Comedy by the numbers.

September 3, 2009 at 8:38 pm 1 comment

EdisonWhen I get excited about a new project, I give it my all.  I’m not afraid of hard work.  But when I don’t have a goal in mind, I’ve been known to bounce from creative project to creative project with no tangible results except awesome memories.  I’m like Auntie Mame that way.  I need specifics.  It’s the difference between saying “I want to be a writer,” and, “I want to write my first novel by the time I’m 40.”  See the difference?  When I started doing stand-up I knew I had to set a specific goal for myself.  I knew the comedy world was challenging and unforgiving and that if I wasn’t strong and disciplined, I might get frustrated and bow out.

That’s why I set myself a goal number of times I would get on stage.  Only after I performed that number of times could I decide if it was the life for me.  That number seemed astronomical when I set it years ago but now I’m only 2 shows away.  (Does that seem hokey?  I’ll live with being hokey.   After all, your mom is hokey and you turned out alright.)

Am I going to stick with comedy after the 2nd show?  You bet your sweet ass I am.  I love everything about doing stand-up.  My only regret is not starting sooner but there’s not much I can do about that without a functioning flux capacitor and haters keep telling me they are “fictional.”

I love that comedy is always a challenge.  It’s a beautiful and strange art form.  A comedian friend told me about a successful comic who knew he had to quit when he was 12 minutes into his 30 minute set and all he could think about was what he was going to eat for breakfast the next morning.  That’s when you know you have to quit.  When I’m on stage, I’m on stage.  Everything makes sense to me.  I know what I’m supposed to do.  Like any other craft, you have to work at it constantly to grow and make it better.  I’m better than I was when I started but I still have a long way to go.  If you’re not trying to improve, you should stop and I’m not ready to stop.

I like these two quotes by Thomas A. Edison:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

So true.  And it goes hand in hand with this other quote:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Man, I hope I’m doing this right.  Focus really hard, work really hard, and always be learning.

Two more shows, though?  Damn.  What a ride.


Entry filed under: Observations, The business, Tricks of the trade.

Breaking the no-post cycle. Weight loss secret for the day: Do Stand-up.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jamie  |  October 13, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Love the Thomas Edison quote


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