a priori/a posteriori

Sunday, March 26, 2017

I'm a Virginia Beach Comic

I own it. 

It is not all of who I am.  But it is a part of who I am.

It's a part of what Vanessa and I are, here in Virginia Beach.
I'm not sure how I identified, comedically, until now.

Part of me has wanted to say I'm a "Pittsburgh Comic."  I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and I still identify with the city.

But I never did much stand-up while I was growing up.  The first "scene" I became a part of was after college, when I moved to DC.

Those two years were a big part of my development, as a comic.  And I met people I still call friends, even 10-15 years later. 

So a big part of me always wants to say I'm a "DC Comic."
I had an amazing time in DC, but I started to fear hitting a ceiling there.  So I moved to Austin, Texas.

My two years there were the most successful, professionally.  I developed and matured as a performer, and I regularly made the 7-hour round trip to Dallas, working my way into that scene, too. 

The clubs, the scene, and that entire city embraced live comedy in a way that not many places on Earth do.  Which is why even after I moved to New York City next, a big part of me still identified as

an "Austin Comedian."
I spent 5 years in New York. 

About two years in, for about the two weeks after I filmed my special, I felt like a "New York Comic"

I don't know why the feeling didn't stick, for me.  I think it was because I became good friends with two comics there named Lawson Leong and Drew Dowdey.  They had both grown up in the city.  So it quickly felt weird to claim New York as part of my own status. 

And when I was in New York, everyone was in New York.  So it felt kind of silly for all of us to call ourselves "New York Comics."  It would be like going to the United Nations, and instead of having everyone's country on their name card, it just said "United Nations."

It was like..."yeah dude.  we know."
Because of all those prior steps, when we first moved here,

it didn't even occur to me to say I was a "Virginia Beach Comic."

There are comics who have been here for years.  There are comics who are well-established.  There are comics who run shows here.  There are comics who are in at the clubs here.  There are comics who travel and do shows that are based here.

I was none of those things.  I hadn't contributed to this scene in any way.  I hadn't done anything.

I was a nobody here.

But I have to start identifying as a Virginia Beach Comic. 

I have to, because I love this town.  I love living here.

And I love stand-up comedy. 

I don't know what I can accomplish, if I put my energy into it.  But I bet if I genuinely work hard, and try my best to make this an even stronger scene than it already is,

I bet I can be a small piece of this scene. 

I love the Virginia Beach Comedy scene.

I'm a Virginia Beach Comic.

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