Religion is to spirituality what porn is to sex.
Went and watched some local standup last night. I was very entertained, even by the way all the comedians handled the obnoxiously drunk girl in the front row. Gotta think on your feet, guys!
I am very excited to think about starting my standup career this month. It’s been something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was about ten years old, maybe younger.
All my life I’ve studied standup. I wasn’t just a fan; I watched dozens, and then hundreds of comedians. I didn’t just listen and laugh, I watched their routines. How they spoke. How they moved. Like a young child studying Bruce Lee movies to learn martial arts.
So many favourites over the years. Robin Williams was maybe my first, and then George Carlin. Steve Martin. Steven Wright. Jim Carrey. Bill Hicks. Mitch Hedberg. Louis Black. Louis CK. Basically, any idiot you’ve seen quoted here on Tumblr. And, like most hipster-nerds, “I knew about them long before everybody else did.”
Now there’s this 35 year-old guy sitting in my seat. He’s starting to go grey. He smokes a lot of pot. He talks about himself a lot. A LOT.
And I think it’s time for him to start performing live standup comedy.
I hate to be “that guy”, but I must admit, I make people laugh a lot. It was my thing, back in school. I was always “the funny kid”, or “the talkative kid who never shut up and wanted to be funny”. But I think I’m pretty funny these days. I mean, I don’t always think I’m funny, but I crack people up like crazy. I legit make my coworkers laugh all day, about the stupidest shit. And girlfriends? I keep ‘em in stitches. So that way they know what’ll happen to them if they don’t laugh at my jokes. HA! Ah, I kid, I kid.
But seriously… this is as close as I come to A Calling. A driving desire I’ve had all my life. I’ve been too scared to try it, scared that I’d let myself down. But now it’s time to move past all that.
Coming soon to a world near you.
One of my favourite moments of my own writing, from The Young Offenders.
I hate to sit around just slapping myself on the back, but this page is really me. It’s what I am. It’s violent and political and post-modernly referential. It’s me, doing what I do best. I think, anyway.
Of course, it’d be nothing without Peter, the artist, who made it all more than just a script. He’s does incredible work.
Just a moment in time, really…
Normally, I try to stay busy.
I like to get up early in the morning, and start my day. I feel like I’ve got lots to do. I’m not sure what I’m doing with my life, but it’s a steady process.
I’ve got a job that I work. I go there, I do tasks, and every two weeks I get a pay-check.
When I’m not there, I’m usually at home. For the past 12 years, whenever I’ve been at home, I’ve felt a pressure. A pressure to do something, or to be someone. Write a book. A movie. A blog entry. Prove to the universe that I exist outside of my everyday job which anybody could do.
Up every morning, and writing. When I was younger, I had to write every day to prove to myself that I was a writer. To develop the stamina, and skills. Now, I’ve written thing. Books. I know I’m a writer, a real writer, in any sense of the word. Though I don’t get paid for it, yet.
But now it’s December. December, 2013.
Work gets harder, and the days get shorter. Xmas shoppers are like a plague, from unhappy parents to crying children. They all want what they want, and they resent anything that gets in their way, like logic, or the truth. “We don’t sell that.” But I want it!
So, this month of the year, I try to take it a bit easier. I try to relax on my days off, and just have a good time. I work on projects when I can, but I accept that I need a lot of rest, and plenty of time to just goof off, watching cartoons and action scenes.
It feels cold outside, the cool air sneaking in through the window-glass, and wrapping itself around my legs. Like an icy scarf, or a chill snake slowly wrapping itself about me, tighter and tighter.
Maybe I’ll do something today.
Maybe I won’t.
I guess we’ll just have to see.
One of my more popular pieces…
Every morning, I come crawling back out of the fire, with broken legs and bloodied hands. I crawl my way back to you.
And so, here we are.
I want to give up on everything except you. I want to surrender. To lay down. I am weary, and my battle has raged on for too long. I just want to rest. I am not angry anymore.
We have an oversized apartment. We share it with a monster. The monster lurks in the shadows and empty rooms, forever moving to an adjacent hallway, floorboards shifting and groaning underfoot.
The monster lives on loneliness and shame. The monster likes it when you stand in front of the big mirror, and doubt yourself. Your lack of confidence can be… inspiring.
It drags me away, in the night. The monster pulls me out from the bed, by my ankles, and it shoves me into a sack, and it throws the sack over its back, and it hauls the sack, from room to room.
Drawn down into the lonely places by a cold fiend that knows no love.
But every day, every morning…
I crawl my way back to you.
Acting is about moments. The right person, in the right place, at the right time, can be lightning striking a tree; instantaneous, but never forgotten.
I recall the performances I saw as a child. I escaped my own life, and lived through others, while watching stories. I saw my own potential within all those separate lives being lived out. Characters considering options I’d never imagined.
Now I seek my own place in that world. To establish my own identity through the adoption of others. To see myself defined by being those I am not.
How many little online side-projects have I started over the years? They all sort of spun out of Perpetrators Of Thuggery, the hardcopy zine I made 3 issues of when I was 20?
You put all those together, and there’s almost a little collection of something. It’s weird to see them all spiralling around like that. My mean little surrealist ideas.
I’m trying to keep them all going… when I remember to!
I’m not taking part in National Novel Writing Month this year, mainly because I’m too goddamn busy writing novels!
I’m over halfway through second draft edits on my island-based mystery, THE CAGE. I’d like it to be a little longer, and new material is presenting itself nicely as I proceed through the editing.
I completed the first draft of AUTOMATON just a few weeks before that, which felt great. It still needs a lot of work, but it was real satisfying to reach that final line. I know some people complain about them, but I really like endings. I like a sense of finality that only fiction can bring.
And on and on it goes. I got three pages into something last night. Maybe it’ll grow into something larger? I don’t know. I keep meaning to try to work with some short-stories, but I have a hard time not pushing through towards that fifty-thousand word mark. Not that fifty K is all that many words, but it’s a length I’m comfortable with for now.
Solid, pulpy little adventures. Or sorrows. Or whatever the hell it is I’m scribbling about.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions