a priori/a posteriori

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ad for "Fuck the Industry"

I say "Fuck the Industry."

And I say it with this upcoming special.  I'm going to try to become a better businessman.  Because I think the comedy industry has gotten too industry.  

(the toughest thing about italics is how many directions the 'change' could go in)

Comedians should be thought-leaders, not product-pushers.

I started looking at the footage, yesterday.  And

this is a very imperfect special.

But there's enough here.
There's enough here, for a story.

This is going to be an interesting story.

Wow, am I scared to post this.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"There's at least 20 good minutes" -- Tennessee Drew

"a question that once someone figures out the answer, the floodgates could open."
How do you make money from a comedy special?
It's a great question.

Not a "great question," like an impossible question.  I think it's a great question, like "a question that once someone figures out the answer, the floodgates could open."

Because I think it's much more possible than we realize.

I think that once we create something, we now have the rights to sell it.

It's just a matter of figuring out who wants what we are able to make.
I want to write 50 pages right now,
to avoid watching the footage.

When I watch this footage,
I will either feel confident that I have something that has value,
or I'll feel like it's "not quite there yet."

In my mind,
I want to hurry up and have a special
worth a million dollars,

so I can make a living doing this,
and my fiance' can quit her job,
and we can start helping other artists take charge of their own careers, too.
I haven't figured out how to do so, just yet.
For some reason, I keep thinking Reddit could help.
But I don't want to wait for that.

I also need to go outside,
and start doing some
good old-fashioned
And I need to suck it up,
stop writing,
and look at this footage.

Thank goodness for Miss Butterfly (soon to be Mrs.),
who will be supportive,
and not let me make the same mistake I made last time,
of hiding from the reality of this special.

If I write again before I look at the footage, you'll know I'm just stalling.

More soon...

10 Good Minutes

"I didn't want to admit I only had 10 good minutes in my first one-hour special."

What happens when no one shows up for your comedy special?
You do it anyway.
What happens when 9 people show up for your comedy special?

You give the best show you know how to give.
So, that's what I did.  I gave the best show I knew how to give.

And now, it's time to look at the footage,
and turn it into something beautiful.

Or, something beautifully-flawed.
Which is, of course -- still beautiful.

I got a text from Marshall last night, telling me he had uploaded the footage from this past Tuesday,
and that I could take a look whenever I wanted.

It's Saturday, November 15, 2014.  12:34 PM.

I don't want to look.
I'm afraid of just how imperfect it was.
As a performer, I think we remember things better than they actually were, sometimes.

And I'm very worried that this past Tuesday -- my special #2 -- is one of those times.
However, I feel more confident now, than I did 2 years ago.

2 years ago, I felt the same fear about my first special (Undone, which you can watch and support at www.brysonturner.com)

and I waited a year to sit down and edit it.  Because I didn't want to pin down the special.  I didn't want to hold my "artistic feet" to the fire.

In short:

I didn't want to admit I only had 10 good minutes in my first one-hour special.

So, I have that same fear right now,


2 years later.

Forget how many people were there:

Was all of my material a waste of time?
Did I have anything actually worth the time it takes to watch it?

We'll see.  For right now, I have to figure out how to hook up this new printer, so that I can print stuff out.  And so she can, too.  And the kid.

So, back to work.

But talk to you all soon.  I'll let you know how the editing is going...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats (Part 1)

I'm 15 minutes into Chelsea Peretti's new Netflix/New Wave special.  And already, I would say it is one of the 5 best of 2014.

That's 15 minutes in.  It may end up being one of the better specials of the past decade.

It's been that well-thought out.  And that inventive.  And that playful.  And that self-aware.

As a fellow comic,

I hate her so much for making it.
I'm taking a break from watching it.  Partly because I want breakfast.  Mostly because my tea kettle filled with jealousy is whistling loudly, on the stovetop of my mind.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What if Mushrooms are Trying to Destroy Us? (Part 1)

Short version of my "Want to Become Famous?" blog from earlier today:

We always need to be paying attention.  As much as we can.  

Because everyone is selling something.

Everyone is trying to sell us something.

Including ourselves.

Yeah.  I tried to make a special where I "took down" advertising.  Where I called it out, "for what it really iszzz."

Instead, I just revealed myself, to myself.

I realized I was selling myself, on the idea that I didn't want to be famous.  That I was "above that."

I was lying.
Our Ego is a salesman.

