Thursday, 30 November 2017

Ups and Downs

My last blog post pretty much consisted of me whining about losing a gig, and talking about how hard I think I work. Maybe a little (lot) obnoxious, but it was therapeutic at the time.

I don't regret writing it. But, I want to point out that while it made not have seemed like it based on that blog, I'm very aware of (and immensely grateful for) all the opportunities I've had so far in stand up. I've been incredibly fortunate to do some of the things I've done over the last couple years. I was just frustrated that I lost out on one of those things.

I've been told over and over that stand up comedy, much like any walk of life, is full of ups and downs. Every time you think you have it figured out, something will bring you down. And every time you're down, hard work and persistence will pull you back up. I was down a couple weeks ago. Right now I'm in the clouds. I've had a fantastic run of shows since that last blog.

*On a side note, before I get into said shows, if you're "down" right now (in comedy, work, life, whatever), it sucks. But it'll go back up. Put your head down, work, keep moving forward. What goes down, must go up!*

Two weeks ago, I spent a Friday on the road to Medicine Hat with Simon King. I haven't had a chance to work with Simon before, but I know he has a good reputation, and all the comics that do know him speak very highly of the man. We had a great conversation on the drive down about comedy (I love picking headliner's brains), and he introduced me to coffee with butter in it. Fucked if I can remember what it was called, but it was outstanding. We got to Medicine Hat, started our show, and about 2 minutes into my set, the microphone checked out. It put me in the enviable position of working a corporate show, with a dance floor in front of the stage, without a microphone. (A comedian's dream!) I got through it, though. Had fun with the crowd and it turned out to be a good time.

The next morning, Simon and I hit the road back to Edmonton pretty early. He had another show to get to that night, and I had to meet up with Mike Dambra to hit the road up to Cold Lake for a sold out Saturday night show. I really liked rolling with Simon, the dude LOVES to talk comedy, and he gave me some great advice. We're working together again in the new year, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Saturday night, Mike and I had a show in Cold Lake. We did a couple gigs there back in April, and they were 2 of the best shows I've been a part of so far. I graduated High School up there, and it's always great catching up with old friends. We only had one show this time around, at Bean Trees Cafe's new Grande Parlour Theatre (pop in if you find yourself in Cold Lake. Incredible food and great people!). The show was sold out, and the crowd was red hot from the get go. In addition to some familiar faces (Victor & Lisa) coming by, a couple friends from my old job at the Canex out there came to the show. I worked there when I was 16 or 17, and working with some of the ladies at that store was one of my favourite memories. After Dambra DESTROYED the room, I went on stage to close it out and thank everyone for coming, and two of the fore-mentioned ladies, Jody & Darlene, surprised me with some baked goodies for my birthday. The audience sang happy birthday, and it was a really dope way to end a great night.

Jody, me, Darlene, and Bob Mattice  at the end of the show in Cold Lake. :)

I took Sunday off and hung out with Shay and my dog, and went back to my day job Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday night, I was fortunate enough to get to open for America's Got Talent runner up Drew Lynch at The Comic Strip in West Ed. The shows were packed, and the audiences were so excited to see Drew that getting them hyped off the top was as simple as saying his name. We had 3 great shows, and after each show, Drew hung around, shook hands and took photos with everyone that wanted to. Watching the way he interacted with his fans, and getting the opportunity to talk comedy with him for a little while was very eye opening for me. He was just a normal dude that found a way to make his mark in this business, and he seems genuinely grateful to be where he is. I can only hope if ever reach anywhere even close to his level of success, I handle it with that kind of class and humility. 

Drew rose to fame after appearing on America's Got Talent. He's a comedian with a severe stutter. I opened each show by saying "Who should we get to open for the kid that can't talk?? How about the kid that can't see??"
Thursday night, I was back at The Comic Strip, hosting for Nigel Lawrence and Brett Forte. Working with people you like can make a good show into a great show. I was feeling really dialled in after the last week of opening, and fell right into crowd work. I'm still a white belt when it comes to talking to the audience but I feel like I'm getting better at it every time I host. I think the key is just believing in yourself and going all in. If you half-ass it, they have no reason to come along with you. Some guys hate hosting, but I'm really starting to enjoy it. And as a new comic, if you can get a grasp on MCing, you make yourself a million times more employable. 

Friday I did a a show at CFB Edmonton with Paul Sveen. My Dad is ex-military, and still works on the base, so he popped by with a couple friends for the show. And for the second Friday night in a row, I got to open without a microphone. This time it didn't quit mid-set, the entire sound system just wasn't working from the get go. We ran with it, and actually had a pretty good time.

Saturday, I went to Red Deer for a show at the Legion with Brent Ayton and Todd Ness. The turnout wasn't what we were hoping for, but we made it through. Brent and Todd are both a real pleasure to watch on stage. Brent's writing might be the best in the city, and Todd is a great comic and a great guy. I struggled a little in the middle spot, but the guys covered for me, and I think everyone that came out felt like they got their money's worth and had fun.

All in all, it might have been the best week of my comedy career so far. Getting a chance to work with so many great headliners, and having the opportunity to study their acts, and talk stand up with them is invaluable. 

*Tomorrow (Friday) night, I have a corporate show with Mike. Who wants to bet something goes wrong with the mic?*

A couple weeks ago, I was down. Right now, I'm as up as I've ever been. Like I said, in any walk of life, you'll have peaks and valleys. When you're on a peak, take a second to look around and enjoy it. When you're in a valley, put your head down and start grinding. You'll find your way out.

Thanks for reading, and supporting me. I appreciate it more than you know.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Why bother?

I'm in a frustrated mood. I usually try to be as positive as possible in these blogs, on my podcast, and pretty well anytime I open myself up to the public at all. But today has been frustrating, and because this is my blog, I'm going to rant and complain for a few minutes. 

I lost out on a gig today. It wasn't anyone's fault, and it certainly isn't anything to lose sleep over, but it was a show I was really looking forward to. Normally, I would look at something like this with a glass half full mentality; "at least I was considered for the show in the first place". But for some reason today it's really bringing me down. A festival that I'd really, really like to be a part of is currently accepting applications, and I'm pushing myself harder than I have since the Funniest Person back in May to study my act, punch up (make funnier) everything I can, and really get my act polished up. I think maybe the pressure I'm putting on myself is starting to take a toll, and whether I like it or not, my mind is slipping into "why even bother?" territory. At least as far as comedy is concerned.

(You were warned. This blog is going to be whiny. I half expect to wake up tomorrow morning and wonder why I wrote this blog to begin with. But I want to vent tonight).

