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