A Pep Talk from Kid President
Hello to my fellow Asshats following a dream,
This blog post is about food.
If you’re like me, you eat food sometimes. (STOP judging me NYC models!)
So, I’m going to be a little brazen here (what?! me?! brazen?! never!), and assume that pursuing your DREAM JOB hasn’t made you a bagillionare overnight. (I got paid $8 for doing stand up comedy my first entire YEAR. So yeah. I was doin *prreeeetty* good.) I’ve noticed that a lot of my counterparts in the comedy scene resort to eating fast food because it’s easy and cheap (just like them! ZING!).
I get it. We are ON THE RUN. We are BUSY. We are CHASING A DREAM. Fast food is easy. But being poor (I mean frugal) does not mean we have to be unhealthy. Did I just BLOW you MIND?! Do people still think healthy = expensive? Has that myth been busted? (More importantly, has it been busted on “Myth Busters”? God I hope so)
Fast food, aside from being crazy unhealthy, is actually more expensive than cooking at home, and it slows your body and brain down. When I’m eating healthy, my brain has better ideas. (It’s almost like my body needs fuel to function...)
So I am here, along with the Mythbusters team (Yes - they ARE right next to me. Stop doubting me) to do some EDUCATIN’ on eating healthy cheap as fuck foods.
BUSTIN MYTHS AND TAKIN NAMES.
I’m not here to push a vegan or vegetarian agenda - but these diets tend to be less expensive. (Whats that? You thought they were MORE expensive? They aren’t.) Buying bulk whole grains and legumes literally costs pennies per meal. (PENNIES YOU SAY?! I *HAVE* PENNIES!) Think about it. Think about those people who live in informercials on “just 3 cents a day.” They’re eating cheap grains, lentils, beans and veggies. (One downside to this cheap food - They don’t get all the neat types of cancers and heart diseases we Westerner-dieters have)
Here are some ideas and links to get you started (if you WANT)
CHEAPY CHEAP CHEAP HEALTHY FOODS
- Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread or pita, old-fashioned oats
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Frozen veggies (don’t eat them frozen!),
- Potato, Sweet potato/Yam,
- Fresh bagged spinach
- Dried beans, lentils, frozen edamame,
- Natural Peanut Butter
WHERE DO I FIND THIS CRAP?!
- Trader Joes
- Fruit stands
- Farmers Markets
- Ethnic food markets
- Buy in bulk (dried beans, rice, grains)
- Cook ahead and make a bunch of meals. Save meals (hellooooo freeezer) for later.
WAIT. I WANT TO DO MORE RESEARCH! AND READ MORE! I LOVE READING!
- I’m not a chef. This lady is. I don’t know her. But I think this is a cool blog. http://www.cookforgood.com/get_started/
- Cheap and Healthy Foods for $2 http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cheap-healthy-15-nutritious-foods-about-2-dollars
- Healthy Cheap Eating http://experiencelife.com/article/how-healthy-people-eat-cheap/
- Healthy Cheap Eating (noticing a trend?) http://greatist.com/health/22-cheap-and-easy-ways-to-eat-healthy-041012/
- Cheap Vegan Eating http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/eat-vegan-cheap_b_840191.html#s257906&title=Shop_Seasonal_
A lot of you know that after Sandy hit, I started volunteering with various organizations– first on the ground, then behind a computer (Because I’m a moron and I tore my pectoral muscle carrying supplies. Silver lining – I found out I have pectoral muscles).
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may also have noticed that I had some particular frustrations with certain relief organizations who seem to doing a GREAT job fundraising, but not as great a job at actually GETTING relief to people. (cough cough, Red Cross cough)
I found out that after disasters hit, a lot of organizations (Sometimes THOUSANDS. THAT’S SO MANY) start fundraising for relief efforts. Sometimes these organizations actually do a great job, sometimes they do a terrible job, and sometimes they’re fraudulent organizations that don’t actually do ANY job.
THEN I found out about an organization that monitors all this chaos. So now I’m volunteering there.
In not my words, here is a little more about them:
Disaster Accountability Project is a not-for-profit watchdog organization that provides independent oversight of disaster management relief efforts. DAP works diligently to ensure citizen oversight to guarantee communities are sufficiently engaged and more resilient to donor fraud. After major disaster hundreds of millions of dollars are raised to fund relief and recovery, but aid often does not reach those in greatest need, or is largely misused. Billions of dollars change hands very quickly, and yet there is no other organization to make sure organizations with critical, life-saving responsibilities are having the maximum impact.