Our Collective Consciousness -- the one that understands we are all part of a giant patch of mushrooms in a dying forest in Oregon -- 
No.  Wait a minute.  Mushrooms are trying to trick us!!!!

Or are they?
I'm onto you, Mushrooms

To be continued...

Want to Become Famous?

I know it's not healthy.

But then...what do I really "know?"

Going into my special on Tuesday,
I "knew" that I didn't want to be famous.
I "knew" that I was at peace with myself,
I "KNEW" I could care less how many people watch me, and listen to me,

perform stand-up.

7 people showed up.
Nine.  Nine people showed up.

Because I count the cameramen.  Ripped Chris and Liverpool Marshall were both in the room -- so they were watching.  Just because they were holding cameras, that doesn't mean they weren't there.

So, nine.
Let's not worry about the exact number.

Let's focus on one thing I got out of the experience:  I realized I've been lying to myself.

I want to be famous.
I would explain why...

but I don't know yet.

I wouldn't trust any explanation I give.
There were 7 non-camerapeople, at my special.  But they were all friends.  They were there to support -- and they were supportive.

They were at times quiet.  And at times, they were as loud as 7 people can be.  They were attentive, and I'm pretty sure they were having a good time.  Because I was, onstage.  I was owning the room.

Then a girl walked into the room.  She had been at the bar (I filmed my 2nd special at Legion Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn),

and she had no idea there was a comedy show going on -- let alone a historic taping that would change comedy as we know it, forever.

(trust me, I'm a time-traveling comedian)

And so the woman walked in, and I talked to her for a few minutes.
Y'know -- as ya' do.

I explained that my fiance' was there -- "She's gorgeous," the stranger awkwardly confirmed --

and the next few minutes were fun, as I geared my performance toward winning her over.
After a few minutes, in the middle of a bit,
she quietly left the room.

"Oh well," I thought, as I continued to feign complete presence onstage.  "That was fun while it lasted."

Not a minute later, the door to Legion Bar's backroom opened once again.  And in walked the very same girl -- but this time, with another person!  I had not only won over the girl, but I had turned her into a living, walking advertisement.

What an amazing job, I was doing!
I proceeded to COMPLETELY IGNORE the seven friends who had purposely come to support me.  I spent ten minutes desperately trying to hold these two strangers' attention, when I had spent the first 45 minutes of my special

connecting with the people who had already decided, in their minds, that they not only wanted to hear my stand-up, but had gone out of their way, and committed their Tuesday night to being there for it.

I haven't started editing my special.  
I haven't even seen the footage, from Night 2, which was filmed this past Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

I understand already,
in a way that didn't fully click in after my first special

that I am not just making these Specials
for the sake of my Stand-Up Legacy.

I am also making them
because when I get a chance to
look at myself
instead of just
thinking about what I look like

It is a different experience.  And I get more from a single viewing of my own special,
than I ever did

back when I was simply
thinking about

how underrated a comic I was.
I was so ashamed of my first special, because it was so imperfect.

And I didn't know how to handle the embarrassment.

The best idea I had was,

"Lie.  And tell everyone it's great."

When we lie, the first person we have to convince is ourselves.  And so, I spent the past 2+ years lying to myself,

and telling myself I was a better comic than I was.
Sometimes, you have to be wrong twice, before you realize you're allowed to just change your opinion.


I'm changing my opinion.

I don't think I'm an "enlightened comedian."  I think that was something I was trying to be.

Because in my heart-of-hearts, I believe that is the best potential version of myself.

But right now?  In this present
I'm wearing an eyepatch -- does anything else matter?

I want to be famous.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Rebel without Applause: 4 days and counting

I feel so many things, as I continue to prepare.

I'm tempted to feel that no matter what I do, it's not enough.

I'm tempted to feel guilty for not adding an extra 6 hours, onto each of my 24-hour days.

(Then again, I think I could cut out the occasional masturbating.  Wouldn't that add a little more time back into the schedule?  The comic in me wonders...)

My meeting with Marshall kind of rocked me, emotionally.

It was the idea of a camera following me around all day -- which we are supposed to do this upcoming Tuesday -- that really terrifies me:

I'm scared to actually find out what my life is like.

I'm scared to actually find out that I waste most of my days away,
either listening to B.S. Reports,
or watching documentaries on YouTube,
or watching comedy specials on NetFlix,
or avoiding doing work for my part-time job,

or whatever else I do

that isn't being the best comedian I can be.
That's the fear:

that I've been writing this blog, on-and-off, for the past 4 years
or however long it's been.

