Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Busy couple of weeks! 8/31/16

I've tried to write this damned thing three times, and just haven't been able to make it work. It's been a busy few days, I haven't gotten a full night's sleep in a while, and just can't focus. So this might seem rambly, but.....bah. The world needs more rambling.

Fair warning: this is a LOT of rambling.

Since I started doing comedy in January, the Druid Comedy Night has become part of my weekly routine. I traditionally get pretty down on Sunday night, knowing work is right around the corner. I've hated them since I was a kid, when school was waiting for me in the morning. Having a comedy show to look forward to every week just made it easier. I said to one of the guys, it was like a reset button. It could be a rough week, you couldnt get a spot on a show to save your life, but you could always count on the Druid, and then start the next week fresh. A guaranteed chance to get on stage, and talk to the other comics. It was a sure thing. But after 7+ years, August 21, 2016 was the last Druid Comedy Night.

A lot of comics have been performing at the Druid for longer than I have. Some for the entire 7 year run. And I won't pretend to be as affected by the show's run ending as they are. But it doesn't matter if you've been doing comedy there for 7 months or 7 years, we're all on the same wavelength now; none of us know a time where there was comedy in Edmonton without the Druid. I hate being the new guy anywhere; work, school, a team. I've always banked on adapting by being the funny guy. Trying to fit in with a entire group of funny people wasn't easy. The time I spent at the Druid didn't just help me become a better comedian, but it gave me a chance to sit around and talk to a bunch of great people. It had the same feel a locker room does before a hockey game, we bonded like teammates do. It made me feel like part of the team.

That last show was one of those nights I'll never forget. I got there around 5:30, had a couple beers with the guys, and then the powers that be were kind enough to treat all of the comedians to an incredible steak dinner. We then got the chance to tell jokes in front of an absolutely sick crowd. It was special invite only, and people PACKED the Druid. It was shoulder to shoulder. Over 50 comedians, 7 hours. I got the honour of taking bullet (1st comedian to go up) on that show. I was one of the newest comedians on the list that night, and Lars had a dozen Druid veterans he could put in that spot, and he gave it to me. That's something I'm incredibly proud of, and humbled by. I finished my set, and hung around for the entire show, I got to watch so many great comics say goodbye to the stage we've all shared. It was an awesome night. Lars, Marko, and everyone else involved should be incredibly proud of the Druid Comedy Night. I said it at the end of my set, but I don't know if I would have gotten into stand up without that show and the support I received there. That stage changed my life. 

Then this past week, I was on holidays. My nephew Ben flew in from BC to hang out with us, and it was like summer vacation as a kid again for a few days. Stay up late, play video games, and do something sweet in the afternoon. Trampoline Park, laser tag, the waterpark at West Ed, we had a really good time. And then Wednesday, we hit the road for BC. Originally our plan was to drive to Quesnel to visit my girlfriend's family, and take Ben home, but Lars offered me a spot at this year's Okanagan Comedy Festival. My girlfriend Shaley has been more supportive of my comedy dream than I could have ever hoped, and even though I said I should go visit her family, she insisted I go to the Festival. (Maybe she just needed a break from me). So she and Ben dropped me off in Kamloops, and they took off to visit her family. I got to hang out in Kamloops and Kelowna, and live the dream of being a full time comedian for a few days. I told jokes in front of some incredible audiences, and got a lot of time to drink beer and bond with some great comics. I met a ton of wicked people, including David Kopp, who runs Dakoda's Comedy Lounge in Kelowna. That room was awesome, check it out if you're ever out there. Thanks for having us guys, and  for giving me the chance to come along, Lars. It was a blast. 

I also think I have a crush on the city of Kelowna. Absolutely beautiful.

Oh yeah, and I got to sleep in the same bed as Ryan Short and Kevin Light. Cross that off the bucket list. 

So that's been my last 10 days. I'm home now, back to the grind of forklifting during the day, and telling jokes at night. With a little draw luck, I'll do my 100th set in September. I hate my day job as much as ever, but I love my night job so much that the day one barely even bothers me anymore, except for the 3:30 am alarm. I say it almost every blog, but if you want to try something, do it ASAP. I hope whatever it is makes you feel the way comedy makes me feel. Which is really, really good! 

He who says "he can", and he who says "he can't", are both usually right. 

- Adam 

The last Druid list (about half complete)
Photo credit: Liam Creswick


Ryan Short  crushing it on Saturday night.

Good times, good people. So much fun.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Creative Outlets

One of the most satisfying, and hardest parts of stand up comedy is the writing. It can be so frustrating to plug away at it for an afternoon, and come up with absolutely nothing. But taking a basic concept and turning it into a bit that works is an awesome feeling. It might be my favourite part of comedy so far, the feeling of accomplishment that comes with coming up with a new joke.

It has my creative juices flowing. When I was a kid, I'd create stupid games, I really liked to write, and I fell out of that as I got old and boring. Comedy is reignited that spark, and over the past month or so I've had a few more ideas pop into my head. I dragged my feet with comedy for years, and now that I've dived into it, I'm pissed at myself for ignoring it for as long as I did. Im not going to do that with any of my other ideas anymore.