DAP works to ensure the money funneled into Sandy relief is actually used for what it is intended and reaches those most in need. The misuse or mismanagement of funds, sadly, are always a factor in large disaster relief initiatives (think Katrina and Haiti). In supporting DAP, you are helping make sure money meant for Sandy victims not only gets to them, but is spent as it should.
DAP is fundraising for $40,000 to launch a really sweet program called Smart Response. It will provide up-to-date information on EVERY disaster relief organization operating in a disaster zone (SO AWESOME and USEFUL)
I told DAP’s Executive Director that I’m sure my awesome friends will help, significantly (ok, I said you’d fund the whole thing BECAUSE 40k ISNT THAT MUCH MONEY. (No. But I DID say I bet at least one person would donate))
Help me not be a big liar. :) Can you donate $50 today? Or $27.43? Or $1 zillion?
If you Donate Today - Indie Gogo
If you donate today, please go to IndieGogo - Today they are waiving all processing fees for us!
If you Donate Tomorrow or After
If you donate tomorrow, or just want to see the regular website: http://www.disasteraccountability.org/donate/
Thanks for being my friend, and for being awesome, and for having an email account.
Love you all!
ps - Sorry for the mass email - I just couldn’t think of a more efficient way to get this out there. (and you know how much I love efficiency)
pps - If you’re reading this, you’ve read almost all of the email. Thank you. :) (now you’ve read all of it. now. ok … now.)
Folks - we have an awesome opportunity to show people our good sides. (We all have one. Its just squished under our skinny jeans).
Sandy f*cked our sh*t up this week. Let’s go help some old people!
Actual opportunities to help below: GO DO THESE!
Below are volunteer opportunities happening across the city this weekend, as well as donations you can make to recovery efforts. Please reach out to the contact specified for each event to RSVP.
We will continue to send out new opportunities as they come in for hard-hit areas like Staten Island, where efforts will continue to ramp up as transportation gets restored.
· Saturday, November 3, 2pm–6pm: 40 Volunteers are needed to help us go door to door to distribute information to homeowners about filing for federal disaster aid in Canarsie,Brooklyn. Space is limited, please RSVP to email@example.com.
· Sunday, November 4, two shifts (9am-3pm and 3pm to 9pm): 60 volunteers needed to help Masiba of Flatbush prepare and distribute meals for 600 people. The morning shift is from 9am – 3pm and the afternoon shift is from 3pm from 9pm. Please email your desired shift (must choose one) firstname.lastname@example.org
· Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4, 10am–2pm: Friends of Brower Park will do a general clean-up. Meet at the Park House. Feel free to show up. For more info, email email@example.com
· Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4: Councilman Jumaane Williams is looking for individuals with cars, trucks and/or vans that have sufficient gas to help deliver supplies to hard-hit residents. If you are willing and able please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate.
· Monday, November 5, 12pm–5pm: Assemblyman Karim Camara will need help sorting donations at his district office and distributing supplies across the borough. Please email email@example.com to volunteer.
· Saturday, November 3, 10 am: volunteers are needed to help clean up Red Hook. Please report to the Office of Emergency Management’s temporary office at 402 Van Brunt Street for an assignment.
· Saturday, November 3, 9 am to 6 pm: Help with resident and merchant outreach, area clean-up, and other relief efforts. Meet on the Boardwalk and W. 10 Street at 9am. Dress warmly, wear sturdy footwear or boots, and bring work gloves. Bring your own flashlight (with extra batteries), a backpack, and snacks/water for yourself for the day.
· Saturday, November 3, 9am to sunset: Please help us clean up Seagate. Volunteers should come prepared with gloves, high boots, and cleaning supplies and meet at 3700 Surf Avenue. At the gate please identify yourselves as volunteers from the Public Advocate’s Office. Jeff and Tammy will be on hand to organize volunteers. Please contact the Shomrim Command Center with any questions, 718-705-9666.
