Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chucking My Cinderblock

Yesterday during my coffee I did a lot of thinking. The funny thing about comedy, ha ha, is nothing is ever set in stone. Today's TV appearance does not guarantee tomorrow's club bookings. Today's club booking does not make one a headliner tomorrow. Today's headliner spot does not mean you won't be haggling for spots next week. Show business is crazy like that. You get what I am saying.

For a while I thought TV time would make me a star. Ironically, when I was on TV most I had the least amount of money in my bank. I remember my episode of Rachael Ray was airing and the crackhead son of the neighbors down the block from me growing up saw it. At the time I was living off my laundry money, doing a host of odd jobs, and I believe my rent check bounced that month. Yes it got me some respect on the street, but nothing else really. If anything in some ways it made my life harder because I had taken a risk on national television. Looking back, I probably wasn't ready for the appearance. Now I know people drill themselves to hell before an appearance and have their jokes on teleprompter. I was twenty three. I had a puppet. Sometimes you just do things. I was glad I did though. While some didnt support me, the folks who did said, "You look good on camera. You should be on TV more."

I remember after that I got on TV again with Foxworthy who is one of the nicest people I have ever worked with. Then I was on TLC and did the press tour with my babies and you know the scoop. And if you read my blogs you know what happened afterwards and how some of it wasn't so nice. Yes, my home club fired me despite the press I got them. Yes, I found out who my friends were and werent the hard way and it sucked, especially to find out on Gawker.

The truth is, I started to develop an attitude about everything. I am a woman in a career with mostly all men. There were guys upset that I seemingly had things handed to me when they didnt see how hard I was working. As a result of my TV time, I had male headliners who hadn't done shit in years bump me because they could bully a junior producer into doing so. I also had them take cheap shots at me because of my recent success. Of course some would intentionally run the light so that people would walk out of the room when I came on because hell, it was getting late. I never had these issues before getting on television. Now I was seeing the dickish side of male comedians. And for the record, it seemed they had their breaks handed to them more than I ever did.

I wish I could say I got support from the women but not so much. They were even worse. Taking pot shots at me on gossip sites was their favorite past time. Some of my so called comedy gal pals were the first to stop talking to me when I got on television. As an added bonus, you would think the women at the top would be nicer to each other? Hell no. Women would have taken over the world a long time ago except we are too damn busy cutting each other down. This hurt too. And I felt all alone.

For a long time I was really angry. Other doors opened like the web network I was on and I took to it. I was pissed a bigger club didnt pick me up. Oh well, I was done with standup. I still performed but not as much. And usually when I did I had something to bitch about. Why couldn't I throw around my TV credits like all the guy comics? Why didnt I get pushy with junior producers? Why wasnt I one of the cool kids who had their careers handed to them? Why did I have to have a brain being so conscious of who and what I was?

The thing about resentment is it is drinking poison and expecting someone else to get sick. I didn't enjoy comedy so much anymore because I had developed such a terrible attitude. Slowly I was becoming everything I hated. I would tell people about my TV time just to remind them in case they forgot. They didn't forgot my TV time and they also didn't forget my bitch streak I had developed. So people began to say I had developed an attitude. Sure, it wasn't intentional but it was there. And some of my anger was justified. There were people not willing to use me on shows but willing to use my image on their posters because I was current. Yes. Fans recognized me on the street. However, I could still be treated like a piece of shit even though I was technically more famous than the (male) headliner trying hunty shit to bump me. This would make anyone angry.

My mother said it best though, "When you laugh, the world laughs with you. When you cry, you cry alone." I was miserable. The thing about anger is eventually it just eats away at your spirit and makes your body ache. I was getting aches and pains out of no where. And it was all my fault. I had a vendetta against the male world that I thought wronged me, the female world who didn't support me, and the comedy world who doesn't know who I (think) I am. Worst of all, I didn't enjoy the thing I used to love most in the world, getting onstage and making people laugh.

Lately I have been getting onstage again. Instead of letting the world know about my TV time I just have been making it about being funny. And when I have been doing that, it occurs to me that I have also been forgetting to do something else: have fun. On any given night I am blessed to share the stage with some of the greatest talent in the world. Some have been on TV more than I have and some may never. Some are not as funny as I am while some are better than I could probably ever be. The point is, when my mind is in the right place the stage becomes my classroom and I learn.

I also like being back onstage. It is like I am twenty years old again lugging my puppets from class to a spot. While I have seen some success, yes, there is still lots of work to be done. Sure, I have all the TV credits I didn't have at twenty. I have the New York Club and road experience I didn't have at twenty. Hell I even wrote a book. Something I only dreamed of at twenty. However, there is one thing that twenty year old kid had that I don't have, a positive attitude. She jumped onstage wherever they let her. She had an open mind and an open heart. Sure she was goofy and clueless as hell but she wasn't afraid and that carried her a long way. Then life happened and she got jaded. But don't we all.

My point is, while time has passed, it is not too late to get that person back. The kid who wears too much makeup but isn't afraid to be herself. The little girl who moved from Pittsburgh and is all alone. The little girl who loved comedy and it times it was the only thing keeping her from jumping out the window when her entitled princess roommate talked about how a decent guy was into her. It was the only thing that kept her from lashing out at the slutty girls or the goody girls. It was the only thing that made her get the respect of the rest of the guys in the room cause she was balls to the wall.

Yeah, my journey has not been easy. There have been people who have told me no. There have been people who have laughed in my face. There have been people who have turned on me with some of my recent success. It hurts because I would never do that to anyone and it is not who my mother raised me to be. At the same time, my mother didn't raise me to be an egotistical tool like I have been becoming either. While these people might suck I have been giving them way too much energy and it's my fault for letting them snatch my spirit.

At the end of the day the industry isn't fair but neither is life. Every dog has their day. We can only work as hard as we can. We can only control what we can. What I can control is being as funny as I can be. I remember I did that after Rachael Ray and it was the best thing I ever did. Now I am doing it again. Yes I still have other cool things I am doing but first and foremost I am returning to basics. This means not running my mouth to bookers and letting my ego get bruised. It is nothing personal, just a part of the game.

As I chuck my cinderblock, I feel not only do I enjoy the thing that I used to love most again, but feel apart of instead of apart from the comedy community. Yes I have worked hard and have done some cool things. But my job behind the mic is to be funny and to push the boundaries by challenging my audience as an artist. Most important of all, it is to make the world a better place. Not only am I more joyful, but I feel fifty pounds lighter.

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
Portion of proceeds go to Greenpeace


  1. I have been reading your blog for quite awhile as it pops up on my facebook wall and have enjoyed every post - either made me laugh, made me think or made me cry. This post however is something I needed to read right now. Thank you.

  2. Awww Thank you for reading. I think every once in a while we all get a little hung up and give energy to people who aren't worth it. Life is a learning game and it is too short to be angry or negative. Because when you are angry and negative all life does is pass you by xo