Unlocked

At the fork in the road, she looks left then right
and chooses the middle with a wink and a grin.
Oh how the wayward souls go


Tomorrow I’ll lock my front door for the first time, and the last time, in eleven years. My home has been figuratively and literally open to anyone who needed anything for over a decade, an era that ends right now.

This wasn’t just a home. It was family dinners and karaoke nights and pool parties and dad jokes and stripper drama and unconditional love and unwavering support. People lived here because it was safe, fun, and judgment-free. It was a refuge for my kind of people – the wayward ones. Those who chose their own paths, forged their own futures, and triumphed over harsh adversity.

I moved to this home newly divorced and terrified of being alone. I leave as someone who loves himself, who has grown and learned and become a much better person. The lessons over the last decades were hard ones, but I’m proud of who I’ve become. And as I witness each one of my chosen family go on to do amazing things, I’m even prouder of them.

Change has always been my enemy. It’s brought anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and hours of abstractly calculating everything that could go wrong. But tomorrow, as I begin a trip with no end in sight, change will be my constant companion, and the thought of embracing it warmly terrifies me. No more routines, my brain says. No more familiarity, my social sense cries. Aha, but no more stagnation, either. No more complacency. No more doing the bare minimum.

I’m so excited.
I’m so terrified.

What’s going to happen next?

Janelle.

Janelle died this weekend.

This isn’t going to be an eulogy. I never knew her well enough for that. 

She was in my circle – my periphery – for almost seventeen years. She was a dedicated reader back in the days of blogging, and commented on every post. She supported every cause, came to every event, and listened to every episode of our long-dead radio show. Janelle may well have been my very first fan, and for a while, she was definitely number one.

I used to do stupid YouTube videos in my old office, which was painted Superman blue. Janelle was fascinated by the room and would comment that she couldn’t wait to visit “and see the Blue Room.” I suspect she was so engaged with the world of blogging for the same reason that many of us were – it gave us a window to whole new worlds we never knew existed. And for Janelle, married with children in a small conservative town, it showed worlds she wanted to be a part of. When she had the opportunity to visit other bloggers, come to parties, and attend events, she moved mountains to make it happen. I remember when she attended a Halloween party at my house, she treated it like a trip to Disney World, traveling somewhere more magical than home to escape reality for a few days. Her sense of awe and wonder was infectious and optimistic, which was a refreshing take I never appreciated fully.

Janelle (dressed as a Tropical Depression) and fellow blogger Michel (as Uncle Fester) at one of my Halloween parties

I took Janelle for granted. It’s only after her death, hearing from friends about how much she meant to them with her compassion and concern and love and support, that I realize that. To me (and to at least one other blogger), she was president of our fan club, but that’s where it ended for us. I would go read her blog when she asked me to and pat myself on the back for leaving a comment, like I was doing some type of fucking charity work, and I knew I could always count on her to be among the first to boost my ego with a comment of her own, but I didn’t know anything about her life. I didn’t know how many kids she had or what her background was or what her dreams were. I didn’t even know where she lived until about three years ago when I organized a meetup in the closest big town. To me, and I say this with absolute regret, Janelle didn’t cross my mind except when it was related to how it could benefit me or support my efforts or ego. Over the years, I got a vague sense of how she was a vocal ally for marginalized groups and a champion for progressive causes, but I never made the effort to treat her as an equal. It’s now clear that she was a much better person than I.

Janelle took her own life this weekend, and I can never take back how I devalued her as a person. I can never make amends for it. I’ve heard from so many friends about how supportive and wonderful she was. She was compassionate and considerate, an energetic cheerleader who championed her friends as they went through their own personal trials. Janelle celebrated your good news and held your hand through the bad news. She was a genuinely good person, and I never knew.

The last time I saw Janelle, in Nashville, with her husband, Paul, as well as fellow blogger Ginger, and my friend Mekennah.

