Hello again. It has been a while since my last blog post back in February. You might be wondering why I haven't posted, or you might really not even care, but I will tell you. In February of this year, I embarked on a journey. I rather large journey that has taken up the majority of my time. I decided to start a comedy festival in my home town. (Cola Comedy CON) It has taken up the majority of my time, but so has my procrastination. Once the festival is over, I will have a whole new post on that, but for now, here's this.
I WANT TO BE A STAND UP COMIC!!!!! Okay, well then what you first must ask yourself is do you want to tell jokes for a living, or do you want comedy to be your hobby? Without first knowing what you want out of life, you cannot and will not ever reach that goal. Let's start off easy. Comedy as a Hobby. (Let's get these folks out of the way first)
This is where we get real. (WARNING: The following pieces of information may hurt your feelings, so if you do not have thick skin, or do not take criticism well, then stop reading now).
If all it is that you want to do is tell a few jokes to mark it off of your "bucket list", then by all means do so. Go to your local open mic and give it a try. Hell, do it for as long as you feel the need, but realize this has consequences. If you continue to show up every week at the same open mic, telling the same old story, and do not try to get better, then you will have reached your goal of marking off this bucket list item. Once you have done that, Please get the try and get better or step aside. Go sit and watch people who actually are trying to do this for a living, and learn. If you still do not try and get better, then by all means move out of the way. Yep, reality is sitting in. There are those comics out there that are legitimately trying to make this their career, and your tired old story is just that, tiring.
It's like having the same story told to you by your father/mother/brother/friend. It gets old. You know it already, and it is boring. If you are doing that on stage on a weekly basis, then you are boring the audience, and it hurts the real comics chances of trying to get better. Maybe that's why you always get put last on the list. You are a hobbyist. Your shitty jokes hurt not only other comics, but devalues the quality of the show. If audiences see you every week, and you are not coming up with new things to say, and it is the same old shit, then they get tired, and don't want to come back. Move out of the way, and let the real comics handle this.
Comedy for a living...... here we go.
Okay. I know that might have come across very harsh and hurtful, but believe me when I tell you that this business can be way worse. The business of comedy, and don't have any idealistic delusions, it is a business, is very harsh. You will be passed up constantly and told how you're not funny enough to make it. Your jokes are hack, your ideas are shit, you are replaceable. "I know ten different working comics that would blow you off that stage right now". Yep, a quote that was said directly to me about my wanting to try and do this for a living, by someone (unnamed) who has been in the business for over twenty years. So yes, even I have had to deal with this type of reaction to wanting to pursue my dreams.
"What is your goal in comedy?" he asks. "Well, I want to just make a living at it. I want to be on the road, telling jokes in different cities to different crowds and meeting new people along the way", I say with enthusiasm. Then he rips me a new one..... "That's a stupid fucking goal! You want to live your life forty some odd weeks out of the year, traveling from town to town barely making enough to get to the next gig, where you drown your sorrows in whatever drug or liquor you are consuming that night? " He then goes on to say more... "You might make enough to get by, but the road will destroy you. You have no insurance, you are constantly alone and in your own head tearing down the set you did the night before on your way to the next comedy condo or hotel you happened to score that night. Then you sit there in your own depressed world, waiting to hit the stage. You go up, you kill the room, and maybe some dumb fan gives you the invite to her room. That fulfills you for an evening, but then you hit rock bottom again realizing you are just headed to the next lonely room, and the next bullshit crowd that loves you that night and forgets you the next day. That's the world you want to live in? You need to dream bigger."
Wow, harsh. I have an answer.... YOU"RE DAMN RIGHT I DO!!! I want to live that life. To be doing what I love for my career is the ideal life for me. Yeah it comes with some bad shit, but screw it, I'm happy..... sort of.
That was just a little insight into what kind of harsh treatment you will find on the road to success. Now, back to your dreams and aspirations.
FOLLOW THEM. There will be a million naysayers along the way, but if you are in this to be a comic for a living, then go for it, but realize you might not make it. That's the harsh reality of things. We don't all make it. In fact, very few of us do. That's why it's called "chasing" your dreams. You're doing just that, chasing them. You don't always catch the thing you are chasing. It sucks, but it's true.