Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Little Bit Selfish, A Little Bit Selfless

Note: This entry was taken from one of my old myspace blogs.

Ever since the first time I stepped on a stage to attempt to do stand-up comedy roughly five years ago, I have spent countless hours writing jokes, telling jokes, booking gigs, hanging out at comedy clubs and striving to advance my fledgling comedy career. I have told jokes at bars, night clubs, coffee shops, theaters, colleges, strip clubs, bowling alleys, comedy clubs, cafeterias and a synagogue. Comedy has taken me to such cultural destinations as Monticello, Arkansas, Okmulgee, Oklahoma and Hoboken, New Jersey. I have been able to visit Super Wal-Marts and eat at a Buffalo Wild Wings in five different states.

Sometimes, I feel like I am leading a completely selfish existence. I write jokes by myself. On stage, I'm by myself. Usually, I travel by myself, driving through areas of the country where the only radio stations that come in clearly play religious sermons or folk music. Often, I'm staying alone in accommodations that range from luxury hotels to vermin-infested condos. At times, I'm forced to entertain myself with games such as "Guess How Many Peoples' Fluids Are on This Comforter!" It's a classic, but I never can find out if I'm right. Much of my motivation for wanting to continue to move up in the comedy world stems from a desire to one day lead a more stable, comfortable life, while doing something that I am passionate about and makes me happy.

I never wanted my life to be solely about me. I've always wished to be able to have a tremendously positive impact on society, and improve the lives of my friends and family. But in my struggle for career advancement, I have been focusing primarily on myself. I've been thinking about how reaching the upper echelon of the comedy world can benefit me: I will be able to have somebody cook for me instead of making my own Jose Ole frozen taquitos (I would be open to cooking for myself, but somebody else would do a better job). Every show I do will be sold out with adoring fans instead of not knowing before a gig whether I will be doing another show for 3 or 4 semi-conscious inbred, toothless dudes who prefer crystal meth to anything I could possibly say. I will be able to live in a house instead of living in an apartment with a stove from the disco era and a bathroom that hasn't been renovated since Lucy and Desi were the coolest people on television.

In order to maintain my happiness and a healthy perspective on life, I don't allow my focus to become too narrow; I try to pay more attention to the world outside of me. Comedy is a noble profession: its primary intent is to make others happy and laugh. And comedy also enables me to create poignant satire, provide important social commentary and force others to question their own actions (If I feel like doing any of those things). I have the ability to temporarily alleviate the stress in a person's life or give a group of guys some stupid shit to quote for the next few weeks. I can make a woman's bachelorette party memorable, without the bachelorette having to endure a dude in a cowboy hat flopping a prosthetic penis in her face. Noble indeed!

So, as I navigate my path towards the pinnacle of the comedy profession, I recognize that while I'm often alone, I'm not doing this just for me. I'm doing this for that bachelorette and her friends. If I ever make Chappelle-like amounts of cash, there are many charitable (and non-charitable J ) ventures that I wish to pursue. However, even though I'm at the point where I can just adequately support myself, I still have a lot to give. Few things in life are more important than spreading joy. Being a comedian gives me such a valuable opportunity to do just that.

Notes: 1. It doesn't take a stage, microphone, jokes or a captive audience to spread joy. 2. This blog allowed my "inner-pussy" to emerge. Hooray!

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