New Year, who dis?
Where I'm at, my plan, and setting goals for the new year.
Happy 2023! It’s so lovely to have you along for this ride. I appreciate you being here and sticking with me along the journey.
My standup voyage slowed to a grinding stop last fall, so I thought I’d share what’s up and what I’m planning this year. Remember, my goal for this newsletter is to inspire you to try standup or a different creative outlet.
I’ve written about why newbies get shoved to the end of the night to perform. I understand it, but to wait all night and not be selected at all is discouraging, and sitting around in painful wooden chairs sucks, especially when you’re in pain.
I won’t bore you with the details, but my back has caused me great pain. I’ve gone through spinal injections, facet ablations, physical therapy, inversion, daily stretching, and a few meds to help with the pain. The feeling of getting up and going out to hit open mics has been lackluster because of this, and the chances of not being selected have kept me from going out.
Side note: I just started restorative Pilates, and the therapist is the daughter of a guy I’ve performed improv with in Nashville multiple times (hi, Barry). It’s a sign from the comedy gods!
On several attempts to perform, I signed up to be randomly selected, but I never got picked. On one such occasion, it was painfully obvious that it was not random. I knew this because I was there with a couple of other newbies and our odds were high that the host would have selected one of our names. In that case, the host didn’t publicly draw the names, so it was easy to conclude that we were cut from the list and never had a chance.
Standup comedy is quite different than improv, especially when it comes to the social side of it. I love being on stage and hamming it up for audiences. Standup is a lonely endeavor. Last year, I hit most open mics with Caitlin, but she went back to school and hasn’t been able to attend much. The rest of the “Comedy Comrade” text group correspondence dried up. I was the only one texting about open mics. No hard feelings there at all; not everyone took the class to become a comedian. And most of them are younger than me with social lives and growing careers. I didn’t embark on this journey to do it alone. Getting out of the house was to help with my loneliness, not to contribute to it.
So now you’ve read my grumbling about why this newsletter got relatively quiet. It's time to get back at it and adjust my goals. And here’s what I plan to do next.
❤️ I love being on stage and getting folks laughing and supporting other comics with my own laughter. I feel like it’s my life mission to do this, to help audiences connect and enjoy themselves. I recently watched an interview with Seinfeld, and he explained how a comedian brings a group of strangers together with laughter, I paraphrased that, but the gist is it's magical.
My original lofty goal of a Netflix special in three years might be a tad bit high. It also might be hilariously insulting to read if you’re a seasoned comedian reading this. I’m revisiting this and now looking longer term.
Operation: Haggis Poutine
I still aspire to become a comic. I’ve revised my goals to perform in Montréal for Just for Laughs or the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the next five years. My dad spent most of his childhood in Montréal; I love that town. I lived in Edinburgh in 2000 for a year; I planned to get into the Fringe doing improv, which I regularly performed in Ireland before moving to Scotland.
So yes, I’m getting back to work. I will continue hitting open mics (at least 4 per month). I’m going to reconnect with my improv peeps and get to perform again (at least once a month). I will surpass 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel this year (care to help me with a click?) I also want to start writing and performing sketch comedy in 2023; that's something I've never done.
At the end of the day, my goal is to get people to connect through laughter. We can all use more laughter in our lives. I can measure laughs per minute (LPM) to determine how well I’m doing along the way.
Hit reply with your own goals. Let’s share our successes, shall we?
Stay tuned for more. Thank you for being here.
Happy New Year!