Archive for April, 2012

Nobody Wants That.

I’ve had the thought since I was a little kid that I just wasn’t meant for the workday world.  I wouldn’t characterize myself as someone who dislikes or actively rebels against authority, because it’s not that I’m against those that enforce the rules, I’m really just opposed to the rules themselves.

When people asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I had all the typical answers: lawyer, ballerina, paleontologist, veterinarian, teacher, politician, dinosaur.

Clever girl.

But what I learned about all of these professions (aside from being a dinosaur because, come on) is that you are always answering to, or always playing by, or always at the mercy of people or rules or groups or ideas that do not have your best interest as their own.  Their best interest is their best interest.  Your best interest is yours.  Their best interest is you actively ignoring your own and paying attention to theirs.

Mind = Blown

And here’s the thing that frustrated me – who wants to go to an office, waste all their precious daylight, make money for somebody else, get stressed over things that mean very little to you as a person, go home frustrated about things you shouldn’t be frustrated about, ruin what little time you have to enjoy the things you care about, beat yourself up for getting frustrated and ruining your free time, go to sleep and dream about work, and then wake up angry, rinse and repeat?

Nobody.  Nobody wants that.

So when it came time to really think about what I wanted to do, I had it in my brain that I didn’t want to be a wage slave, I didn’t want to learn a functional and steady-paying trade.

The hard hat keeps your tears inside.

So I said that I wanted to do comedy.  I wanted to write.  I wanted to perform.  I wanted to make people laugh.  I wanted to give people an excuse to go out, have fun, and enjoy the little time they have to themselves.  And so I’m working on that.

Do I have a regular job until I make money doing that?  Yep.  But I’m lucky in that I don’t mind the work and it gives me the ability to have the time to pursue those other things.

Jobs, at their most basic definition, are a means to an end.  They’re a way to finance the things that matter.  Because it’s those things, not your job, that ultimately matter.  Laughing, having friends, doing fun things, or doing nothing at all – that shit matters.

With comedy I’m at the whim of the audience.  I’ve told one joke to two different crowds and gotten big reaction from one and no reaction from another.  Same joke.  Two different results.  But my failure is mine.  My success is equally mine.  The fruits of my labor are mine to make delicious pies with.

Mmmm, the taste of trial and error.

But it’s all mine.

And I can’t wait to make money at it.

And I can’t wait to share that with you.

Not the pie, my success.  I don’t share pie.

 

But…is it funny?

Being funny is hard work.

I’m doing a comedy contest on April 22nd (read about it here), and I’m coming up with new material.  Mainly because the contest has dictated that we keep the overtly dirty, racist, and “blue” stuff to a minimum.

I had no idea I was such a filthy person.

The challenges of staying relatively clean are probably good for me.  I naturally cuss like a crab fisherman, which gets its own sort of laughter anyway, but now I have to focus purely on content which is proving a bit more complicated than I anticipated.  I record little things – small snippets of ideas throughout the day – and then transcribe them.  Then I need to find a way to expand them and make them funny.  Throw in a dick joke and a casual jab at Chinese people and – voila – comedy.

"Me Chinese, me play joke, fuck you, white devil!"

I do have some clean stuff, but finding inspiration is the hard part.  I laugh at things daily.  I find strange and interesting moments all the time, but phrasing those into nice little gems that drunk people will understand?  Tall order, friends, and one that proves more difficult the more I write.  Also, I’m still establishing my voice, so my topics of discussion are still broad.  Here are common topics and my thoughts on them, in hopes I can shake the cobwebs loose.

 

#1  Childhood

This is something that’s hard for me to tap into.  Oh, not because it was bad or I’ve spent my adult years repressing things – my childhood had many high points and just fine points – but I just don’t know how to talk about it without it coming out as a) tragic, or b) pathetic.

"But...I thought this was a comedy show."

Aside from the sad parts, here’s my childhood experience in a series of summaries: we grew up sorta poor, but I was well-liked and always had what I needed, I was popular enough in school, got okay grades (though I could have easily gotten better ones), and my feelings and recollections have a positive spin.  So….is it funny?

Verdict: maybe, but with work.

 

#2  Relationships

Ah, l’amour.  The ongoing battle of finding somebody to put up with your shenanigans.  It’s a very relatable topic.  I’ve talked about this a lot, and can probably talk more about it, but is it almost too familiar?  How do I make it better?  How do I expand on an idea that’s always been and will always be?  And how can I talk about relationships and not talk about penises, too?  That’s hard.

Pun totally intended. You're welcome.

Love is funny.  Love is difficult.  And when it’s good, it’s good.  But….is it funny?

Verdict: yep.  Now that I’ve found somebody spectacular, it’s just a matter of time before I make them second guess the whole “dating a comedian” thing.

 

#3  Work

I’m in a unique position in that I currently have a job that’s pretty cool, but this wasn’t always the case.  I’ve been a waitress, I’ve been a customer service agent, I’ve been a cold-caller, I’ve worked with animals…lots of material there.  And I think the idea of work slowly sucking the soul and spirit out of your life is something people understand.

Just pull the plug on me already.

Work, more often than not, sucks.  It’s a means to an end.  A way to finance the things you really like…assuming work hasn’t killed those things and left you a shell of your former fun self.  Is it funny?

Verdict: sure.  But keep it brief.  And don’t get so bogged down in the details that you lose the camaraderie with the audience.

 

There are lots of funny things, and I’m still learning on how to make those things applicable to me.  My goal is to go on a stage and make you laugh with me.  Because that’s when comedy, for me, feels really good.

 

More writing.  Here’s to progress.

After I finish doodling.

 

 

Comedy Contest. Me. In it. You. See it?

Quick update.

I’ll be doing a comedy contest called AUTISM LAUGHS, sponsored by Hysterical Events on behalf of a really great charity, Autism Speaks.  The Atlanta comedy scene has put this together for a great cause and is raising money for a great organization.  Check out the link for information on the contest and to see all the comedians involved.  Comedy cage match…for charity!

AUTISM LAUGHS comedy benefit