My 2 year comedy anniversary is in January. And going into my third "season" as a comic, I have my mind made up that I want to take bigger steps than I did my sophomore year. A headliner I look up to recently told me that I have a very "old school" approach to stand up and dealing with a headliner. I try to stay out of their way. If I know he/she likes to tell jokes about a certain topic or touch on certain things, I try to avoid them. Things like that. Not because I don't think they can follow me, but because I'm of the mentality that they're the main event of the evening. My job as the opener or emcee is to help set the stage for them to have as easy of night as possible, and for them to do the absolute best they can, so people go home happy, and want to come back for another show. And while I still believe that, I feel like in this upcoming year, I need to start looking out for myself a little more. I want to buckle down, push myself harder than ever, and really take that next step toward becoming a headliner myself.

That brings me back to the festival I mentioned earlier. I showcased for a different festival a couple months ago, and while I didn't mail it in or anything, I went into the show with the mentality of, "I'm playing with house money. This festival is for headliners. I'm not supposed to be there, so I have nothing to lose." I went in with the idea that I probably won't get it anyways. And I think you could see it in my set that night. I don't want to make that mistake again. I'm 100% focused on getting to the next level. I can see the gap between my act and the way a headliner crushes, and I'm obsessed with trying to close it. 

That said, it's still a pretty big gap. Im not looking for anyone to blow smoke up my ass, I'm just being honest. Still, I take pride in the improvements I've made on stage this year. Instead of going into this festival with the "nothing to lose" ideology, I'm trying to have a "make it as hard as possible for them to say no" thought process. I'm not a headliner, and I think maybe some would say that I don't belong on a show like this yet. But at some point, every opener needs to open (awful pun, I'm sorry) a door or two for themselves. I want to start pounding on those doors. If I don't do something to move even a *little bit* closer to doing that every single day, I feel guilty. Like I'm slacking off. It's a good mentality, but it eats away at you sometimes. 

Comedy is fun. I enjoy the creative process of writing, testing, working on my act. And frankly, if it wasn't fun, it wouldn't be worth doing. It certainly isn't from a financial stand point yet. I could go back to just working a normal job, and make a lot more money. But it wouldn't fun. I desperately want to get good at this. To be able to call this a career is something I dream about almost every day. I've accepted that that dream is totally obtainable, but it comes with a lot of work attached. I know that inevitably I'm going to have days like today, where the work doesn't seem worth it, and the dream doesn't feel worth chasing. I know/hope that tomorrow when I wake up, I still have that "kick down doors" mindset. 

Every week, I record a podcast that about 50 people listen to. I work on jokes that I can tell to a room of 15 people on a Wednesday night. I see my girlfriend and dog for about an hour a day, and my friends and family even less. I chalk all of it up to paying my dues, with the end goal of making a living telling jokes. Some days I can't help but wonder why I bother. And then I write a blog like this, and it reminds me. 

I'm going to go listen to my set from last night. Thanks for letting me vent. 

( I just read this back before I hit "publish", and it's just a mess of me whining, and bragging about how I think I work hard. But I haven't posted a blog in a while, and it motivated me. So fuck it). 


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Drinking and Blogging 10/8/17

As I type this, I'm sitting in the Ottawa Airport drinking beer and watching my fantasy football teams "suck the hind banana".

I just finished a 2 week run at the Absolute Comedy clubs in Ottawa and Kingston. The clubs were great, and it was a really fun time. I got to visit with some family that I very rarely get to see, many of whom made the trip to Kingston to check out one of our shows, and I met some great comics and people as well.

I was going to write a hokey "What I'm Thankful For" blog, but honestly I got about half way through it, read it back, and decided that it sucked. Everyone that has ever read even one of my blogs knows I'm forever grateful to have my girlfriend Shaley in my corner, and that my friends and family are very supportive of what I'm doing. You don't need to read that stuff for the 100th time (101st, if you count this paragraph). So instead, I've decided to just ramble a little bit about what's going on in both my world, and the one we all hang out in, while I enjoy this delicious beer.


Like I mentioned, I was lucky enough to get a chance to perform at a couple of the famed Absolute Comedy clubs in Ottawa and Kingston (massive thank you to Mike Dambra for dropping my name and getting my foot in the door). The shows were incredible, and it was a lot of fun to get to work with some new comics and meet a bunch of new people. And it was great getting a chance to catch up with Shannon, who I haven't really seen since High School. Thanks for coming out!

I also used some of the down time out here to start designing my first potential business card. The feedback on it has been really positive!

Work in progress.
As fun as the shows were, the highlight of the entire run for me was getting to spend a day with my Grandma. I rarely get to see her, so I took advantage of the one day off I had out here and drove out to Trenton to visit with her, and the rest of my family. We had dinner at my Aunt and Uncles and caught up, and it was a really great night. Being a military kid, I moved away from most of my family at a very young age, and haven't had too many opportunities to see them over the last 25 years. So I really look forward to any chance I have to see any of them. Several of my Aunts and Uncles, along with some family friends, made it out to shows in Kingston as well, and I'm grateful for all of their support. Thanks to all of you, and I hope you had fun at the show(s)!

Away from comedy, I'm about 2 weeks out from my first tattoo appointment in 7 or 8 years. And I figured jump into the deep end, I'll be starting on a sleeve for my left arm. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but hesitated for 3 reasons:

1) My arms are skinny. But after 33 years, I've come to the conclusion they just aren't going to get much bigger.

2) I'm cheap.

and 3) I'm a pussy. Needles are the worst.

But I'm finally taking the plunge, and I'm really excited to get started. I think I've found the perfect artist for this project, and I think/hope it's going to turn out great. I'll post pics on here as it progresses, because I know that's the kind of stuff you all read this blog for, right? 😬

Me aside, shit has hit the fan in the rest of the world over the last 10 days or so. I try not to watch the news, because it focuses way too much on the negative for my tastes, but a couple stories have been impossible to get away from. First there was the "terrorist" incident in Edmonton, which obviously hits close to home. I don't understand how on Earth someone could do something like that, but at least nobody was killed, and the piece of shit behind it will face the music.

Then the Las Vegas shooting took place. I don't know what to say about it. Thoughts and prayers is the cliche, and obviously I wish all the victims and their families the best, but aside from that.....I don't know. I'm not perfect, and frankly sometimes I can be kind of an assshole, but I will never be able to comprehend how someone could kill another person. Much less 50+. Innocent people that are just out trying to enjoy life and have a good time. There's been a ton of debate about whether or not it should be classified as a "terrorist attack". Frankly, I don't care what you call it, it's a psycho being a psycho, and it's tragic. There's also been a lot of debate about guns since that night....

I posted a Facebook status myself, saying that I don't understand why on Earth anyone needs to own an automatic gun of any kind. It got some replies from different people, and it prompted me to comment that I don't agree with guns, period. I don't think they serve any real purpose, and I hate them. I stand by that comment. People brought up protection, and hunting, and I understand what they're saying. But it won't change my mind. Guns serve no purpose other than to kill whatever they're pointed at. And I hate them. I don't have an answer. I know it isn't as easy as simply making guns illegal. But just like people are entitled to their right to own and defend guns, I'm entitled to my right to speak out against them. I didn't post my status to start a debate about gun laws, but simply to voice my thoughts on what happened. I hope the people involved in this tragedy find peace, and they're able to, eventually, get on with their lives.

On a lighter note, hockey's back! Montreal is fucked. They will go as far as Carey Price can take them, which has pretty well been their story for the last 7 or 8 seasons. I'll watch when I'm home and they're on, but if the comedy plan stays on course, that won't be often.

Apparently Odell Beckham Jr just broke his ankle. Yikes.

Before I wrap this up, I want to mention that I have an SNES Classic waiting for me at home. I was lucky enough to snag a pre-order, and it arrived while I was in Ottawa. If you're one of the people buying things like this up just to re-sell it, you can go fuck yourself. I hope you get stuck with them, have to sell them for a loss, and you get pink eye.

That's it. I started this thing 3 beers ago, and now I feel great. I'm going to go play some Switch and wait for my plane.

Thanks for reading, and supporting me. Keep an eye out for an or something along the lines soon. I have a feeling something like that is going to pop up in the near future.

And for fuck sakes, be nice to each other. The last 14 days have proved that there are enough shitty people out there already.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, 1 October 2017

I Quit My Job Today (One Year Later) 10/1/17

I walked out of my day job on October 3rd, 2016. I wrote a blog about it, which you can find here:

As I type this, it's October 1st, 2017, 2 days short of one year later. When I wrote the blog above, I was excited to not have to go to a job I hated anymore, but I was really struggling with the idea of not having a regular job. It's funny, because even though I knew I was miserable at Uline, when I got out, I felt like a loser. 15 years of playing by the rules and pulling the 9-5 (or fucking 5am-whenever, like it was at Uline) had my mind programmed to think that was the only option.

I'm happy to say that 363 (or 364, is this a leap year? Daylight savings? The Illuminati?), not only have I adjusted to life after a normal day job, but I'm loving it.

I still have a day job. As I've mentioned in this blog before, my old friends at Pro Am Sports brought me back into the fold last Christmas after I left Uline, and I'm still there now. In a casual capacity, however. Whenever I'm in town, I work there and do whatever I can to help out, and they've been ridiculously accommodating of my increasing comedy schedule. It's really the best case scenario; a day job that I enjoy going to, but that still provides me the freedom to chase this crazy comedy dream.

As far as comedy goes, the last 12 months have been absolutely incredible. It doesn't seem real, to be honest. And while in the grand scheme of stand up, I haven't really accomplished anything yet, in my mind, I'm already living a dream. Anything else that comes along is gravy :)

I would say 50-60% of my monthly income is now comedy based. I'm really, sincerely, not motivated by money, but a guy has to eat. More and more weekends are filling up with paid shows and opportunities to perform in clubs and on shows, including a lot of out of town stuff, which is awesome. Be it Calgary, Kelowna, Regina, Cold Lake, or as I write this, I'm sitting in Ottawa, I'm getting paid to travel. That's something I've always dreamt of, but didn't think would ever happen.

(I know, I know. Regina? Cold Lake? It's a start, ok?)

I got to be in a movie that was shot in Edmonton. I still have no idea how that happened! I'd never experienced anything like that before. And while it isn't a Hollywood blockbuster, it was a REALLY cool experience. I even got to be in a fight scene with UFC fight "Cowboy" Cerrone! AND, he knocked me the fuck out! How many people can tell that story??

On the set of "Puppy Love" with Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. I hope his elbow is ok....

And above everything else, I've made a ton of great friends. I can list on one hand the number of comics I've worked with that I haven't enjoyed being around. So many of the comedians in Edmonton have become very close friends, and every city I've had the opportunity to travel to has been full of more smiling, supportive comics that I've sincerely enjoyed meeting and working with. Just last weekend, I did a run through Saskatchewan with a comic from Calgary, Chris Gordon. Saturday night we were sitting at a pizza place in Regina after a great show and a lot of beer, and we just started talking about how fun this job is. It was a cool moment; realizing that my "job" is to tell dick jokes, laugh, drink beer and have fun. It's what I dreamed about doing when I was on my forklift last Fall.

If this blog comes across as a guy with an ego, just bragging about stuff that, again, on the World's comedy map isn't even a village on the side of the road, that's not my intention. But don't kid yourself, I'm proud of what I've done over the last year. I've decided, after 32 years, to chase a dream that I wish I'd gone after a long time ago. And to be honest, I feel like I've already achieved it. I'm a comedian. If I become a headliner someday, or fall into another movie, or end up at Just For Laughs, or anything else, it will just be icing on the cake. I'm doing what I want to do with my life, and I have fantastic friends and family supporting me. If that isn't the dream, I don't know what is.

Thank you to all the comedians and bookers that have given me opportunities to perform. I'm sincerely grateful for all the opportunities, and your friendship.

Thanks to Jack, Ken, and the guys at Pro Am for working with my schedule and being so accommodating to my stupid schedule. I hope you guys figure out football pick 'ems soon.

Thanks to my friends and my family for supporting me, and picking me up whenever I need it.

And most importantly, thanks to Shaley for being my rock. I would be a homeless train wreck without you. And I wouldn't have any material. I love you.

I can't wait to see what happens over the next 12 months. If it's even 1/2 as fun as this past year has been, it'll be a fantastic ride.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting. Do what you want to do with your life, and have fun doing it.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Writer's Block 9/4/17

As you may or may not know, my favourite comedian of all time is Jerry Seinfeld. I love the show, and I really enjoy his stand up. Being my favourite comic, I'm always on the look out for any little tidbits of wisdom or advice he offers up for aspiring comedians. One thing he's said in the past that I really took to heart after I started getting on stage myself is:

 "Writer's block doesn't actually exist. It's just an excuse for people that don't want to do their work."

That statement has really hit home with me over the past couple months or so. I'm in the midst of the worst joke "drought" I've experienced since I started stand up. I've had lots of nights where I've taken a new bit on stage and it hasn't worked. But it feels like over the past 6 or 8 weeks, other than a few small tags and tweaks to my pre-existing material, nothing I'm writing is working. I've been desperately trying to get a new premise work on stage, and it just doesn't seem to be taking. And I don't mean a singular new premise. I mean pretty well every new idea I've come up with lately. Throwing everything I can against the wall, and just praying SOMETHING sticks. Unfortunately, it all seems to be ending up sliding down the wall and landing at my feet.

