Day 614: The Split
It was a day of fatigue.
All of us were tired. Blaze was a wonky mess from the time we left the theatre until… well, pretty much his whole life… but certainly he was wired for sound after the show last night and was up quite late, getting him further and further away from a good routine. Getting up with him a few times in the wee hours until finally pulling him into bed with me didn’t help my energy levels today either. I fell asleep in the chair holding Zena twice. Jeannette wasn’t feeling well when she got up this morning either, no doubt a direct result of how stressed out she was on my behalf both leading up to last night, and then the show itself. She hasn’t gotten worse but I did try to let her sleep as much as possible today.
That’s the process man, I don’t know what else to say. That show had to happen, and it had to happen as it did.
Trial by fire, it’s the only way to really know where you stand with something. It had been nearly three years since I’d been on stage pitting myself against an anticipating audience, more than that since I really had fun up there, so I thoroughly apologize to Jeannette for any stress I may have caused her but all I can do at this point is look back at the carnage that was, study the pieces, and figure out a more efficient way of moving forward in the future.
I first need to alter my day to day process in order to facilitate my two aspirations equally, both writing and performing; I need to take a cue from the opening of my show and use the one to help the other. I have a very serious side, as you know, and a rather ridiculous side that Jeannette could tell you about, if you weren’t able to see me on stage or acting. The second thing that occured to me today is that moving forward I will need to make some alterations to how the live shows go.
An hour and twenty minutes is too long for what I have in mind.
I’d much rather start having young comics opening for me in order to get them started, get them some stage time, and perhaps mentor them on the way. It’s also helpful for me, because I don’t have my feet cramping up while I’m out there. Did I mention that yesterday? Terrible! Double foot cramp during the second show. Dehydrated from all the sweat I lost during the sauna that was the first! At least that’s my excuse. The other possibility is that I’m getting old…
And finally, sorry Squarespace but the Stripe system you have set up for commerce on the blog is balls. I had so many complaints and people having issues with it that there's just no way I can try it again. The people got back to me quickly when I had questions, but in the end they weren't able to get the problem sorted out.
I see it as a test, the whole experience, a test to see if I could navigate this new thing that’s trying to come out of me, this explosion of writing that’s just waiting for me to get ready for it and allow it to come flooding out, while at the same time maintaining a performance edge that I enjoyed while I was out banging around every night in the comedy clubs.
I love making people laugh. I love writing material. And though I was perhaps a little rusty during the first show I feel I proved that I still had full control over my comedic faculties more than adequately for myself… and the audience, if all the feedback is to be believed. I had a solid ending in the second show summing up my intentions now that I’m back home and also dug into some very non-comedic topics that had to be discussed in order for the overall message to get out. It wasn’t perfect, Jeannette thought some of my pacing made me look nervous, but all in all I was happy with it.
Trial by fire.
Now I have a very good understanding of what I have to tweak and work on.
Jeannette asked me last night if it was ‘fun’ while we were driving home last night and I didn’t really know what to say. I suppose it was fun, in a way, but it wasn’t until much later -today actually- that I realized that wasn’t really the purpose of the show at all anyway. I had fun while I was onstage, for sure, after I got over the inital shock of being out there and feeling wobbly. It’s always fun to have material you’re excited about and then get to go out and perform it in a theatre.
But fun isn’t the point anymore which I guess is why I hestitated when she asked me. It hadn’t even occured to me to think it fun.
I guess that’s the difference right there. We don’t have time for fun! I’ve got two kids and live in a world where people are blowing people away in orchestrated bouts of murder in random places all over the world. This is the reality we now have to face every day so no, fun is not the most pressing concern on my mind I suppose. Instead, I’m much more focused on figuring out a way to move forward with a system that surges back against all the spiraling negativity around me -whenever the TV is on anyway- in the best way I know how. And to do that I’ll need to summon all the skills I have at my disposal.
Last night was a first dipping of the toe, just to make sure the goods were all still there.
As a result of that experience I quite confidentally feel that I’ve figured out a way to get this ball rolling. You see, it’s not enough that you just have a good joke, or show, or that you’re an actor of this or that calabre. Pursuing this or that project or position and thinking that’s going to make you happy is the entirely wrong approach. I know this from experience. It took me a long time to realize that we are the story. Each one of us. Every life is an expression of the hero’s journey and the amount you learn is precisely equivalent to the amount you put yourself out there and take risks. Each one of us is, after all, the main character in our own life story -I should hope- and if that’s the case then you have to pull back for a second and take a look at your life.
Then ask yourself a very important question.
Am I answering my call to adventure?
Last night was definitely a test for me. It’s a test I passed. But aside from those concerns the experience showed me a very interesting and enjoyable way to pursue both of my passions on the blog from now on. Feel free to follow whichever one you prefer the most, but keep in mind that each one feeds the other.
It’s the only way I can see a way forward without a constant internal struggle about whom to feed; the writer or the performer.
And in the end, all it took was a simple split.