And I've been out-of-work (mostly), for the past 5 years
or however long it's been.

And what do I have to show for it?
What have I really done with that greatest gift
known as "free time"

I think I'm absolutely terrified to find out.

I'm absolutely terrified to look at my average day,
on film.
"That day" will show up in the special, too.

Of course it will.

It showed up in my first one, "Undone."

It showed that I didn't have the discipline to properly prepare a performance.

And I don't say that as a way of blaming myself, for that performance.
I think it also showed up that I'm genuinely trying my best,
and that I'm genuinely thinking about a lot of things,
and that I'm genuinely working hard at the "skill" of "being funny."

Those things do show up, when you watch the whole thing.

But there is another part of the story, that I think gets told pretty loudly.

I'm not living the most efficient life
I could be living.

That's what I hope I improve upon, in this one.

I don't know if everything will come together, by Tuesday.

I hope I have fun, and I hope I help remind everyone in the room
that it's up to us,
whether we appreciate the present moment.

I hope I create a vibe in the room
that makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the positives of the moment
and not worry about the temptations of fear.

And I hope I'm funny.

It's interesting to me, how old Jon Stewart looks.

It would be easy for me to not notice it, of course.  I think that's what I'm tempted to do, with most faces I'm familiar with.  I remember what they look like when I first got used to them being in my life,

and then I don't really update their look, for the next decade or so.

But when I really study his face, I can tell he's nearing 50.  He's not the "cool, rebellious 20-something," co-hosting an unwatched MTV talk show in the early 1990s.

He's Jon Stewart.  2014 version.

And by the way:  that's okay.
I thought about that, looking at the first picture of me, above.

I'm older than I was, when I started this blog.

Haha.  And it's apparent.  If you take one-second to notice.  I'm not a 26 year-old kid, moving to Brooklyn, and wondering if I "had the chops"

to make it in the biggest of the big, bad cities.

I'm not the up-and-coming comedian I saw myself as, when I moved here, way back at the end of 2010.

It hasn't been 25 years, like with Stewart.

I just feel like it sometimes.

I don't know if other comics "got tired" of stand-up, the way I have the past few years.

Maybe I'm experiencing something unique to me.  Maybe I just don't have the patience, or the discipline, to keep growing as a comedian.

I don't want to pretend otherwise, though.

I could be pretending still, if I chose that path.  And again -- I'm not saying anyone else is pretending, or not.  That's not what today's blog is about. 

Today's blog is about my journey.  And at some point during my journey -- I got tired.

I got tired of going out every night, and performing 2-minutes at a time.

Even longer sets.  I just got tired of it.  
I still love it, when I'm onstage.  I still love that heightened intensity, and understanding that it's also a part of reality.

Performing is fun.

Once I'm onstage.
But I'm tired.

Not just tired, physically.  But also, at some point, 

I got tired of the narrative of my own life.

Out every night.  Occasionally on the road.  
Date casually.  Never commit.
Settling down was never an option -- 
irresponsible to both your career, and to your partner.
I don't know if part of being a "great comic" is helping other people live a better life, than the one you've lived so far.

All I know for sure,

is that I appreciate all the comics who have been honest about their decisions --
on stages and off --

that have helped me navigate my way through this very challenging maze called "life."

Dave Chappelle having the courage to admit he was a whore to the industry, while his father was dying.

I doubt he knew it as he told the story to James Lipton, 
but that story's ripples helped calm the turbulent waters of my family's darkest hours, years later.
For that honesty, I am grateful.

Louis C.K. explaining divorce, and love, to a generation of wide-eyed, optimistic youths.  And letting us know:  it's better to break a promise, than to punish yourself for a lifetime for making it.

Patton Oswalt, for realizing just how much of this younger generation listens to him, and the potential he has to sway our minds toward positive thinking.

Patrice O'Neal said things that changed my ways of thinking.
Bill Burr has inspired me on multiple occasions.

Sheryl Underwood told a joke in 2006 that helped me commit and propose to my fiance', 8 years later.

As a comic, as a speaker, as a communicator,

you never know what kind of an effect you're going to have.
I just want to find out about myself.  

That is my selfish goal, for this special.

Who am I?
Am I a good comic?
Am I living a good life?

In which ways can I be living it better?

Let's study the film.
Time to go.

4 days and counting...