Saturday, September 8, 2012
Getting on Stage When Life Is Bad
As a comedian, I'm sure I'm not the only one who had to go onstage when I was having some distressing things happening in my life. I've seen plenty of friends have a bad day and get up anyway. But when does a bad day become so bad that you DON'T go up? In my opinion, never. Recently I have had some very emotionally difficult things happen in my life. I got divorced, fellow comedians that were at the shows I was at fucked with my heart, my ex-husband landed in the burn ward with 30% of his body covered in third degree burns putting me with him at the hospital almost everyday, he went through a bunch of surgeries, my Noni and Grandma Lou are in the hospital, I can't find a job, bills became overdue, my lease is running up, etc. etc. etc... and on every one of those nights, I went onstage and told jokes anyway. Even the day I asked my husband for a divorce, I immediately went to Long Beach and got onstage. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been perfect. Most of those nights I was crying and had to be convinced by my room mate or I was sitting in the audience, knowing I was up in five and seriously considering telling the host to take me off the list. We all know as comedians though, that you NEED to get onstage, every chance you get, no matter how you feel or if you think you are going to be funny. There is no break from this life. You can't just sit at home and cry for a week every time something bad happens and expect you will get any better at this. I have seen some really good comedians become a part of the back drop of the scene because of this. We all must continue to grow and look at comedy as therapy when we are going through emotional shit. Whenever I feel sad now, I feel MORE inclined to get onstage and release everything bad in me into something amazing. Someone breaks my heart, I write a new five minutes and go find an open mic. There have even been times where that five minutes sucked and it was just horribly angry but it helped me grow and learn what is acceptable and what isn't. It also taught me that when you feel this way and get onstage, you shouldn't just shit on the audience and expect anything either. You need to always try your best. We all get sad, we all have trauma as comedians. You can either let this eat you alive or focus your energy into something great. You are the only person that controls you so don't fuck it up.