Janelle, I’m sorry for taking your friendship, affection, support, and admiration for granted. It’s too little, too late, I know. I wish I could have been there for you like you were there for so many people, especially in your final hours when you made that terminal choice. There is a tremendous hole in our community now, but I hope you’re at peace, and I hope that each person who benefited from your optimism, support, and love will be able to find peace as well. 

In lieu of flowers, her family is asking for donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Five Years.

I remember getting on stage the night after finding out that you’d killed yourself. 

“I can do this,” I thought. “I’m a professional.” I stood up there with the blinding lights turning the audience into a blurry amorphous creature that can universally love or hate you (and will happily let you know), holding the microphone in the casual way that I’d perfected over thousands of shows. I tried. I really did. But my set – the same set that is so ingrained in my muscle memory that I can do it in my sleep – unraveled. I don’t cry often, but I almost broke down into tears in front of dozens of audience members as I tried to talk about you instead. 

“My best friend killed herself last night,” I said. A few audience members gasped, but the rest held firm, aware that comedy can be dark, and there’s always a punchline. “I haven’t really processed it yet, so I thought why not share this deeply personal moment with a bunch of strangers who came out to be entertained.” There was an uneasy chuckle. “She was a rebel and very anti-establishment, though, so she waited until two days after National Suicide Prevention Week ended. I bet she laughed and said, ‘That’ll show them!’ when she wrote her note and took those pills, too.” 

I remember that nobody was really laughing. The host of the show was at the edge of the stairs, gently offering assurance that he was ready if I wanted to get off stage. I shook my head and continued. “Suicide is a little like comedy, I guess. You don’t really know how well you’re going to do until you’re done, and even then, you’re not the one who gets to decide if you did a good job or a bad one. I don’t even know if I’m sad right now. I’m mostly numb. And angry. Like, if she was alive right now, I’d kill her myself.” I laughed, and it was a little too maniacal and alcohol-fueled for the audience. The host came up on stage and took the microphone and cracked a joke, trying to recover from the destruction that had just occurred.

Nobody clapped when I walked off stage, but more remarkable was what they did do. Random strangers who had just witnessed a breakdown on stage came up to me and wrapped me in hugs. A new comedian who I’d never said three words to took me under her wing. I experienced warmth, understanding and deep compassion in the last place you’d ever expect it – a comedy club. (Well, a shitty venue that occasionally does comedy, but let’s not mince words.)

It’s been five years since you left. The world has changed, but I think your perspective would be inspiring, filled with equal parts sarcasm, dark humor, and empathy. Would we have moved away and built our commune of creatives? I’d like to think so. Would you have joined TikTok and gotten millions of followers with your biting commentary on pop culture and elite meme skills? It seems likely. Would I love to be able to pick up the phone and call you, just to talk for hours about obscure facts about bats, scandalous sex stories, and a bar in Indonesia that serves drinks out of an elephant’s skull that we absolutely must visit? Without a doubt.

I miss you, Anastacia, and I love you. Always and forever.

Persistence of Magic

Lexington will always be imbued with magic for me. (I refer, reader, to the one in Kentucky, not the one in Virginia where I went to college, although that has a magic of its own for an entirely different reason.)

Coming here changed my life. It was in Lexington that I met the artist, fiery-haired with a storm cloud for a soul. We spent hours in conversation so deep that we never dug our way out. In the end, I hurt her significantly, but she forgave me. And after that end, she hurt me significantly. I would still forgive her.

I came here for the parties, hosted by a husband and wife who started off as friends but fell in love. I remember championing their love when they were attacked by others, the anonymous and not-so-anonymous trolls of the world, ugly with their jealousy and lack of compassion, and defending what I knew to be real. It was real, and a beacon to the rest of us, although our friendship has since crumbled, much like their memories of how important they were to me.

It was in Kentucky when I stepped away, giving myself a break from someone who had my heart firmly in her tiny hand. She noticed, and what she said still echoes over a decade later. “I knew you’d always be there, or I thought you would. For the first time, I realized you could leave me, and I finally understood that I’m in love with you.”