And it isn't the bombing that's getting to me. Telling jokes to silence isn't fun, but I know it's part of the learning curve. It's the idea that night after night, I'm sitting down at my notebook, and filling page after page with garbage. I don't fish, but I can imagine this is how it would feel to sit in your boat casting hour after hour, and going home with nothing but a sunburn and a cooler full of empties.

Going back to the Seinfeld quote, I truly feel like I'm experiencing writer's block. But I love the way he has it worded. He calls joke writing, "work". And it is. I could totally chalk it up to writer's block, walk away for a while and just tell my old jokes. But the only way I'm going to break out of this slump is to keep doing the work. Write, re-write, test. And when I fall, I have to get up again and keep trying. A bad writing session that you get nothing out of is INFINITELY more productive than simply blaming "writer's block" and not trying at all.

In my short career, I've been quite vocal in stating that the thing that irritates me most is when comics waste stage time. They go up there and tell the same old jokes over and over again. Don't get me wrong, it's incredibly important to tell jokes over and over, but you should be tweaking. Tightening. Polishing. Add a tag, remove a line. Workshopping doesn't irritate anyone. But to go up there and read the same script over and over again isn't helping you at all. It's like bench pressing the same amount of weight. You'll never get any stronger.

The point of this blog was to vent about the writing slump I've been in this Summer. I did that. I'll get out of it. Fuck writer's block.

Or I can always do crowd work.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

You Call The Shots 8/27/17

*This is a post I made on Facebook last year, a couple months before I walked out of my job at Uline. I haven't changed a word of it, because I still agree with all of it. I'm also very proud of the fact that I stuck to my word; Uline was trying to overtake things I had higher on my list of priorities, and I did exactly what I promised I would do if that day came. I hope you guys like it*

One of the guys I work with, probably the dude I like the most there, had his first child this week. Wednesday, his wife went into labour. And he was still working. I told him to get the hell out of there and get to the hospital, and he said we were too busy, and he'd go when he could. That's exactly what's wrong with society today.
Everyone has their own priorities. And if someone disagrees with yours, to hell with them. I think you probably spend the first 25 years of your life laying the foundation of that list, and then you tweak it as life goes on. I know for a fact that my buddies family was a much higher priority to him than his work, but he felt obligated to stay. That's not being honest to yourself. Do what you want, what makes you happy. 
A few years ago, I wasn't doing that well. Shay and I had just bought our house, we had some money. Health. No worries. But I didn't feel right. Like I was just going through the motions, wasting time. I made a very conscious decision to start eliminating things/people that I weren't making me happy, and to start cramming as much positivity into my life as possible every day. I quit a very good paying sales job to go do something that I thought would be more fun (and it was), and I started phasing some people out of my life. I just decided I didn't want to be around them anymore. If anyone ever feels that way about me, I would hope they'd do the same. And it worked. I feel much better about life these days. I'm very happy.
I read something around that time that said "there is endless power in giving zero fucks." It's not the classiest sentiment ever, but it's spot on. I used to want everyone to like me. Now, there's a very small group of friends and family whose opinions matter to me very much, and if you're not in that circle, I don't really give a damn what you think. If I'm not hurting you, just let me do what I want. 
My current job demands a lot of hours from me, I work 55 or so in a 5 day a week, plus some weekends. I don't like it, but as of now, I've accepted the trade off, they get my time, and I'm happy with the money they give me for it. But if that job ever tries to overtake something that I feel is a higher priority (and there are a lot of them), then they'll quickly find out I won't be there anymore. It's a humble brag, but anyone that has worked with me would be quick to say that I'm a pretty hard worker (I think, anyways), and I do my best to help the team and pull my weight. But I've also switched jobs 4 times in about 12 years. Once because I felt they were trying to become to work their way to the top of my priority ladder, once because I just wasn't happy anymore, and once mostly for financial reasons. And even though the job I have now is very secure and well paying, I have no hesitation to quit, and no worry of getting fired, if it ever isn't a fit anymore. Because I just don't enjoy working. I like things that I find fun. And I wasn't out here just to let someone else tell me what to do all my life.
The moral of this ridiculously long post is that your life is a dictatorship. You call the shots. The only people that can get into your board of directors are your family, and your close friends. And that's only if you deem them worthy of a chair at the table. If someone doesn't like how you're running your business, then don't do business with them anymore. You have 24 hours a day to spend on anything you want. Don't let anyone spend even one minute of them for you.

*WWYD - What Will You Do?

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Watching yourself....ugh..... 8/10/17

Listening back to yourself, and watching video of your performances as a comedian is a fantastic way to get better. And it

I have hours of voice recordings of my act on my phone, and quite a few videos of various sets recorded on my computer. I've only listened/watched about 1/4 of them. When you think you bombed on a show, and then listen back to it, you usually realize that you bombed even worse than you thought you did. When you think you did well on any given night, and then listen back to your set, you don't even notice what worked. But you can't help but pick out and focus on every little word that wasn't perfect. It's ridiculously humbling. 

That said, almost every time I've listened back to a set, I've found a way to improve on it. Sometimes it's a new tag or joke altogether. Maybe you notice that a joke might work better told slightly different. You may hear a couple words that are just dead weight, and can be trimmed out of a joke altogether, thus tightening up your act. It's one of those "no pain, no gain" situations. With a LOT of pain...

The inspiration for this blog wasn't to talk about listening back to my sets, though. I have (had) several video clips of my stand up on Youtube. After watching some of them back today, I decided to take them all down. Because frankly, I don't think they're very good anymore. I thought they were at the time, but I'm happy to say that as I've gotten on stage more and more, my standards have gotten higher and higher. And I don't feel they're up to that standard. 

I read early on that you should be careful about what you put online. Some people put their first ever set on the internet, and then keep pumping videos out. It's easy to understand why, they're (rightfully) proud of their act, and want to share it with people. The ego stroke from friends and family supporting you is a nice perk, too. But the reason people said be careful about what you upload is because if a booker searches your name, and the first video they come across is of your 3rd ever set, they aren't going to contact you. You might have thought it was good at the time, but if you're working hard at getting better, you should be able to watch it a couple months later, and realize how much you were doing wrong. 

I always keep a 5-7 minute clip uploaded and available to share, should someone ask for it. But every couple months, when I know I have a good show (in front of a good audience) coming up, I bring my camera along with the intention of updating my "demo" vid. It's worth it. If you're working hard, every new video should be better than the last. Not always by leaps and bounds, but one step at a time :)

So as an 18 month comic, if I could give any comedy advice, it would be to be careful about what you upload. You never know who's watching. 

Thanks for reading. Go Rays!


Saturday, 29 July 2017

July in a nutshell 7/29/17

Week 2 of my "attempt" at blogging weekly. Here goes!