· Saturday, November 3, 9am–6pm: volunteers are needed to check-in on and assist the residents of Stuyvesant Town. Head to the Peter Cooper Village Community Center located in Stuyvesant Town (enter on 16th street and 1st Ave) to check-in and receive an assignment.
· Saturday, November 3, 10am–5pm: Join Senator Daniel Squadron at the Rutgers Community Center located at 200 Madison Street in the Lower East Side for clean-up, and food and water distribution.
· Saturday, November 3, 10am-1pm: Help clean-up Riverside Park. Meet at one of the following 3 locations and please bring extra gloves and garbage bags: 99th Street along the Hudson River (check-in with Hakim Constantine); Pier I and 70th Street (check-in with Sally Miller); or 138th Street and 12th Avenue.
· Sunday, November 4, 12pm–3:30pm: Help clean-up Riverside Park. Meet at 91st St and Riverside Drive and please bring extra gloves and garbage bags (check-in with Nya Jackson).
· Saturday, November 3, 10am-5pm: Help GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side) at their office on 169 Avenue B between 11th street and 10th street.
· Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4, 10am–7pm: The Rockaway Youth Task Force will be doing daily clean-up and recover efforts. Meet at F 321 Beach 57th Street in the back of the building on Arverne BOulevard. For additional information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Saturday, November 3, 9 am: Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis will be holding a clean-up in Staten Island. People will gather at the end of New Dorp Lane and Cedar Grove Avenue. Volunteers should bring any tools that may have (rakes, shovels, push brooms, work gloves, trash bags). Those who are unable to work the clean-up can donate equipment (brooms, rakes, garbage bags, shovels) at Monsignor Farrell High School at 2900 Amboy Road.
· Red Hook Initiative is accepting donations at their center located at 767 Hicks Street (corner of West 9th Street) from 10am–8pm. They are in need of the following items: gasoline, water pumps, flashlights, candles, batteries, blankets, cleaning supplies (bleach, gloves, mops, etc.) and contractor strength garbage bags.
· The shelter at Susan Wagner High School (1200 Manor Road, Staten Island) is in need of school supplies for children of all ages. Please bring supplies directly to the school between 10am and 5pm daily.
· NYPD Community Affairs Unit is collecting donations at Resorts World Casino at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd in Jamaica, Queens (enter from 109th Street & Rockaway Blvd). They are in need of canned goods, water, paper goods, baby care products, clothing, toiletries, flashlights, backpacks and batteries. Questions can be directed to the Community Affairs Bureau at 646-610-5323 or via email email@example.com.
· Assemblyman Karim Camara is hosting a Product Donation at his district office. They are in need of cleaning supplies, toiletries and personal care items, baby products, and school supplies. Please bring items to his district office 1216 Union Street between Nostrand and Rogers, on Saturday, November 3 from 12 pm to 4 pm.
· Friends of Firefighters are collecting Empty cardboard boxes and plastic shopping bags to deliver donations in, children and adult clothes - especially warm clothes, blankets, school supplies, bottled water and thermoses of hot drinks, non perishable food, toiletries, hand sanitizer, working gloves, generators, pumps and gasoline. Drop off this Saturday, November 3 & Sunday, November 4 between 10AM - 3PM at 5306 Avenue L, Brooklyn, NY 11234.
· Make the Road NY is accepting food, warm clothing, blankets, flashlights, batteries, diapers, baby formula — anything useful for families in the areas hardest hit by the storm at the following offices:
o 479 Port Richmond Avenue, Port Richmond, Staten Island, (718) 727-1222, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm
o 1090 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood, Long Island, (631) 231-2220, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm
o 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens, (718) 565-8500, Saturday, 10am -6pm
o 301 Grove Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn, (718) 418-7690, Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm.
I tell people to pursue their dreams. One of my main life dreams was to make a parody video about Mitt Romney. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
The writer, Kristen Bartlett, is a total Follow Your Dreams Asshat type of lady that we LOVE to see. Doing her thing, and getting paid for it. Cheez Doodles APPROACHED HER to do this after reading an article she wrote about a painful experience she had with a break-up and cheez doodle. Doodle your thing, girl!
Interview with Pro Comic Dan Nainan
- This interview is a first in a series of interviews with people who have dedicated their lives to pursuing their passions. Eff yeah!