Those raspy words, spat between puffs of a cigarette, changed everything. My marriage took a backseat to the new potential of true love with this soul-linked connection, resulting in divorce and upheaval and loss and the monumental destruction of every foundation in my life. Losing her a short time later only helped me to build my identity from scratch. Who was I? Who did I want to be? Who else gets this freedom to decide such questions so late in life? This was a blessing in a heart-wrenchingly painful disguise, leaving me sobbing on the floor in the fetal position for hours before I recognized the gift in front of me.

Here I am, eleven years later, and the magic persists. I remember basement karaoke with people I loved, conversations for hours as we drank and smoked and celebrated each other. I remember the cross-eyed crank who always drank too much. The drama queen who lied to make everything about her (including my life). The tiny bartender with all of her walls. The one who relied on me and said she’d always be there until she wasn’t. The unhappy ones who lived vicariously through the rest of us. The angel. The silver fox. The Dutch queen. For the most part, those people aren’t in my life anymore, for better or worse, but I’m here. The sum of my experiences with them and so many lessons and journeys and crises and triumphs as well.

I couldn’t have accomplished what I have and become who I am without them. And maybe, I couldn’t have continued to grow with them either. There’s no way to tell. There’s only forward. Out of Lexington, probably forever.

Laugh and Be Married Wedding Officiant Services

Wedding Officiant Adam Heath Avitable

Your wedding should not be a serious affair. A little laughter amongst the pomp and circumstance breaks the tension, gets everyone to breathe, and changes your nuptials from boring to buzzworthy.

As an ordained minister, I will craft a personalized wedding ceremony for you and your spouse-to-be, the content for which is based entirely on answers to our conversations and a detailed questionnaire. From geeky to tongue-in-cheeky, the ceremony will be all about you and your partner in lieu of years of religious doctrine and boring tradition.

Do you want your wedding to be something special? It’s time to Laugh And Be Married. Whether you want a light-hearted ceremony that’s good for grandma or a ribald roast of your bridal party, I have the versatility and professionalism to provide it all. As a stand-up comedian and consummate entertainer, I aspire to make your special day even better.

Are you non-traditional? Yes, but I’ll respect whichever traditions are important to you.

Will the ceremony be religious? It can be as religious or as secular as you’d like.

Is your beard going to be dyed? If you wanted someone boring, you’d ask your uncle who’s a notary.

Will you work with a budget? I will. My fees vary, but I’m happy to do what I can to accommodate most couples.

Do you travel? As long as my travel expenses are covered, I will travel wherever the wedding will be!

fee range

Fee includes:

  • Personalized ceremony written from scratch 
  • Attendance at the rehearsal, ceremony and reception
  • Signing the marriage license
  • Electronic copy of ceremony for printing or framing

Travel expenses and hotel for 2 nights is additional and must be provided for any weddings outside of Orlando.

$300-700

“An amazing officiant! He personalized our vows to a tee…. everyone at the wedding said Adam put the whole evening over the top and he did! Thanks Adam!!”

*****

“He made the ceremony personable and enjoyable for what we wanted. He definitely gave us the ceremony we were looking for. I got lots of feedback about how well Adam did and how much my guests loved the ceremony.”

*****

Plan Your Wedding Now!

Adam Avitable Public Speaker

KEYNOTE SPEAKING

Adam Heath Avitable has a wide range of topics on which he can speak for your conference or special event. As a comedian, lawyer, author, career counselor, entrepreneur, and blogger who has gone viral several times globally for his humor, stories, and even his emotionally evocative and controversial writing, he can craft a 45-90 minute speech or workshop that is engaging, informative, and always entertaining. Here are just a few potential topics:

  • When Trolls Attack – How To Protect Yourself And Remain Transparent Online
  • Vulnerability Leads to Relatability: The Lessons Businesses Can Learn
  • Don’t Be Perfect. Be Honest.
  • Going Viral: Is It Worth It?
  • Funny Trumps All – The Importance of Humor
  • Can You Share Too Much?
  • What Are You Doing Wrong On Your Resume?
  • Stop Taking Resume Advice From HR Departments and Recruiters

