a priori/a posteriori

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Year 3, Day 4: Letting Butterfly Win

I feel like an idiot, when I come on here to write.

That's the honest truth.

I am at home, in our guest bedroom, typing into this screen.  On a website that 7 people visit a day.

How am I ever going to pay for our rent with this?  Our food?  Our cable?
But I have to trust.  I have to trust Butterfly.

Some of you know Butterfly already, and some of you don't.  She is the person telling me to get back up.  Telling me I didn't stop doing stand-up -- I just pressed pause.

She is telling me I should follow this dream, to be a stand-up comedian.  Don't just say I am.  Don't just call myself one.  But live it. 

And so here I am.  Writing again.  Writing on a blog that is no longer connected to Facebook or Twitter, now that I've quit both.  A blog that feels like George Clooney in Gravity, drifting slowly into space, never to be heard from again.

But the stand-up community is a lot smaller than most of us realize.  If a blog gets ten views, it's one re-post away from a hundred.  And if it's funny, it's one re-post away from ten more re-posts.  One-thousand views happens quicker than feels possible.  That's the fascinating thing about this new "internet age" -- all of a sudden, the world can change at a viral speed.
I think that's why Butterfly is sitting at her desk right now, reading this. 

We live in Virginia Beach now, and we needed to make more money, to make sure our bills get paid.  I should be at a 9-5 job right now, getting paid my daily wage, and getting every dollar I can.

Butterfly said no.  She said this is a real chance for us.  She says I should be a full-time comedian.  That if I focus on being professional and responsible, I have the raw talent to be one of the greats.

And so here I am.  Typing.  Letting go of my own doubt, so I can grab the faith I see in her brain.
It makes sense, when I think about it.

This is not a complicated process.  I need to go out, and get on stages.  Every stage I can find.  I need to prove myself, performance-wise.  This was my set from last night:

I want to keep finding ways to make stand-up fun again.  Because at some point, I got really burnt out on it. 

I know I'm not supposed to say that, because doing stand-up is a "dream job."

Dream jobs are a dream, yes.  But they are also a job.  So no matter what job we're talking about, there are upsides and downsides to it.  Being a comedian is no different.

Now well into my 30s, I am realizing how childish my early-adult years have been.  I've been avoiding responsibility.  Avoiding owning my time.
I'm not going to "devote 24 hours a day" to my comedy career.  But I'm going to do everything I can think of, to make more money doing it.

I think Steve Whalen is a great example.  He is taking the long road, with his stand-up journey.  He loves doing it, posts videos online consistently, has a website where you can support him if you choose (SteveWhalenMrJokes.com),

and he does his best to be a positive co-worker.
That's the energy I hope I give my new scene, here in Virginia Beach.  I hope the other comics in town feel like I'm a "new guy" who comes in, works hard, and is a good guy to have around the office.

There's more than that to it, of course.  Our "office" is a different club (or bowling alley) every night of the week.  And our water cooler is usually serving $2 PBR's.

But it feels like it's heading in that direction.  I'm already getting connected to a lot of the scene, down here.  I see guys like Tyrell Shackleford and Brian Shelsby at mics, and it helps to see familiar faces.  Kyle Phalen literally collapsed on the floor in laughter, during somebody else's set last night.  That's good energy to have around.  I had a good chat with Derrick Brooks, after the last "Clash of the Comics."

We're all showing up at the same places, because we have the same goals in mind.  As comics, we're trying to figure this thing out.
So is everyone else, of course.

That was another mistake I made, when I first started doing comedy.  I thought comics were somehow "different," and special.

I didn't realize that everyone else has the same fears and frustrations that we do.  REALTORs have the same conversations with each other as comics have with each other.  Teachers, too.

As groups, we all come to the table with different experiences.  But at the end of the day, we're all trying to figure this thing out.
I'm gonna go work on logarithmic equations.  Because I have a tutoring session tomorrow, and that kid doesn't care whether I'm a comedian or not. 

But I'll be out tonight.

Because if I treat stand-up like my job,

I have faith it's going to hire me.
You win, Miss Butterfly

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