a priori/a posteriori

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Have Good Things Happen to You. (Do Them Yourself)

Time is weird.  I was getting really annoyed with how hot it was yesterday.  And I had a thought like “Why is it this hot already!?” -- like, why am I sweating in my jeans when it’s still winter?

Then I realized I’d forgotten to update my brain’s “The Month It Feels Like” app.  And so somehow, it’s just kind of felt like February for the past 3 months.

Well, it’s not February anymore.  We’re a week from June.

June, I said.  As in, the 6th month of the year.  As in, the year is almost half over.  This year - the one that just started - is roughly half gone.

It’s tempting to feel like I haven’t accomplished anything this year.  But honestly, I don’t think that’s true. I’ve written some blogs.  I’ve done a lot of open-mics.  I’ve done a few really fun shows.  I worked my butt off prepping for my Montreal audition, and I was thrilled with how it went.  I’ve been willing to bomb a lot of times, and as a result, I’ve come up with a lot of material.

And probably most notably, I agreed to perform the material I’ve written this past year - and to record the shows - at the Under St. Marks Theater, here in New York, on June 8-9.

But there’s more than that.

In addition to the stand-up that I’m doing here in New York, I’m starting to get involved in other stuff.  I’ve started writing sketches.  I’ve been working through my fears and inhibitions about writing a book.  I’ve been doing podcasts with people.

And I’ve started being a regular guest on a radio show.  It’s an internet radio show, and it’s hosted by Lawson Leong, a fellow comic here in NYC.  I was supposed to be a one-time guest, but when I came on, we had a blast.  So he had me back.  And I just finished up my third visit.  And I’ll be on again next Wednesday, May 30th.

Like I said, it’s an internet radio show.  So it’s not the type of sexy “break” that people imagine, when they dream of “making it” in New York.

But honestly, it might be better.  Because it’s the best type of New York story:  Lawson’s a young dude - 22, I think - and he lives with his family, in Brooklyn.  He’s been doing comedy for a few years, and he really wanted something cool to happen.  But on some random day, he just kind of realized, “Wait a second.  I don’t need to wait for permission do something cool.”
This may be a statue of Lawson, not actually him.  But you get the idea.

He liked Opie and Anthony growing up, and he loved when comics would come on and be willing to discuss controversial topics.  And he loved doing the same thing himself.  So he googled some shit (I’m guessing here), signed up for an account on blogtalkradio.com, and just started to figure it out as he went.  And humbly, in front of a crowd of no one, “Human Sacrifice Radio” was born.

Maybe it didn’t feel that cool to him.  But all of a sudden - to people that aren’t him, like me - it does seem pretty damn cool.  He has a radio show.  He does 3 a week.  He talks shit out, he rants, he laughs.  He’s doing something.  Producing something.

I’ve probably had a good time as a guest because our life philosophies overlap so much.  We both want to understand things.  We love getting past the knee-jerk reactions we have toward things, and really trying to dissect stuff.

I have no idea how many people listen to it.  Maybe 500.  Or maybe it’s just my mom (she’s already commented on my first two shows - she really enjoyed our 45-minute discussion about when sex with 15 year-olds is morally okay).

But I’m not really worried about getting famous off Lawson’s show.  It’s just awesome that I’ve found something fun and cool to be a part of.  And that I’ve crossed paths with someone who has both a desire to do cool things, and is willing to just shut up and do something, without worrying how it will make them look.

That’s what almost all “cool things” are, by the way:  they’re things that are only cool to the people on the outside.  If you - you, the person reading right now - were to start something...I can almost guarantee it won’t seem cool to you.  If you start a blog, or you write a web series, start an internet radio show - it’s not going to be sexy.  It’s not going to be “cool.”

To you, it won’t.  But that’s because we’re taught that cool things should just be cool.  Cool things shouldn’t require lots of work.  Cool things shouldn’t be a struggle.  Cool things shouldn’t not-be-fun sometimes.  Cool shouldn’t have to try.  Cool things should just be...cool. 

Well, they’re not.  Cool things are lame.  It would have been easy for Lawson to be like “An internet radio show?  That’s not cool - you don’t even need permission to do that.  Anyone can do it.  People would laugh at me.  Forget it.”  But instead, he got over his stupid pride - which was creating stupid fears - and just decided to do what he wanted to.  So now he has his own radio show.  And I get to be on it with him sometimes.

I think that’s pretty damn cool.

Today’s episode starts with us trying to responsibly discuss the merits of marijuana laws, before we fall off the tracks and end up defending children who are racist.  Here it is:

Listen to internet radio with Lawsoncomic89 on Blog Talk Radio
And if you enjoy that, you can check out the first two episodes I was on:

Monday, May 14:  We discuss how great it is to be white, whether Carlin and Pryor were overrated, and I jerk off to the thought of Patrice O’Neal.

Wednesday, May 16:  We debate whether it’s morally that big a deal to have sex with a 15 year-old.  Lawson’s 18 year-old sister co-hosts.  (Seriously)

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