Avitable can teach writing workshops, resume workshops, and classes on social media use, stand-up comedy, and more. He can also present for conference sessions, keynote speeches, and more. As a versatile speaker with a broad background, his audiences have enjoyed his presentations at many conferences including the following:

  • American Advertising Foundation (keynote)
  • Wisconsin Association of Surgical Technologists (keynote)
  • Paychex Florida (guest speaker)
  • UCF Digital Media Class (final class speaker)
  • UCF English (guest lecturer)
  • BlogHer (panel speaker)
  • FLBlogCon (conference emcee)
  • FLBlogCon (writing workshop)
  • FLBlogCon (presenter)
  • FORUM (featured presenter)

Whatever your industry or message, Avitable can present a topic in a way that will get your audience buzzing!

fee range

$500-5000

Fee varies based on topic, audience, and length. For events outside of Orlando, reasonable travel expenses as well as hotel expenses will be required.

Areas of Expertise

  • Stand-up Comedy
  • Resumes and Cover Letters
  • Higher Education
  • Going Viral
  • Social Media
  • Writing a Novel
  • Blogging
  • Freelance Writing
  • Writing Humor
  • Performing Weddings
  • Personal Growth
  • Self Reflection
  • Honesty and Transparency
  • Owning Your Mistakes
  • Rebuilding Your World
  • Engaging with Audiences
  • Building Loyalty with Readers
  • Writing Mistakes to Avoid

Book Adam Now!

Orlando Comedian Adam Heath Avitable

Professional Comedian, Emcee, and Roaster

Adam Heath Avitable has been performing stand-up comedy professionally since 2010 when, after a divorce, he realized he had plenty to talk about. It wasn’t a difficult transition to translate 10 years of his highly popular blog for the stage, and before long, Avitable was performing at clubs and casinos across the country. Audiences have enjoyed his dark humor and raw honesty at venues from Los Angeles, California to Reykjavik, Iceland, and he is in high demand for private parties, corporate gigs, club nights, and comedy roasts.

He has performed with well-known comedians such as Nikki Glaser, Rich Vos, Tom Rhodes, Pauly Shore, Dustin Diamond, John Witherspoon, and Tony Rock, headlined 90-minute storytelling shows, won comedy contests, and written roast jokes for comedians on television. Avitable was on the road with The Tonight Show’s first Irish comedian Sean Finnerty, and started in comedy with America’s Got Talent’s own Preacher Lawson. If you’re looking for a versatile performer who can work with any audience, you’ve found him!

fee range

$400-5,000

Fee depends on venue, type of act needed, complexity, and client. Travel and hotel costs are not included.

Potential Gigs

  • Traditional Comedy Show
  • Corporate Party
  • Roast of Guest of Honor
  • Birthday Party
  • Business Grand Opening
  • Bar Event
  • Conference Entertainment
  • Bar Opening
  • Special Event
  • Awards Show

Book Adam Now!

Content Creation and Editing Services

Using his law degree, experience as a college professor, and years as a professional writer, social media consultant, and blogger, Adam Heath Avitable can write for any industry or profession in a way that is compelling, approachable, and engaging, without being condescending or overly informal. He is capable of breaking down complex topics into simple and consumable bites for the layperson, crafting content that uses keywords while also incorporating everyday language to appeal to any reader, and tackling difficult topics with a tact and sensitivity appropriate for a diverse audience.

