a priori/a posteriori

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making a Career, 1 (maybe)

(Note:  I started working here a month ago.  This is what I looked like then)

And here I am now:

A little less hair.  But the same basic reality:  working as a receptionist.

Volunteering as a receptionist, to be exact.  At an office building in Manhattan.  Corner of 37th and 7th Avenue.

Why am I volunteering?  Well, first of all, this way I avoid the dreaded “job interview.”  I can just come in, do my job, and leave.  I never have to explain what my 3 best qualities are.

But mostly, I’m here because it’s a coworking space that’s shared by tech start-up companies (i.e. smart, young, rich internet people).  I first got involved here because of the non-profit I help with, Resolve Network.  But as I’ve hung out here, I’ve learned about the internet, how to make money on it, and a bunch of other nerdy things I never thought I’d find out about.

I wouldn’t have my new website without this place.  This was a big step in learning how to sell a special online.  I feel comfortable talking business now, and it feels reasonable that within a year or two, I’ll be making my living online.  Which is - as far as I can tell - where most of the comedy money is headed.  

So I’m following the money.  Because I want to make my living as a performer.  As a comic.  And so I’m volunteering at a tech start-up coworking space (I’m still not 100% sure I’m saying that right).  To help make that a reality.

I might be crazy.  I might be throwing away a chance at a real career in comedy, by investing in connections with all the “wrong people,” and trying to “go it alone.”  

I’m not trying to “go it alone,” for the record.  Just not presuming someone else will do things for me.  So I’m here, at this office, which looks like the last place a comic should be.  The people I know here, the people I spend time with here - they can’t help my comedy career.  They can’t get me into any clubs.  They can’t do anything for me - comedically.  Half of them have never heard of Louis C.K.

So maybe I’m screwing up bigtime by having spent so much time here.  I took two months off from performing in November and December.  I called it my “off-season.”  I spent a lot of that time hanging out with the tech people here.  Plotting out the next 5 years of my career.  The next 25 years.  Setting up a system of sustainable financial success, pouring in directly from my comedy.  Which should be the only source of income I need, within the next two years.

Or so I claim.

I bet I looked awfully lazy to anyone living by the traditional model of what a “comedian” is.  And maybe they were right.  Time will tell if my investment was a good one.  Personally, I’m kind of excited to see if I’m crazy or not.  

And that’s exactly it:  I’m fascinated by my own life.  The choices I’ve been making the past few years - I find my life absolutely riveting right now.  And I don’t know a better scent to follow, on the path of life.

Even if it means waking up at 6 in the morning.  Or potentially being seen as the comic who threw away their golden ticket.  Go ahead and call me crazy.  It’s a compliment to me, at this point.  I mean, if it turns out I’m “crazy” this whole time?  What a show to have a front-row seat for, right?

Once more, with feeling

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