I think your name was Dave. I don’t 100 percent remember. But I went to an open-mic on a Sunday night about a month ago, in the basement of a bar called Karma Lounge, on 1st Avenue in Manhattan. I walked in late, as I so often do. And I eased my way in, nodded to a couple fellow comics, and checked in with the host to see if I could hop on.
I could, so I settled in, leaning up against the unmanned bar. And you were there too, another comic, doing the open-mic. And after I nodded to you, you seemed to get excited. Which I didn’t think much of, in the moment. Then you were like, “Hey - you’re Bryson Turner.”
Which I am. So that wasn’t weird, either. And I’ve been hustling, and having fun onstage, and doing fairly well the past few months, so it’s not that weird that a fellow comic would know my name. When you see a fellow comic up here that catches your eye, your instinct is to take note of them, and introduce yourself at some point.
So I did what you’re supposed to do, which is presume you’ve seen the person around, and you just don’t know their name yet. “Yeah man, good to meet you. What’s your name?”
Which is when he said “Dave”...I think. I rarely remember anyone’s name, because by the time they actually start saying their name, I’ve already skipped ahead to congratulating myself for being the type of person that gets to know people’s names. Literally, if you asked me to repeat people’s names 5 seconds after they tell me them, I might get 50 percent of them. Might.
So I’m an asshole. That’s been established. But after this young comic told me his name, there was a bit of a pause. It was kind of weird. Like he expected there to be more to the exchange. Then after a second or two, he jump-started what I thought was our finished conversation.
“I read your blog.” Another split-second pause, like he was waiting for a reaction. Like he was a little frustrated that I wasn’t seeing what he was seeing.
Then came probably one of the cooler things I’ve heard, in a really long time:
“I feel like I know you.”
It was super funny how he said it - because he was a normal dude, so he didn’t want it to come out creepy or anything. He said it both excitedly and sheepishly, somehow. Like the sentence was pulling double-duty, acting as a compliment, but also an apology. He knew he shouldn’t feel that comfortable telling me so. But he couldn’t help it. It was just hilarious. But in an awesome way.
Maybe I’m an asshole for getting off on compliments, or for getting off on people liking me. If so, then I’m an asshole. It is what it is.
Full disclosure: Over the past 3 months or so, I’ve started to have more and more New York comics mention to me, at one time or another, that they've read this post or that one, or that they really enjoy this blog in general. A few people have even taken the time to write messages to me.
I think my and Lucas’ goal, when we first started this blog, was to do whatever the hell we wanted with it. We didn’t want to worry about whether or not anyone would like it or not. I try really hard to just write, and not worry about the consequences of it, one way or the other.
But I’ll be honest - it feels really good when people say they get something out of this blog. I write this blog for the same reason I do stand-up: for whatever reason, I just love connecting with people. I love the idea of people feeling better because they know someone else is - on some level - experiencing the same life that they are.
Lucas and I used to talk about that all the time, when we were first getting close 18 months ago, back in the fall of 2010. The ridiculous paradox of good stand-up comedy.
Because good stand-up comedy shouldn’t just be trying to please others. To be great, you have to be willing to do exactly what you want to do, and not worry about the opinions of others. But at the same time, the reason you have that edgy, I-don’t-give-a-fuck stand-up, is so that you can connect with people.
So as a comic, it can feel like you’re onstage saying,
“I HATE PEOPLE THAT NEED SOMEONE ELSE’S PERMISSION TO HAVE AN OPINION! THEY’RE SUCH COWARDS!!.....do you guys know what i mean?”
You want so badly not to be phony, but you also want so badly for people to “get it.” And it’s a tightrope. I try not to let the one be affected by the other. But it’s hard. It’s super hard.
Before people started saying nice things about this blog, it was a lot easier to write it. Who cared what I wrote? The opinions of others didn’t matter, so the whole point was to just write what I wanted. I was 100 percent of my audience. And so I just did what felt right. There was freedom in that. If I thought people would read it, for instance, I probably would never have posted this blog from last summer.
So success has its penalties. At least for me it does. Because I’m human. And I love compliments. The success of this blog - “success” being defined as people feeling like they know me just by reading it - unquestionably changes what the blog itself is. Every interaction I have changes how I view this blog, and how I see its purpose. So on some level - for better or worse - people telling me they enjoy this blog may very well change it into something they no longer enjoy (like, for instance, a blog that writes entire posts about itself).
But who knows? Maybe if I hadn’t gotten those compliments, I wouldn’t have had the heart to keep writing. Maybe I would have stopped writing this months ago. Maybe I would have gotten discouraged and quit. I don’t know.
So thanks, Dave. And also: fuck you, Dave.
Fuck you, because you turned my blog into a self-congratulatory, masturbatory waste of both my and your time.
But that brings up the “thank you” part: I didn’t have to emotionally jerk myself off, the night we met at Karma Lounge. Because that night, emotionally, you blew me. And I’m going to be honest: getting blown feels great. It feels really, really good. So thanks for blowing me, dude.
That’s what a compliment is, really. It’s us going down on someone else’s self-esteem. We just let someone feel great, without needing anything in return for once.
We should all throw around more compliments. The world would be a much better place. We’d definitely be a bit more relaxed, that’s for sure.
Yep. Closing with a blow job joke. Because oral sex is amazing. And it’s not something we should do out of obligation. It’s something we should love doing. It’s something we should really enjoy - performing oral sex on someone we think is cool. It’s just an awesome thing to share. I enjoy my life so much more because I go down on the women I like. It’s just a blast. It just makes life more fun.
Ha. I feel like that last paragraph was the equivalent of a dog marking his territory by pissing on his favorite tree. THIS IS MY BLOG, AND I’LL WRITE AND SAY WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT TO SAY IN IT!!!!
do you guys know what i mean?