I didn't really touch on what's been happening in my life with the blog last week, so if you're sitting on the toilet, or waiting in line at the bank, or in the middle of some other mundane thing where you have a few minutes to kill, I got your back.

We're almost settled into our new house. We love it, but there's still a few more things we need to cross off the list before I would say we're officially moving in. We won't have blinds for a few more weeks (I'm sure our new neighbours love the garbage bags we have hanging over our bedroom window right now). A few unpacked boxes are still laying around, tempting me to build a fort every time I come home. And we still don't have internet or tv. Telus came the day we moved in, and they said some fiberoptic something or other wasn't set up, and after waiting a couple weeks, they got back to us and said it would be October. So we called Shaw. They came yesterday, and weren't able to hook us up either. They're coming back today, so fingers crossed.

It's probably the most first world complaint I've ever complained, but my God do I miss having internet. I could take or leave tv, but how in the fuck did we ever live without the internet? I'll be posting this thing with my phone, eating up valuable data. So if you're reading this using YOUR data, just know that we're both making sacrifices here.

I also have a podcast loaded and ready to go, the first one recorded in the new "studio" that is our spare bedroom. It was a good conversation with Brett Forte, that I think those of you that listen to the podcast will really like. I'm holding off uploading it in the hopes that Shaw will come through and get me back online today. If not, I'll be one of those hipsters with his macbook sitting at Starbucks tomorrow, milking the wifi and sucking on an overpriced crappy coffee. But come hell or high water, I guarantee the Comedy Odyssey returns tomorrow*!

*Not a guarantee

As far as comedy goes, I've spent some time on the road this month. James Uloth, Alex Fortin and I spent a weekend in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, more specifically Swift Current, The Pas, and Carrot River, and had a really good time. Then we came home, only to find my Jeep, that had been parked at Alex's apartment all weekend, had been towed. It cost me exactly $3 more than I got paid for the weekend of shows to get it back. So after food and expenses for the trip, I basically paid to tell jokes for 5 days. That story goes right up there with some of my best "I'll look back on this and laugh someday" moments from my short career in comedy thus far. Sigh....

The show in Swift Current was at a golf course. We got there early, and they gave us a cooler of Pilsner and a couple golf carts and told us to go have fun. Chase your dreams, kids!
Front page! Granted, there isn't a lot of competition in The Pas, MB.....

Outside of the adventures in the Prairies, I had a really fun show this past Wednesday in Grande Prairie with my buddy Ben Proulx. The house was PACKED, and red hot right from the start. It was so much fun, one of those audiences that makes it hard to stick to your time, because you want to stay up there and keep going.

Ryan Short was out of town for a week, and was gracious enough to give me the keys to his Monday night Battle to the Funny Bone show at the Comic Strip last week as well. Another really fun crowd, and the comics brought the heat. I'm really starting to get a taste for hosting. I know some comedians hate doing it, but learning how to MC properly is a pretty valuable skill, and personally, I think it's fun to change it up once and a while instead of just going up there and doing material. It's also steroids for trying to get better at crowd work, which is something I really enjoy.

Speaking of material, I've been trying really hard to push myself to write new jokes and experiment with them on stage a little more. The problem with new jokes is that they come with a higher risk of bombing. I've had my share of bombs lately, but it's not really bothering me. I would rather go to an open mic and bomb with new material, then go up there in cruise control mode and tell my same old jokes that I know work. That's like lifting the same amount of weight at the gym every day, you're never going to get any stronger. It's no secret that a majority of my material focuses on me, my girlfriend, and my parents. It's stuff I enjoy telling, but I want to get better at observational humour, and based on the last couple months of writing/trying new jokes, I can see that I have a long way to go. Many of my favourite jokes I've heard other people tell are ones where I think to myself "I've thought that before" after I hear it. I'm envious of people that can write that kind of material, and I'm determined to figure out how to do it myself.

My day job is shut down for Summer holidays next week, so I'm going to take advantage of not having to go to work in the mornings and head down to Calgary for a few days. Monday night, I'll be performing for the first time at Comedy Monday Night, an open mic run by uber-nie guy, James Moore. It's considered by many one of, if not the best, comedy open mic in Canada, and I can't wait to finally check it out in person. Tuesday night, I'll be doing my first spot at The Comedy Cave in Calgary as well. I'm coming home for a couple days, and then heading back down Friday to do a weekend at Yuk Yuks Calgary. It's always fun to be on the road and get in front of new audiences, so I'm really excited to get down there for a few days and check out some new clubs.

This turned into a lot more rambling than I thought, and if you're in line at the bank, the teller is probably about to call you up, so I think I'm going to end it here. I got some great feedback on the "WWYD - What Would You Do?" blog last week, so if you read it, thank you very much. I'm really going to try to stick to churning these things out weekly now, as long as I can come up with stuff to talk about. And like I almost guaranteed, there should be a podcast tomorrow as well *fingers crossed*

Thanks as always for reading, and supporting me. Have a great weekend!

- Adam _____


Thursday, 20 July 2017

WWYD - What Would You Do? 7/20/17

Chester Bennington from Linkin Park took his own life this morning, weeks after his friend Chris Cornell did the same. A pair of very sad stories, they got me thinking about how you can have fame, fortune, fans, all the stuff normal people dream of, and at the end of the day, it might not make you happy.

I had about half of a blog finished talking about that exact thing, but then decided to delete it and start over. Primarily because I don't have any idea if they were happy or not. I can assume they weren't, based on how their lives ended. But I think it's possible that they were indeed content with their day to day lives, and simply had something inside of them that they couldn't overcome. I'm not even going to attempt to pretend I know enough about mental health to provide any level of credible opinion. 

At the end of the day, I didn't start this blog entry to debate why these men did what they did. The events of today just got me thinking about life, and how you don't know when it's going to end. You might (and hopefully do) have 50, 60, 70 years left on this planet. You might have a week. To spend the time you have left doing anything other than what you want to is nothing short of a tragedy. It's a lesson that has taken me years to learn, but I feel like I finally understand that. 

People spend their entire adult lives working at jobs they hate, doing things they don't want to do. This ideology, at least for many of us, is learned at a young age. You go to school, then you get a job, work until you're old, and then retire and chill out until it's over. I've never completely subscribed to that theory. My parents instilled me with a great work ethic, and I've had a job since I was 14. But I've never been super happy about it. I could tell whatever I was doing wasn't what I wanted to be doing, and while I'd find short term happiness at a new job, over time, I would get back to the same point I'd reached before. I hated getting up and going to work every morning, and I wasn't happy with the thought of someone else telling me what to do for 1/3 of my day.