- Dan Nainan. You've probably never heard of him. But this comic is making BIG bucks doing what he loves - stand up comedy, all over the globe. I interviewed him to find out how he became so successful. (Lets all steal his tricks!)
- ME: Tell us a little about yourself? Your background growing up, interests, studies, anything else you want to share!
- DAN: Mine is not a happy story. I was born a poor Indian Japanese child. Although I had a wonderful home and family life, I was brutally bullied, physically, mentally and emotionally in school, pretty much all the way up through high school.
- I loved computers, I loved Star Trek, I was spindly, ectomorphic, bespectacled, unathletic, a double minority and I was the new guy in school who transferred in the middle of the year. In short, I had everything possible going against me. Prom? Forget about it… I didn't even kiss a girl until college!
- People assume every comedian was the class clown – definitely not the case with me. I was a total outcast. Once in a while I'd blurt out something funny in class, and everyone would break out laughing and I would get kicked out for the day. So other than that, there were no signs of early comic brilliance.
- ME: What is your passion?
- What is my passion? I have many. I love writing, I love performing, I love traveling and I love meeting new people. Comedy allows me to do all of those to the nth degree. I also believe that if one has a talent, one should definitely exploit it. I think the saddest thing in the world is to have a talent and not try to develop it – to give up one's dreams in favor of the safe thing. Anybody can have a safe 9-to-5 job, and work five days to enjoy two, and work 45 years to enjoy 10. The truly courageous will follow their passion and find their true purpose in life.
- I love this quote from "The Action Principles" by Bill Fitzpatrick.
- You were born with a special talent. It may be to sing, write, teach, paint, mentor, preach, defend or befriend. You have something special to offer the world, something you can do better than 10,000 others. You must keep learning and trying new things to find your special talent. The world needs your gift. Be aware that even a special talent can go stale if you don’t keep using and honing it. Endeavor to keep your talents and all your skills up to date.
- ME: How’d you discover your passion? (Did it come to you in a drug-induced dream-coma? Did you have an “Aha” moment, when you just KNEW you had to do this?)
- DAN: It happened in a quite unusual fashion. My first performance was the "final exam" for the comedy class at the Punchline club in San Francisco. It was a packed club, and I had a great spot, and I absolutely destroyed. Every joke got a laugh. I couldn't believe it.
- A couple of weeks later, I was out in Las Vegas for a convention with Intel, and I happened to mention that I had taken a comedy class, and that I had my video with me, and some people asked me to play it. They absolutely loved it, and they asked me to perform at the team dinner that very night. It was kind of the wrapup event for the week of the convention. I performed for about 250 Intel employees, doing impressions of Bill Clinton and Andy Grove and some inside Intel jokes, and absolutely killed it. Immediately thereafter, somebody came up to me and asked me if I could perform the same act at the annual sales convention a few months later, for 2500 people. Of course I said yes.
- So on a Monday morning at eight o'clock, when nobody had been drinking, in a giant ballroom of the San Francisco Hilton, I did my comedy act for the third time in my life. The audience was composed of 2500 Intel salespeople from around the world, from places like Pakistan, Argentina, Poland, you name it. We set things up so it looked like one of my technical demonstrations had a glitch, so I said I would tell some jokes while we got it fixed. I was so terrified that my left leg was actually shaking behind the podium. I couldn't believe the reaction. The crowd was rolling in the aisles, pounding on tables; it was the most incredible rush imaginable.
- Afterwards, a number of Intel employees who didn't know me came up to me and said that they knew that I wasn't really an Intel employee, that I had been hired as a professional comedian for the event. That blew me away. That was the first time when I thought that perhaps I could do this for a living.
- ME: Did you have to move to make the career jump?
- DAN: I first got the comedy bug when I was at Intel in the Bay Area of California. My first job was managing a national tour for Intel, and one of my employees was a standup comedian. I asked how he got his material, and he told me to write everything down that I thought to be funny, whether it came up in conversation, at dinner with friends or in my own head. I did precisely that.
- My second job with Intel was to travel the world with the CEO, Andy Grove, doing technical demonstrations on stage. Of course, being half Indian and half Japanese, I found the technical part to be very easy for me. The tough part was speaking on stage in front of thousands of people, sometimes millions on television.
