How much more can I stand?

I have never been the type that can just write jokes for others.  For one thing, I view it as being lazy, because if I write the material, why not get up and perform it, especially if I don’t have issues being in front of a room full of people?  Just as importantly, I have written or suggested material for a few comics, and some are pretty dismissive of the help.  Nice to see what ten years of this stuff has given me.

I don’t go to comedy shows just to watch other local acts, unless it’s at the pro club in the ParkTown Hotel.  Otherwise, if it’s a local open mic night, I’m either performing or staying home.  I am not going to the show to not perform, but rather to socialize with the other comics. So, having said that, the open mic shows are hit and miss with each comic. Some nights you got it, while some nights you don’t.  Some nights the audiences are full and engaging and some nights they aren’t.

You never know how you will do until you get on stage.  It doesn’t matter how the rest of the night has gone. You have to earn your keep from the audience on stage.  I wonder how much interest I will have doing comedy just to show up and be average, or to not quite hold my own on stage.  Do I want to be relevant, to seek out the audiences approval and to be liked?  I suppose, because that is why we do comedy in the first place, isn’t it?  We need that approval, we want others to understand who we are and be able to relate to our struggles.

When a lack of support exists also, it makes it easier to just stay home and not bother.  It’s been ten years.  It has been a grind that’s chalked full of way more failures than successes.  Plenty more, abundantly more.

There is no motivation like there used to be for comedy when I first started out. That fizzled.  The people, or situations that could have taken me away from comedy, distracted me, or give me a reason to take a break, those have failed me on multiple occasions, both the people and situations.

It seems like I’m the only one who knows what they have done over the last ten years, because why would somebody ever go out of their way to acknowledge, encourage or celebrate anything I have done?

In comedy if you want to be relevant you have to be funny.

I’ve never proclaimed to be the best, far from it. But, I have had to overcome the most obstacles like slander, physical abuse, verbal abuse and being tossed aside like rotting fruit, although rotting fruit you can use as compost……
 
From my comedy schooling, I could write boatloads of material and pull it out of my ass on a whim. It’s been so long since I have done that though.  Maybe it will come back, but some things have to line up for me to get back to that.  Comedy isn’t passion, it’s something I do, something that has defined me, moreso by my failures than any successes I’ve had.  
There was a time, was, when I would outwrite everyone and come up with new material for every weekly open mic.  Now, I have many pages of stuff I’ve started to write over the last couple years that sit unedited.  It takes the desire to want to finish what you started.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I can’t just outright quit.  That would give my critics more ammunition they need, and I would believe that the last ten years of my life have been a waste.  But, I cannot subscribe to that thinking.
Maybe someday I will get that joy back from doing this.  I can’t remember what it’s like to do a decent job, in front of a decent audience.
Sure, some of you may roll your eyes reading this, asking why I bother writing stuff like this?
My reply is simple.  I’ve been writing this for over ten years now.  My failures define me.  I have no brand to protect.  Some heavy hitters in comedy in the USA have my back.  I can freely admit to my failures, unlike other comics around these parts.  Doing comedy is not easy, and sustained success is even harder, especially when you deal with all the bullshit I’ve put up with.  The only people who have done anything significant for me in comedy all reside outside of the province.  So, what’s that say?
Sure, maybe I am assuming the worst, thinking that certain people don’t want me on their shows, but I’ve never asked.  Then again, you find out what people are truly like when you fail, and some people don’t celebrate me publicly, because they are much more adept to throwing me under the bus instead.  I’ve been around long enough to know who these people are, and that they probably won’t change.
And by the way, comedians are not some of the friendliest people in the world. Far from it.  They are entertainers.  Entertainers have egos and insecurities.  If you don’t believe me, just look at all the hate I’ve had over these ten years for trying to think outside the box and do things different than the rest.
I could care less what you think of me writing this, but at least I’m honest and authentic.  Life ain’t fucking sunshine and roses.  Neither is stand-up comedy, especially for me.

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