Luckily, I (eventually), found comedy. I just realized as I type this that tomorrow (July 21) is the 18 month anniversary of the first time I took a mic out of a stand and tried to make people laugh. There's been ups and downs over the last year and a half, but I've taken more steps toward being happy and excited about life over that time than I think I did in the 15 years prior that I'd been out of High School. I'm doing what I want to do with my life, and I'm in a spot mentally where I finally feel like I'm at peace with myself. I don't have any interest at all in getting rich or famous, I just want to be happy day to day. And I am. 

(I'm also RIDICULOUSLY lucky to have a girlfriend that understands and supports me).

The point I'm trying to make, is that you don't have forever. If you're at a job you hate, or in a relationship that doesn't make you happy, you owe it to yourself to do something about it. And you can always do something about it. I've heard many times that a lot of people work their entire lives, and then on their death beds, have a list a mile long of regrets over things they wish they had done. Personally, I think there's anything group of people that die content. Not happy. Content. They never thought about the possibility of doing anything other than what they were told to do with their life, and auto-piloted though the entire thing. Frankly, I don't know which option scares me more.

Do what you want to do with your life. Be positive, be happy. If something has a negative effect on your life experience, see if you can cut them/it out. Kevin Smith said it best:

"The world is full of 'why?' 'Why do you want to do that? Why would you do that?' Fuck that. Surround yourself with 'why not?' 'You want to do that? Why not? Let's try it!'"

Write a book, paint a picture, learn something new, make a Youtube video. Fuck what other people think. At the end of the day, this life is yours, and nobody else's, and you owe it to yourself, and the million other sperm that didn't make it this far, to do something cool with it.

WWYD - What Would You Do?

Thanks for reading my rambling blog. New podcasts are coming in the next few days as well. Because why not?

- Adam

Thursday, 15 June 2017

What's next? 6/15/17

It's been a busy month. I didn't really feel a need to write this, because pretty well everyone that cares what's going on in my life already knows what's going on in my life, but I feel like writing.

Since the last blog, a bunch of cool stuff has happened. First and foremost, we sold our house! We've been working on it for a while, and were really excited about the prospect of a new place, downsizing a little, and leaving ourselves more money to travel and do the things we want to do. We move out of our current place in about a week and a half, and while we've had some great times here, I can't wait for a fresh start. Shay and I aren't the same people we were when we bought this place 5 years ago, professionally or personally. I think our new place signifies that. It's a new chapter for both of us, and we're pretty excited!

Obviously, a big part of getting ready to move, is packing. Ugh. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you need to pack it all up and move it. But that's been another thing about this move that has me excited. I've gotten rid of a TON of stuff. A vast majority of my memorabilia collection, old video games, all kinds of stuff. There's nothing wrong with any of it, it just isn't where my priorities lie anymore. I feel like my life is getting decluttered, like a desk that was covered in paperwork getting cleaned up, and now I have more time, and room, to focus on what I want to focus on. And the list of stuff I want to focus on has shrunk to pretty well just consist of people I like (and a certain dog), and comedy.

As far as the comedy thing goes, it's been a fun month or so since I checked in on this thing. Funniest Person With a Day Job has come and gone, and while the result wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be, it was a great experience. I got to perform in front of some fantastic crowds, and I really feel like prepping for each round of that competition helped me find another gear as a comedy writer. I hadn't focused that hard on listening back to my sets, and trying to find ways to improve every joke before. I put so much pressure on myself to win that comp....I lost sleep, listened to sets and watched videos over and over again, and at the end of the day, I saw what could happen if I just focus and work hard. I've been doing my best to take that approach to my art ever since; I play my sets back while I drive home from shows now, instead of recording them just to never listen to them, and try to find openings to squeeze in an extra laugh or two everywhere I can. I'm fully aware that I have a long way to go, but I feel like I keep moving forward. That's all you can do.

(Side note: Brett Forte won Funniest Person. He's from Calgary, and if you're down there, I can't recommend checking out one of his shows enough. Funny, funny dude. He was actually gracious enough to reach out to me a couple days after the contest ended and ask if I'd like a chance to come down and close out one of the monthly shows he books/runs. So I'll be down there myself this Sunday, June 18th, if anyone is looking for something fun to do!)

Other than the contest, I got my first opportunity to work a full weekend at The Comic Strip. I emcee'd for Alex Fortin, and our headliner, Derek Sequin. It was cool getting to work a weekend at a club I used to go to just to watch comedy and think about how cool it would be do be able to do that for a living. I have a weekend coming up at Yuk Yuks here in Edmonton, too, so that's pretty exciting.  I think my favourite thing about stand up is not knowing what's going to happen next. Just keep hitting open mic and writing, and eventually hard work pays off.

I guess that's it for now. I have some really cool stuff scheduled for the Fall, but I'll post more about that as the time gets closer. For now, life is good. Except packing. Packing fucking sucks.

Thanks for reading.

- Adam

Monday, 8 May 2017

It's been a while! 5/8/17

I like to read a lot of blogs. Wrestlers, musicians, comedians. I think it's really cool to get a glimpse into someone's life and thought process when they're away from work, or the pubic or whatever. And it used to really bug me when someone wouldn't blog for a long period of time. "I've been too busy to sit down and hammer one of these out." How can you possibly be too busy to take 15 minutes and write a blog?

I've been too busy to take 15 minutes and write a blog.

Well, probably not. But between comedy, work, the podcast (which I've also struggled to keep up with), and selling our house (which potentially sold last week!), the blog has just fallen down the depth chart. I'm sure all 15 of you that read it have survived, and maybe even thrived, in it's absence.

It has been a busy couple months. On a personal note, Shay and I just got back from a vacation in Florida, which was awesome, outside of the sunburns we both brought home with us. My end goal is to be a full time comedian, and there were a few instances during our trip where I left guilty about taking time off from stand up to go on a trip like that. But finding a balance between transitioning into a new career at thirty-three, with maintaining a long term relationship, means splitting your attention between both sides. Life is about having fun, after all. And I don't get to see a ton of Shay during a normal week anymore, she leaves for work before I get up, and I'm usually out at a show in the evening, with her in bed before I get home. So it was really nice to get away and actually hang out together for a few days.

Speaking of me and Shay, we finally sold our house! Pending a couple things this week, we'll have until the end of June to find a new place to live. We're excited to start a new chapter, but both a little sad to be leaving these place. When we bought it 5 years ago, we thought we might never move again. Priorities change, though. I'm sure we'll be happy wherever we end up, and we'll find something that fits with our current lifestyle a little better.

As far as comedy goes, things have been going pretty good as well. I've been part of some fantastic shows, in front of some great audiences. I got offered my first opportunity to middle at the Comic Strip a couple weeks ago, working with Kathleen McGee and Josh Wolf. Unfortunately, we ran into an Oilers playoff game, so our late show had a smaller crowd, but they were still fun nevertheless. I'm legit happy for SOME of my Oiler loving friends, but the Oilers playing hockey in May for the first time in 11 years doesn't do stand up comedy any favours...