I don't own a computer or laptop these days. I get by with my iPad and my phone. But a few of the projects I have in mind are going to require a little more than a tablet, so I'm in the process of socking away the cash to buy a new computer and camera. (I hate having too much credit card debt, been down that road too many times before). I hope to pick some stuff up in the next couple months, and start plugging away at a couple side projects to go with my comedy.

I want to start a podcast, because the world simply does not have enough amatuer podcasts. My buddy Dave and I have talked about it for a while. I've read it can be a great way to improve as a comedian as well, just talking and thinking on your feet. Even if nobody listens to it, it's something I'd really like to try. 

I'd also like to start a YouTube channel. If people don't support YouTube it might not make it. Again, I don't know if anyone will watch it; but podcasting and creating videos sound fun, and editing and creating that kind of content is something I don't have a lot of experience at. I figure I can learn a thing or two, and explore a couple more outlets for my creative side at the same time. I'd also eventually like to try building a website to put it all together. An open mic comic with less than a years experience really doesn't need a website or anything, but it's not about marketing myself or anything right now, it's just about getting this stuff out of my system, and working on becoming a better comic, which is my ultimate goal.
I'd also like to use the camera to start recording and reviewing more of my sets. A couple of my friends have recorded sets and sent them to me, and watching yourself and reviewing your performances is probably the single best way to get better, IMO. 

I need goals in life, stuff to work toward. I've spent 10 plus years getting really good at warehouse work, and I hate it. If I put that same kind of effort into comedy and creating content, which I actually want to get good at, who knows what'll happen? So in addition to my stand up goals for the rest of the year, I want to have a podcast and YouTube channel up and running by January. I'm shooting for a couple videos/vlogs per week, and a weekly podcast. I'll keep posting on here as well, the feedback on the blog has been overwhelmingly positive, and mucho appreciated. 

I say it all the time, but keep trying stuff. Eventually you'll find that 'thing', and when you do, it'll change your life. 

I have a show tonight, gotta get going. Chase your dreams! 


Monday, 1 August 2016

Feeling inspired.

July was the biggest, busiest month of my comedy "career" so far. I got to go on the road for the first time, and I got my first opportunity to host as well. It did nothing but solidify my belief that I made the best decision of my life getting into stand up.

I got a chance to go on the road, and do a guest spot in Saskatoon, courtesy of Lars Callieou. Lars hasn't shied away from answering my questions and offering me advice since I started in January, and a few weeks ago, he offered to bring me on the road with him for the first time, and the two of us, along with Brent Ehtun, did a show at The Capitol Music Club. It was a blast, and everything I imagined life as a comic on the road would be, including Yahtzee at 2 am. I also learned some valuable lessons about the business side of comedy, and as Brent pointed out, it was awesome of you to show us how that works so up and close, Lars! 

Thanks a lot for the opportunity, man. Hopefully, we get to do it again soon guys.

A couple weeks later, I got a chance to host my first show, at Chicago Joes here in the north end. I've done that room a few times now, and I'm pretty comfortable there. I was really excited to get to try something new. It went pretty well, the comics killed, and I got some really positive feedback from the guys, and the show organizers. Massive thanks to Travis Howell for the stage time, and the opportunity. I hope to get to do it again soon.

In addition to these opportunities, I've been offered spots on upcoming shows hosted by established comics like Mike Dambra and Ben Proulx, as well as a chance to take part in the Okanagan Comedy Festival this year, courtesy of Lars again. I've worked really, really hard at this comedy thing the last few months, and seeing hard work pay off is one of the best feelings imaginable. And I sincerely thank all the guys mentioned above for providing me the chance to start taking steps toward advancing my career, it means the world to me.

Shaley and I had a long talk this morning about comedy and our lives in general. I've said it in this blog before, but I feel like I've finally found that thing I was looking for. This isn't a hobby or anything more. Comedy has become my life, after just 6 months. It's what I want to do. My obsession in life is just being happy, and doing what I want. And this is it. In the last 15 years since I graduated High School, I've had one job I really liked, and I left it thinking more money would make me happier. It didn't, but being at a job I hated again pushed me to keep chasing that thing I was looking for. And I finally found out. 

I don't care about money anymore, I need enough to pay my bills and live, and that's it. I turned down a big promotion at work and said I don't want overtime anymore. It didn't do me any favours at my job, but that's fine. I don't want to be there forever, anyway. And it's left me more time to go after this comedy thing. They say nobody should get into stand up to get rich and famous, and I agree 100%. Do it for the love of the game. But I've made it my goal to do it for a living. Not to get rich and famous, but to be happy.

I know I'm going to make it. This will be my livelihood someday. I won't stop until it is, and I'll do whatever it takes. I have some talent, I know I do. And I'm going to push that talent as hard as I fucking can to make it into something special. I'm not trying to be arrogant, I'm just calling it like I see it. There are some really talented comics on the scene with me right now, and I hope they all feel the exact same way. We can feed off each other's drive. 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support. Never, never, let anyone tell you you can't do something. Just figure out what you want, and do every god damned thing you can do to get it. The only person that can stop you, is you. 

"The first step, before anyone else believes it, is you have to believe it. There's no reason for a plan B because it distracts from plan A."