Whether you need a copywriter or an editor, daily social media content, a weekly newsletter, a monthly magazine, or an entire rewrite of your website that maintains a consistent tone and is true to the original branding, Avitable will work with you to accomplish your goals. He has written compelling pieces for an extremely diverse group of industries that include the following:

  • Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing and Sales
  • Corporate Travel Planning
  • Commercial Farm Real Estate
  • Hospice Care Referral Service
  • Long Distance Family Pet Moving
  • Membership-Based Barbershop Services
  • Low-Income Patient-Friendly Optometrist
  • Security System and Alarm Monitoring
  • Basement Conversion and Renovation
  • Adult Friendly Subscription Services
  • Home and Office-Based Organizational System Design
  • Low-Level Consumer-Friendly Cryptocurrency
  • Residential Hauling and Dumpster Rental
  • Medical Supply Delivery Services
  • Emerging Technologies in Athletic Training

Consistent content is essential for any business to gain a foothold on the Internet, and only through putting in the time, effort, and resources to have a social media and web presence that produces dynamic, variable content will you be able to survive. See how Avitable can help today!

fee range

$50-150/hour*

*Project rates available

Types of work

  • Social Media Content (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • Weekly Articles for your Company Website
  • Regular Newsletter to Employees, Customers, Vendors, or Prospective Leads
  • SEO-Friendly Rewrite of your Entire Website
  • Press Releases
  • Letters to Shareholders, Employees, Customers, or Others
  • Business Plans
  • Magazines (Electronic or Print)
  • Letters from the President
  • Product Instructions
  • Scripts for Radio or Video
  • Analysis of Detailed Research
  • White Papers
  • Any and all Copy Writing, Editing, and Content Creation

Get a Quote Now!

Professional Resume Service

Since 2004, Adam Heath Avitable has crafted winning resumes, cover letters, and personal statements for clients around the globe looking for jobs, residency and fellowship programs, graduate schools, and promotions. He started one of the first companies in the world to help professionals find jobs through the combination of a powerful resume and an effective direct mail campaign and in the course of growing it, hired and trained resume writers, ghost-wrote a book about resumes and cover letters, and taught resume workshops to students and professionals. From lawyers to physicians, executives to servers, accountants to sales, there are no industries where he hasn’t dived in and assisted someone with their career goals.

A resume should be a document that can be scanned by the eye in 30 seconds or less while still retaining all of the essential details for both the reader and the computer scanning equipment that will review it. Avitable is an expert at parsing your detailed work history and skill set into the words that matter most.

With thousands of resumes written, he finds resume writing to be a natural skill that most people do not have. It’s not the same as writing anything else – grammar rules are thrown out the window, editing choices take formatting into consideration, and the content is highly specialized. Even if you’re an amazing writer, a resume will prove to be a challenge. And if you’re not an amazing writer, that challenge just gets more exponential.

Visit his Facebook page to see all of the outstanding reviews he’s gotten from every client, and get a quote today to have your resume overhauled and crafted into the document it deserves to be!

Avitable will review your existing resume or resumes, if you have any, give you some feedback and tips for doing the work yourself if you’d like, and then provide you with a detailed quote for his services. The fee can vary based on the complexity and amount of work, but he does work with clients who have budgets, and offers discounted combination packages for orders that include multiple services. In addition, after you become a client, he’ll be here to provide advice or counseling as you need it for the future, from interview help to guidance writing thank-you notes. From start to finish, his goal is yours – finding you that perfect job!

Services Offered

Personalized resume written from scratch based on as much information as you can provide, including an existing resume, older documents, LinkedIn, and/or any job descriptions you’re interested in.

$150-350

Additional Services:

  • Cover Letter – $150-$200
  • LinkedIn Profile – $150-$200
  • Personal Statement – $1200-$1500
  • Letter of Recommendation – $200-$350
  • Discounted Combination Packages Available

“Adam has a fundamental understanding of how resume readers and hiring managers take in information, and a way of developing each person’s experience into an effective narrative. He also takes the time to understand clients as people, not just as projects to be completed.”

*****

“Super happy with the end product! I would definitely recommend using this for your cover letter and resume!!! He was incredibly thorough and created a resume that’s easy for employers to skim while maintaining the details that suited my needs/goals.”

*****

“I was struggling with rewriting my resume once again and it was WAY too long because I did not want to “sell myself short” or leave any experience out. But Adam helped me restructure and rewrite my resume in a more visually appealing manner and it still makes sense. I was so worried about losing something with the editing but it worked out great!”

*****

Get a Quote Today!