It's not always about being funny.

A sign from God. Or Mr. Chang.

As a kid, I was bombarded with morbid humor. My mother told me Challenger jokes the first week after it exploded. I heard about death at the dinner table as my mother regaled us with tales of open heart surgeries gone awry, blood splashing in copious amounts, or tapeworms that emerged like snakes from the small intestine. Humor has always been a part of my life – it’s my defense mechanism, it’s my way of dealing with difficulties in life, and it’s my way of making friends.

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to make people laugh. Whether it’s at my own expense or not, getting a chuckle, guffaw, or even a smile makes it all worthwhile. It’s also an area where my confidence is constantly lacking. My other traits are ones where I’m rock solid. I know I’m intelligent, a great friend, and charismatic. But I constantly need reassurance that I’m funny. Maybe it’s because it’s a more objective concept, but even though I know that I can’t make everyone laugh all the time, I want to so badly! My blog has become a place for me to try new ideas and to attempt to wring comedy from every dark corner of the universe. Recently, though, I’ve been wanting more – I have been wanting another way to showcase my humor. I’m so terrified of rejection, of failing, of not being funny, that I really needed something to push me to try.

Last night, after dinner at P.F. Chang’s, I got that something I needed for that push. And I think I’m going to face my fears and plan for something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.

I think I’m going to do stand up comedy.

61 thoughts on “A sign from God. Or Mr. Chang.”

  1. If your blog is anything to go by, then you will be great as a stand-up comic. And please post videos here to test out your material – I don’t want to wait until you’re headlining Vegas to see your act!

  2. nice!
    I find it’s never wrong to make life decisions based on obscure advice I get from dessert pastries. 🙂
    Like that time I left my wife and kids to be a backup dancer for Janet Jackson.

  3. It sure seems like the next natural step from here! And whether it comes from divine intervention or dinner special #9 matters not (channeling Yoda). All that does is that you recognize it for what it is. The push you needed! Now go tear it up! Just don’t forget us!

  4. Aha! I will offer you the same WHOO-HOO along with a little advice, as, uh, some of my best friends are stand ups. (And I have written comedy for a living.)

    Start watching a shitload of comedy. Stand up is way more than being funny.Watch the comics you like, the comics you hate, watch the same bits told in different performances.

    Go see a bunch of stand-up (natch.)

    Carry the notebook for bits/funny schtuff (you may do this already.)

    Some comedy clubs/improv groups have classes. These are hit and miss, but the plus is that there’s stage time (doing stand up in your living room is waaaaay different than doing it on stage.)

    Follow comedians on Twitter. They’re not always funny (people gotta tweet about their breakfasts, yo) but it’s a unique bit of perspective (I worship at the altar of @PFTompkins, @julieklausner @BillCorbett & @SaraJBenincasa. Some people at earlyish part of the process are @apey @genegeorge and @branwell. YMMV.)

    If you want baby steps, start broadcasting. Having a live show with a camera in your face and time to fill is still a “safe space” (minus the Ustream haters who think you suck. (Not YOUyou.) (I mean me.))

    Comedy podcasts! Go Superego go, Comedy Death Ray, blah blah blah. (Podcasting = another way to get out there and build your material.)

    /advice mode off

    Good luck! xo!

    1. @Nina the slackmistress, thank you for the advice – it’s really helpful. I’ve grown up watching tons of stand-up and idolizing people like Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Sam Kinison, Mitch Hedberg, Steven Wright, and Louis CK. I may email you later for input, if that’s okay?

  5. I would totally be there if I still lived in that half the world! I think you’ll make the masses piss themselves laughing. Maybe even blow alcoholic beverages out of their noses. You are just that good!!

  6. Awesome! I’ve seen some acts that preceded the headliner that I knew for a fact I could outperform, and since I’m only funny to myself, I’m certain you could do it!

    Doug Lewis at Taunt Vortex went from practicing medicine to blogging to doing standup out in TX and loves it…some of his videos are on YouTube, and he’s actually pretty good, I think. His blog is here: (though he rarely writes now, saving it for the stage instead).
    One of the videos is here:

  7. I’m so proud of you! It’s rough, for sure. And it takes a lot of stick-to-it-iveness but I know you’ll be amazing.

    Check to see if there are some local classes down there you can get in on. Stand-up, Storytelling, Improv, Sketch, whatever. It will all help.

    So so proud.

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