- To get over the fear, I first attended my local Toastmasters club. It was great to get a start speaking in public, but to be truthful, the audience was composed of 10 or 15 other computer geeks like myself. It was okay, but I need something truly terrifying. I live by this saying - "Do what you fear, and the death of fear is certain". For example, I was terrified of heights, so I bungee jumped and skydived. I was terrified of swimming and water, so I learned how to scuba dive. Similarly, I was terrified of speaking, so I did the most terrifying thing one can do in that regard - I decided to do comedy.
- I heard that a comedy class was being offered in the Bay Area, San Francisco to be exact, so every weekend I drove 50 miles to the city to take the class. Needless to say, the class changed my life. My first class, everyone was laughing uproariously at everything I said. My second class, nobody laughed at anything. I was devastated. I came so close to quitting, I shudder to think how much my life would be different now if I had. I looked back upon my life and realized that I had quit so many things, that I had to stick with this. Thank goodness I did.
- ME: Why’d you make the switch?
- DAN: I loved my job with Intel. I was traveling the world, staying in the finest hotels, and speaking on stage with Intel's top executives. I heard that there was a job available, two levels higher, based in New York City. I knew I had to be in New York or Los Angeles to be serious about comedy, and LA was too far from my parents and I wanted to be closer to them so I could visit them more often.
- I applied for the promotion, and because I knew the senior vice president of sales, I got the job with no problem. I moved to New York, but I really didn't like the new job at all. Before, I was geeking out with the latest technology, traveling the world, and in the Intel headquarters building with hundreds of people who were friends. In New York, I was home-based, not traveling at all, and it was sales, not technology. I couldn't stand it.
- I lasted a year, and finally, against the advice of everyone I knew, I left my job to pursue comedy full-time. People thought I was insane. Maybe I was. I was making six figures, with stock options, full benefits, and I walked away.
- Now, years later, I have no regrets whatsoever. I've more than doubled my Intel salary, and I'm still traveling the world, this time in first class, and staying in the finest hotels and doing what I love. The best part is I can always go back to information technology if I want, but I'm having too much fun right now.
- ME: How do you manage financially?
- DAN: I do only clean material, which gets me a lot of corporate events. Sometimes I earn $15,000 for one show, which is about 600 times what city spots pay. It blows me away when I make $15,000 for an hour's work, but my goal is to make $1 million a show (although that will more than likely come through doing music, which is my next goal).
- ME: Did your family and friends support you?
- DAN: Surprisingly, my parents were quite supportive. After all, they've unwittingly written a lot of my jokes. They come to a lot of my shows when I'm in DC. Last year, I performed for 2000 people at the Kennedy center, and they were positively beaming.
- My friends always supported me, otherwise they wouldn't be my friends LOL.
- ME: Did anything surprise you along the way?
- DAN: I guess I'm a bit surprised by how quickly I've been able to move up in the business. After just two years, I was asked by Robert Schimmel to tour with him as his feature act at some of the top clubs in the country. Then of course I met up with Russell Peters, who took me on the road for shows in theaters.
- I'm surprised because I think my material is good, but not great. I see tons of comedians who are much funnier than I am. But then again, I do work very hard, despite a bit of attention deficit disorder. And when it comes to using technology and my business sense (I majored in business in college), that puts me way, way ahead of your typical comedian.
- ME: Any tips for someone wanting to pursue their dreams?
- DAN: Boy, I have tons and tons of tips, too many to list here – the best thing to do is to buy my book – it's available on Amazon. It's called "The Best Book on How to Become a Full-Time Standup Comedian".
- ME: What’s the best part about this?
- DAN: The best part is living my dreams, traveling the world first class/five-star - I was in 15 countries last year thanks to comedy. I guess you could say I'm a paid tourist, and I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
- ME: Any fears? Regrets? Ever freak out? What’s been the hardest?
- DAN: I'll tell you, the hardest part of this job is the negativity from other comedians. There are so many people in this business who tell you you shouldn't be doing this or that. You shouldn't do guitar comedy, you shouldn't do impressions, you shouldn't do ethnic comedy, you shouldn't do physical comedy. That just blows me away. It's like telling a musician they shouldn't do country music. Funny thing is, these negative comedians can make a living at comedy, and yet they're trying to give advice to comedians who do it for a living? Incredible!
