In one week from today I will embark on another return trip to a comedy paradise.
I’ll land my comedy ship in NYC, and then on April 11th I’ll set sail for Los Angeles, giving me the perspective I need to continue doing what I plan on doing for the rest of my life, and that’s making people laugh.
Making people laugh is a tough job, mentally.
To be consistently funny in small rooms, in big rooms, in shitty rooms and great rooms takes its toll on the mind.
It’s work to continuously evolve material without giving in to the ego that’s constantly tugging at your sleeve, telling you how hilarious you and your material are.
Being critical is not easy.
Keeping a critical mind toward your own art is the secret to some day being very good. It’s not possible to be very very very good at something if you have no idea what very very very good is.
Knowing what’s good is being critical of the bad.
Someday being good, starts today with, “That’s bad. I don’t wanna do THAT.”
The first step toward learning what’s good, is certainly accepting what’s not good.
If I think I’m good at stand up comedy, because I make 50 people laugh once or twice, or even 10 times, well, then I won’t really push myself to get better. That desperate desire to not fail will not kick in and I’ll stay content and stale with my little cliche material for as long as I can get booked for 50 euros a gig.
This is where NYC and LA come into the picture.
There’s no time for a pat on the back in New York City or LA. You swim with the sharks. It would take an idiot and a half to think one is a great comedian in the comedy waters of New York City.
Guys you’ve never heard of make mince meat out of crowds of people three to five times a night and not only that, the audiences are seasoned in a comedy culture that knows cliches and rewards them minimally.
For sure, I believe a comedian like myself can get in the mix in NY and LA, but it will be a battle of my desire, patience and work ethic against the raging waters of the true comedy seas that can send any man adrift into the abyss.
It is war.
I’m not disillusioned by the slight success a few years under my belt has givin me. There are rough seas ahead, and not even necessarily the audiences, but mainly the mental stamina it will take to push myself to be a true comedian, with honest and original material.
Do you push yourself in that way? Are you critical of yourself? Do you work on your craft, desperate to be a true pioneer or at least someone willing to accept a pat on the back, because you truly tried to climb the mountain?
Have a critical mind. Do not fear the consequences. Do not worry about the droves of zombies who will get mad at you for being honest and critical of their bullshit.
Call a spade a spade, but make sure you look in the mirror, because you can only control the output of one person, and you’re gonna need to clean that mirror off everyday, just like John Coltrane says.
Clean that mirror off and have a good look at yourself.
Close your eyes. Set huge goals for yourself. Be critical.