Speaking of the Comic Strip, I also took part in one of the prelim weeks of their annual "Funniest Person With a Day Job" competition a few weeks ago. I got into the semis, and have a shot at moving on to the Finals on May 16th. This is the biggest comedy competition in Edmonton, and almost every comic that has won it in the past has used it to help take the next step in their career. I'm really excited for the opportunity, it's something I've been looking forward to since I started telling jokes last January.

I've had more and more opportunity to get on the road as well, primarily with Mike Dambra. I really can't thank the guy enough for taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes. I feel like I've gotten much better at transitioning in and out of my usual material, and joking around with the crowd,  and a large part of that has been working with Mike. The guy makes it look so god damned easy! I've set my camera up to record a few of my sets lately, and while I still see a TON of stuff I need to improve, I feel like there's a pretty big gap between video I took last fall, and my sets now. That's all I'm asking of myself, is to just keep improving. Frankly, I never want to watch one of my sets and just be happy with everything. I think the moment you don't think you can get any better at this, you should quit. Why keep going to the gym, if you don't think you can get any stronger?

I also finally got some professional head shots done, so I don't have to just use cell phone pictures of me on stage for promotional material anymore. I learned that Photoshop can do a lot of things, including help a man see straight, but it can't make a stupid looking man look less stupid :)

My whole wheat side...

...and my frosted side.
All in all, life is pretty good. I have big plans for comedy over the next year, things on the business side of the industry, that I think/hope will help me get ready to try and make the leap into becoming a full time comedian. I hope to be ready to post about them on here in the upcoming months. In the mean time, I just want to stay focused on getting better on stage, and writing more jokes. I have a goal of having an hour + of material by my 2 year anniversary in January, and I'm comfortable hitting the 35 minute mark right now. I think I could push for 40, if the opportunity presented itself. I'm not 100% happy with everything I have right now, but I know it keeps improving, and that's all I can ask from myself.

Thanks for reading, and supporting me, as always. It really means a lot to me.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Just Keep Showing Up 3/1/17

It's been a while since I posted on here. I hate it when I get into someone's blog, and then they never post. And now I'm that guy. I'm not into my own blog, but I never post. Just the worst. Things have been awesome, but busy. Between comedy, trying to get into some kind of shape, and getting our house ready to sell, there isn't much time to spare these days.

I love it.

I'm sure I've said it on here before, and I know I've brought it up on the podcast (Comedy Odyssey on iTunes & Podbean!), but I'm as focused as I can ever remember being on anything. I love being in this mindset, where you have the blinders on, you have goals in front of you, and you just grind as hard as you can. The last time I remember being this dialled in on something was probably when Shay and I were saving up to buy our house, and we were working a couple jobs each and just chipping away. It's hard at first, but once you buy in and start seeing results, you look forward to the grind each day.

Every month, I feel like I'm taking another step toward my eventual goal of being a professional comedian. I'm getting more out of town work (probably 2 out of every 3 weekends see me on the road these days), and opportunities are starting to pop in within the city limits, too. I've started closing out some of the local shows, and getting spots at the 2 major clubs in Edmonton (Yuks and the Comic Strip). I was just offered my first weekend at the Strip (end of May, if you want to come!) It's really exciting, and very, very motivating.

If I'm here after putting in *this much* work, how much further can I get if I work harder?

Obviously, I've been very lucky. Headliners in the city have, for whatever reason, decided they like having me around, and have been offering me chances to get on the road, make a little money, and most importantly, learn. I feel like my crowd work abilities have really started to develop thanks to working with Mike Dambra as much as I have, and I'm getting more and more comfortable on stage. That said, I still hate watching/listening myself. All I see or hear is what isn't working. But that's how you get better. I think....

I titled this blog "Just Keep Showing Up". I heard Joey Diaz say it on Joe Rogan's podcast, and I really liked it. If one of the comics in the city that's even newer than I am asked me for advice, I think that's what I'd say. Just keep showing up. That's what I've done. Establish your work ethic, let people know you take the art seriously. If you work hard enough, good things will happen.

Next weekend, I get the chance to go back to Cold Lake (where I grew up), to do a Friday and Saturday show. When I started taking comedy seriously, I wrote down some of my goals. One of them was to get the chance to go home and tell some jokes. I cannot wait for those shows. And then when I get back to Edmonton, I have the Joke Of Thrones and (hopefully) Funniest Person with a Day Job competitions to look forward to. March is going to be an awesome month.

I'm going home :)
I try not to focus on what other people think, but there's a big part of me that just wants to earn the respect of the other comedians. That's one of the things I've wanted the most since I did my first set. I saw the comics I liked and looked up, and the respect the other comics had for them, their talent and their work ethics. I don't actually know what most of the comedians in the city thinks of me, but I like to think I'm on my way to earning that respect. That alone keeps me going.

And it all comes down to just showing up. Just Keep Showing Up.

Thanks for reading, and supporting me.


Monday, 6 February 2017

Stranded in Cranbrook 2/6/17

It's 10:00 am, on Monday, February 6th. And I'm sitting at the Cranbrook airport.

It's not very nice. The one restaurant that's here is closed, because the employees can't get to the airport due to how much snow has fallen here in the last 48 hours. It's crazy.

I had shows here on Friday & Saturday night, and after looking at the road reports and seeing how many roads out of town, through the mountains, had been closed, my girlfriend & I thought I'd be better off staying until Monday and flying out. My flight has been cancelled, and now I'm waiting to get on another plane, assuming it can get off the ground, in a couple hours.

But even through all this, I'm staying positive. I'm still doing what I want to do, and while it turned out to be a break even weekend, money wise, I got to do a couple 35+ minute sets, which I wouldn't have gotten back home. I met some really nice people, too. So, glass half full, right?

The alternative to being stranded at this airport would be to be on my forklift, back at my old warehouse job, dreaming about doing stand up and being miserable. The way I look at it, I have a funny story to tell now. I can chalk it all up to "paying my dues". And I think I made a decent payment this weekend.

A theory about life that I've come to embrace is that life isn't about what happens to you, it's about how you react to what happens. I could bitch and moan about being stuck at this lame airport, or I can write a blog, play a game on my laptop, and enjoy the fact that I'm on the road doing something I love. Life is good, even if it's buried under 3ft of snow.

All that said, I can't wait to get home.

Take it easy.