- Sometimes I just don't understand this industry. I'm very aggressive about approaching managers and agents, and it seems that just because I tell a couple of jokes about my parents, they instantaneously don't want to work with me. I've seen comedians who are total drug addicts and alcoholics who do rape jokes get signed to major management companies like Brillstein or Gersh, only to be released a couple of years later because they can't stay on the wagon. They'll get a credit on Live at Gotham or Craig Ferguson or even Letterman or Leno, then all of a sudden they think they're God's gift to comedy, and they're still fighting for $25 city spots and having to have a day job.
- Meanwhile, I travel the world, earning up to five figures a show and nobody in the industry has an interest. Oh well.
- The best antidote to the "industry" is the Internet. It's the phenomenon of disintermediation – the elimination of the middleman. In the past, I would've had to kiss the ass of some dysfunctional manager and hope that I got on Comedy Central. Now, with the Internet, I can put something on YouTube, and if it's funny, it goes viral. One of my YouTube videos has hit 1.2 million, and that video gets me booked all over the world. Who needs the industry?
- ME: Still like it now that you’ve gone “pro”?
- DAN: Absolutely, I'm still loving it, and I think I always will!
- ME: CHOOSE YOUR OWN: INTERVIEW YOURSELF!
- DAN: What would you say to people who have a talent and/or a passion, but don't feel they have enough time to pursue it with their busy lives?
- DAN: It's so funny – people say that they're too busy with work, school, kids, whatever to pursue their passion but at the same time, the average American watches 30 hours of television a week! That's almost another full-time job! At the same time, there's a tremendous amount of peer pressure to go out drinking on weekends. So you lose all the time from 9 PM to 3 AM or whatever drinking on a Friday night, then the whole next day because you're hung over, then you rinse and repeat Saturday night and next thing you know it's Sunday night, and time to go to work the next morning and you haven't accomplished anything. So look at that – I just found you something like 80 hours to pursue your passion - all you have to do is just quit being like everybody else!
- THANKS DAN!
Success in the comedy field takes years of practice and dedication. If takes blood, sweat, tears. And if you’re really serious about it, it takes … a training montage.
Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way” - you hear it everywhere (well, mostly you hear it blasting out of men’s clubs in Little Italy)
Frank did it his way. But, please, please, for the love of all that is good (like peanut butter+ chocolate combined in any sort of way) don’t you do that. Don’t do it Frank’s way. Do it your way. Do it “Chauncey’s way” or “Eunice’s way” or “Nigel’s way.”
Dorcas, Myrtle, Elmer, Gretel, Enda - I have a message for you: You do it your way (And I have a second message for you: I’m sorry your parents gave you such terrible names).
Beginning comics, if they ask for advice, are told to do 2 things: (1) Write a LOT, (2) Perform as often as you can get on stage. AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN GET ON STAGE. In NYC, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK THIS IS? 5 GAGILLION. (<-helpful link to NYC open mics.) This is too many times a week. For me. (I’ve heard Elmer loves it.)
[Now, in Tulsa, I don’t know. I’ve never been to Tulsa but I’m guessing they don’t have 879 open mics a night. (To be honest, I’m Googling “Tulsa” right now to confirm that I even know what state it’s in. ….Ok, Oklahoma. Nailed it.) Maybe Tulsoan comics DO have to perform every night they can get on stage. Thanks to Google (again) I know that theres a weekly mic at the Tulsa Looney Bin. And they have extremely reasonably priced drinks for a comedy club (Holy shit, $3 beers? Everyone move to Tulsa! While we’re parantheticaling, can we PLEASE stop naming comedy clubs “Looney Bin” “Guffaw Garage” or “Chuckle Fucks”? It conjures up hacky “what’s the deal with airplane food?” jokes.)]
Ok. Back to NYC. Earlier me didn’t know that there was such a thing as “too much comedy.” Earlier me was determined to follow the rules and “get on stage as much as possible.” I’d say “yes” to every show ever offered to me. “Hey! Want to do this bar show? Its at 3 am, the patrons don’t know there will be a comedy show, so it’ll be a surprise to them (For the record, in the history of comedy, no audience has ever been “happy surprised” that they got tricked into attending a comedy show) AND you’ll be performing in front of a 5 foot flat screen that’s broadcasting an important sports game.” Great. I’ll do it. “Want to do an improv show?” Yes. Its at 12 midnight, in a maintenance closet. I’ll do it. None of the audience speaks English. I’m in. It’s really drunk people from Jersey. I have my standards. No, I don’t. I’ll do it.
