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!