The comedy muse

The late Bill Hicks. I love this man.

Recently I got brutally honest with myself and admitted something that was very hard to admit.  For some reason I found it kind of embarassing to find myself thinking like this.  But I’m going to share it with you now….

I want to be like Adam Carolla when I grow up.

And Marc Maron.

And Bill Hicks.

And Louis C.K.

And Jim Gaffigan

And Joe Rogan.

And Eddie Izzard.

My inner child looks up to these guys so much. In the midst of the laughter, they are telling THE TRUTH.  These guys have a way of cutting through the B.S. that sugar coats the human condition. There is something elevating about the work of these people – it’s more than comedy.  I’ll try to keep this short. I want to be like these guys, so, the only way to be like them, is to be like them.

That means getting on stage and learning to tell jokes.

I thought that learning to do comedy would have a comfortable learning curve.  After all, I have been speaking in church since I was old enough to speak. I have been on stage regularly playing music since the 7th grade. I was in leadership during most of my mission, which put me in front of dozens and sometimes hundreds of missionaries conducting training sessions.  I was a corporate trainer for a few years, training classes full of new hires on a regular basis.  Getting in front of people is old news.

A couple of months ago, I made the private decision to learn this craft.  I started by attending open mic nights for several weeks, just as an audience member. I’d watch and learn the flow of things in the comedy clubs. Soon, I started signing up and going on stage. I’ve been doing a set every Tuesday at The Complex, and I try to hit every Wednesday at Wiseguys.   Learning to do stand up has been the most humbling experience of my life since my divorce.  The comedy muse has shown me that despite what my mother says, I can still be a  narcissistic, insecure, self loathing asshole.  It’s nice to know you’ve still got it.

Here’s the other thing I love about attempting to do comedy: it changes the way I experience the world.  Everything you say or do, can and will be used against you in the court of bad jokes.  Everything is potential material.   When I’m presented with a situation that I feel uneasy with, I might have formerly balked.  Now:  “YES. This will make for great material”.

For instance:  Recently, one of my ex girlfriends asked me to shoot her engagement photos.  Initially I felt really weird about it.  I got all high minded and pretentious, thinking, “I don’t believe she’s really that into him, I don’t think I’ll be able to create TRULY great photographic art of them, blah blah blah…. ”  and all manner of similar bullshit.  But then I realized that this was a gift given to me from on high, from the comedy Gods. This would make for fantastic material.  I HAVE TO DO THIS SHOOT!    Feeling awkward is the gift, and knowing that I used to fuck the daylights out of this guys’ fiance is the pretty bow on top.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” - Hellen Keller

Comedy is helping me learn and experience this truth.

Life is good :-D

Thank you, Saint Hicks.

 

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Addendum:

I just got a text from an ex girlfriend :  “I just read your blog. I’m going to get someone else to shoot our engagements”.

I think she was pissed. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.

To any of my ex girlfriends that may have asked me to shoot her engagement photos:  You are not my only ex girlfriend that is seriously dating someone else, and thus, If you are reading this, I will neither confirm or deny that this story is about you.    ___________, don’t worry.  All of the super retarded things I did that contributed to you becoming my ex girlfriend will make it into jokes soon enough.  Some already have. I really did not mean to upset you.  This whole comedy thing isn’t about you, anyway.   It’s about me.

Narcissistically yours,

Paul Duane

 

 

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