Are You In Love With Comedy, Or Are You Just Dating?

Hey y’all, Flobo here!

Courtesy, Levi's Production House

Courtesy, Levi’s Production House

For those of you in the know, I’ve been trying my hand with comedy of the stand up variety (imagine me saying that sentence with a pithy British accent while wearing a top hat)

You see, comedy is hard! I’m not the first to say it and I’m sure I won’t be the last. Last summer, I was bouncing from day gig to day gig trying to make ends meet. In a way to keep morale high, I took an introductory comedy class for the life experience. It was a life-changer and before long I was doing my first couple of shows.

Things were going well. Even the shows where I “bombed”, I had so much fun. The reason being, comedy is really the last pure symbols of free speech. It’s just you, a microphone and your outlook on life. It’s the biggest rush and I understood when professional wrestlers and theater actors (lo mismo?) would say that it’s addicting. The good nights were great, the great nights were legendary, and the bad nights were still a learning experience.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done that environmental joke at that comedy show in the park.”

But as the summer rolled into the fall, things began to pick up on the “real side” of my life. I worked hard to make my latest novel available for the holiday season, I landed a new full time position that makes considerable use of the analytical side of my brain, and some of my writings have appeared in other corners of the web.

Needless to say, comedy (while still in the forefront of my mind) has been seeing less of an investment of my time. It was a lot easier to go to two open mics and three shows a week when I didn’t have a job.  When I started doing stand up, I would come across dozens who would say, “Yeah, I did this for a while. Then I stopped. Now I’m trying to get back.” Well, I knew nothing about this craft, but I knew the key to excelling at anything is momentum.

Four months after crossing the stage for the first time, I was at a crossroads. Was  I “in love” with comedy? That is, was I willing to commit to something in good times or bad. Or was I “dating” comedy? You know, just leading her on before I go back to my 9-5 job.

Come on babe, don't look at me like that.

Come on babe, don’t look at me like that.

There really is no “right” answer. I think I’m in love with comedy and so I’ll stick with it, but it’s not an easy decision. No matter what your creative endeavor is, I feel that we all hit that same crossroads. Authors, artists, heck even schoolteachers could relate. The only advice I can offer is this:

Besides your specific job (and its location) could you live without your craft?

For example: Imagine  you’re a welder and that you can’t stand welding because of a tough or arduous project. If you decide to never weld again, would that make you happy? If the answer is “no”, then congrats!

I think you’re in love.

-F

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