Friday, 27 January 2017

So Las Vegas is pretty sweet..... 1/27/17

It's Friday afternoon, and I'm laying in my hotel room in Penticton. I had a show in Kelowna last night for Train Wreck Comedy (big thank you to Rob Balsdon for the opportunity), and Kevin McGrath (the headliner this weekend) and I have a show here in Penticton tomorrow night, but we ended up with today (Friday) off. As awesome as the Okanagan is, it's a little chilly to go to the beach in January, so I'm hibernating in my room, and thought I'd take a few minutes to ramble on here, and talk about comedy, and my recent trip to Las Vegas.

SPOILERS: Vegas is fucking awesome.

As you may or may not know, I've been selling off some of my sports memorabilia collection. We're looking to downsize our home this spring, and I just don't think we'll have the room for everything. Some of it sold in December, and I decided to use the money to pay for a weekend in Vegas for my girlfriend and I. Neither of us had ever been there, and after the weekend we had, I can guarantee we'll be going back sooner than later.

We stayed at The Aria, on the Strip, and it was a beautiful hotel. Unfortunately, it rained for two of the three days we were there, but that didn't stop us from getting out and having fun. We had dinner at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants that first night, and just spent the evening walking up and down the Strip, checking out some of the casinos, and the insane hotels, and drinking beer. We bought into the nightly Aria poker tournament that night, and Shay ran into a bad beat a couple hours in. I managed to make it to the final table of the tourney, though, and walked away with a 4th place finish out of about 75 players, and a $600 pay day. Gambling for free the rest of the weekend!

Saturday (we flew in on Friday), the sun was out, and we decided to go check out Fremont street. Some of the old casinos were pretty cool, but it just didn't hit home with us, and after a few hours, we decided to head back over to the Strip, and check it out while the weather was good. Popping into random casinos to have a beverage and see what was going on, we basically went from one end of the Strip to the other, and after a couple of the giant plastic margaritas, we (or I. Shay isn't the lightweight I am) were feeling no pain. We hit the Heart Attack Grill for dinner, and then after a power nap, I decided to play the Aria poker tourney again. It started at 7, I got sat as an alternate at 9, and made a second straight final table. At about 4am, we were 5 handed, and decided on a 5 way chop of the prize money, netting another $1100!

Sunday, Shay wanted to go shopping. So she went off looking for clothes, and I played some more poker at Harrahs and Ballys. No final table runs this time, but it was still fun, and then we ended off the trip by heading up to the Rio to check out Penn & Teller's show, which was fantastic.

All in all, it was a wicked trip. I can't wait to go back, and it was nice to just spend a weekend with Shay. I have a lot of weekends out of town coming up, so a little quality time together was just what the doctor ordered. Shay has supported me unconditionally since I began comedy, and I was really happy that we could get away and have some fun. And winning that money at poker was a bonus, as it felt good to be able to give her some more money to go shopping with, and try to show her how much I appreciate her having my back. I would be a walking tire fire without her.

Lazy eye selfie on the Strip.

So now this weekend, I'm in the Okanagan with Kevin McGrath. Next weekend I head down to Cranbrook with Paul Sveen, and then I have  a weekend bouncing between Alberta & Saskatchewan with Mike Dambra in February as well. I love it. Being on the road with these headliners, telling jokes and picking their brains is everything I was hoping I'd get a chance to do when I started performing stand up.

Back in Edmonton, I got y first chance to MC a show at the Comic Strip that wasn't open mic night, and I thought it went OK. It definitely could have been better, but I had fun, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully, I get another one soon. I'll also get my first show at MCing at Yuk Yuks next week (Feb 4th). Lots of other spots at shows around Edmonton are keeping me busy. New ideas, new jokes, I feel like I'm really working at getting better every time I'm on stage right now, instead of just going through the motions, and that's exactly where I need to be.

I guess that's it for now. I'm going to go work on some material, and play a little xbox. Wherever you are, I hope life is good, and you have a killer weekend.

Thanks as always for reading.

Adam ______

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday Ramblings 1/8/17

It's about 4 pm on Sunday, January 8th. It's about 30 below outside, and I'm camping out on my couch with my dog. So far today, we've churned out a podcast, (painfully) listened back to the week's sets, worked on some new bits, and now we're blogging out a blog. All while doing laundry. Not to blow my own horn, but damn.

It's been a fun week. Anyone that listened (or is going to listen to my podcast, which you can find HERE) knows that is was my first week back at the grind after a couple weeks off for Christmas. I got to do a couple shows at the Comic Strip in West Ed, tried out a bunch of new material (mostly successfully) at Underdog, and got to do my first show in Morinville, which was an adventure in itself. But it's good to be back at it.

Click here to see a clip from my set at the Comic Strip on Tuesday.

I'm as focused as I've been in months, the new stuff is coming along great, and I've hit the ground running on my goal of reaching 60 minutes of material (that I'm happy with) by the end of 2017. I have a long way to go, and a lot of polishing to do, but it's a really satisfying feeling to see that I'm making progress.

I have less than 2 weeks to go until my 1 year anniversary (Jan 21), and I plan to write a specific blog about that when the time comes. As I've said a million times over the last 50 weeks, this has probably been the best year of my life. I just wake up in the morning full of positivity, it's like an energy I can't explain. I'm just ready to go and see what's going to happen today. There's no stress, nothing to be upset about. This is how life is meant to be lived.

I have a bunch of out of town shows coming up that'll see me traveling to Kelowna, Penticton, Cranbrook, Bashaw (I don't know where that is), Lethbridge, and the one I'm most excited about, Cold Lake. I lived there for about 10 years, and I can't wait to go home, see some old friends, and tell some jokes. I know it isn't New York or England, but it still seems pretty surreal to me that someone would pay me to go somewhere and make fun of myself.

Shay and I are taking off to Vegas for a few days, too. We've never been, and I'm looking forward to getting away from the Edmonton January weather and playing some poker. We've reached an agreement that a January vacation should become a household tradition moving forward.

The podcast is coming along, I'm getting better at sticking to a strict schedule. I still have intentions of upgrading my equipment in the next few months, the only thing slowing me down right now is doing my homework on what I want to get, and I plan to have it all up and running by spring. I want to start shooting video of my recordings as well, to get them up on Youtube. I don't know if the podcast will ever be anything other than a hobby for me, but I'm excited about it nevertheless.

And finally, some of you that know me know that for years, I've had an idea for/have been casually working on an animated show. That's *very* slowly coming along. Much like the podcast, I have no idea what I'm doing, it's just something I've always thought would be a fun project. The concept has changed several times, but it's been a cool side thing to work on when I have time. I like doing it solo and not having any deadlines, there's no pressure and I can do it when I want to. Growing up a huge Simpsons fan, I'm really enjoying my attempt to create something like that of my own.

I guess that's it for now. Thanks as always for reading and supporting me. I can't wait to see where 2017 takes us.