Do enough of these shows, and you’ll suddenly start to question everything. (Like, WHY do old microphones smell like urine?)
Do enough of these shows, and you’re suddenly working hours that put migrant workers and 1st year investment bankers to shame. (Aww, y’all have something in common.) (I don’t really say y’all)
I work 50 hours a week at my day job. And then comedy easily takes up (…easily take up… weekdays 3x 5days = 15 + weekends 6-9 hours x 2 = 12-18…divided by Pi.. Carry the Cosign over the Denominator ) easily takes up 27-33 hours more.
So, after a year of consistent 77-83 hour work weeks my immune system started shutting down on me. WEIRD. I was on antibiotics every other week, and I began a new hobby called “alienating all my friends by never having time for them.”
One day my Mom (over the phone) told me “You sound frantic. When you get frantic your voice goes into a higher octave range. It isn’t flattering.”
So, I took a “break” for “July” (code: had a breakdown) and decided to “completely stop all comedy for one solid month” (code: still did comedy, but not as much) to see if I could get my brain to function again.
During my “break from comedy” I performed at a shitty basement show that I had committed to months before. I was mad at myself for not sticking to the “break” but I was really relaxed. I had been sleeping the normal amount of hours a human animal needs, I wasn’t running to 3 shows a night, and I had my set list of jokes ready to go. I ended up having one of the best sets of my entire career. Sorry, I mean, “career.” (How do you know when you’ve had your best show? Isn’t comedy subjective? Ehh, Trust me. You know. It’s like knowing when you’ve had sex. Even if you’ve been rufied, you can kind of “just tell”)
So the take away for me was that it is possible to not perform AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, and still be fine (better than fine). This works for me. Maybe this doesn’t work for Jasper and Edna.
I get it. Stage time is vital. It helps you get comfortable with the mic, your material, get over stage fright, deal with audience/hecklers, … it transforms you into a stand-up.
But you also need to be healthy, have slept that month, seen your friends and family, go running, eat non-fried food, see sunlight, look at art, remember what grass feels like, smell the ocean … be a complete person.. Well, at least for me. Dorcas hates this shit.
So my new comic rules are (1) write a LOT and (2) get on stage as much as possible WITHIN REASON.
Sometimes people are going to try and poop on your dream. They’ll do this for 1 of 4 reasons:
- People are jealous
- People are mean
- People are stupid
- Everyone poops (I learned that from a book)
Today, Adam Carolla (quasi-funny, mostly-misogynistic, not-all-that-relevant comic) sorta pooped on lady comics. He said that in general, ladies aren’t funny. (Nothing that hasn’t been said before. It’s not new, It’s not cool. It’s not true.)
But I’m not going to deal with that here, because I’ve already dealt with it, here (<-pretty cool audio/visual/written-ual piece by Kait Richmond). However, Adam’s comment DOES bring up an important issue for us asshats following our dreams: Support.
The first year(s) of a new pursuit are grueling. We’re working our butts off, we’re not sleeping, we’re constantly on the edge of giving up. Having the support of fabulous friends and family REALLLLY helps. But what do you do when you don’t have that?
What do you do when people don’t support you? (when “B-list-comedians-with-mother-issues” don’t support you?) According to a lady who writes about this kind of thing, there are 3 ways to deal:
- Talk it out-Reason with the assh*le
- Ignore it - Don’t reason with the as$hole
- Sever ties - Don’t reason. Don’t not reason. Cause you’re not even talking to the assho!e
- Cry into your pillow, watch a Food Network marathon, carve hate mail into your trapper keeper. (do what works for *you*)
For MORE about how to deal with naysayers, check out the full article here: http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/archives/5057
*For the record, I’ll be linking to articles that I think cover stuff better than I do. I’m not one for re-creating the wheel. And I’m definitely not one for unnecessary hard work that duplicates the efforts of someone else. (But I *am* one for being vaguely repetitive. See what I did there? I wrote two sentences that said the same thing, I didn’t edit them or delete one, and then I mentioned it after I did it. And then started discussing it here. Which brings us to the present.)