If you are not a frustrated artist of some kind, don’t bother reading this post today.
“Man, I’m scared for you. You are gonna be alone for a long time”. said my friend EK, as we were discussing our individual reasons for doing comedy. I was talking to him about making a big shift in the way I approach comedy. Though it’s an AMAZING feeling to make a crowd erupt in laughter, I realized that I want to be more than the court jester. I’ve lived a lot of life, and I have something to say about it. The comedy stage is my pulpit. It hasn’t been as fulfilling as I know that it can be, and I realized why: I’ve been too attached to outcomes. I’ve been too hung up on getting laughs. In doing so, I’ve neglected to develop the very thing that leads to getting great laughs: a distinct comedic voice. I decided that for the next 3 months, I’m going to stop trying to get laughs. I am going to get on stage with topics and ideas and just develop them. This is what EK was warning me about. “This thing that you are doing is good, but it’s going to mean you’ll be up there all by yourself for a while”. That process is going to mean I’ll have to endure a lot of silent audiences. A lot of awkward silences. A lot of nights of wandering.
Jonathan Livingston Pigeon, by Paul Duane. Shot on Holga & Kodak Tmax 400.
“Why, Jon, why?” his mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the alhatross? Why don’t you eat? Son, you’re bone and feathers!” “I don’t mind being bone and feathers mom. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know.” – Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagul