Stumbling Around Not-So-Blind.

Last week, I wrote a pretty despondent post. After a few hours, I erased it because I was trippin’ balls when I wrote it and a lot of what I wrote was me working through some intense, powerful, and dark feelings about the circumstances around the relationship I have currently. To make a long story short, things are great and what I was processing last week resolved positively and healthily.

As y’all were.

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The Dumping This Cognitive Load Blues

Good (morning/afternoon/evening/middle of the night when you can’t sleep because you never know if ninjas are watching you).

Last week at this time, I was a bundle of nerves and adrenaline. Today, I’m still a bundle of nerves and adrenaline but I’ve managed to brush my teeth and shower before a reasonable time so success!

My name is Brian and I’m an amateur local comedian. With determination and great material, I will strive to become a professional local comedian. Who knows? Right now, I’m just having fun. I’m learning to create jokes (as opposed to writing jokes… I’m told that’s the mindset to take). Some of the jokes are funny only to me, while some jokes are funny to others as well as my. I’m an outlier in that I think every-fucking-thing I say is funny.

The trick is not to think about it too much. But that’s what I do. I think. A lot. There’s a lot of time spent in the head. And I’m not just talking about making jokes or writing. When I hop upon an idea, I tend to over-analyze, think, rethink, post-think, etc., things. This leaves me with living in a constant state of confusion, unable to make decisions or choices because, well, it’s just hard.

And then there’s just the utter bliss of being poor in this American moment.

What I am sure is that I’m currently not making a lot of money at the moment. There are a couple freelance gigs that I do but they’re not much in terms of making me tons of money. I can cover my bills and that’s just about it. Anything else, groceries, toiletries, clothes, are considered a very heavy expense at the moment. Which kind of sucks. And since it sucks and I’m always thinking about it, it kills any and all creativity process. Y’see, when you’re worried about where your next paycheck is coming from, it severely restricts the brain. Being poor isn’t exactly a boon to your health but even worse is how poverty changes your brain. Constantly running figures in my head (“If I may $X this week, I can pay my cell phone bill and my internet, but I need some groceries stat…) is a cognitive load that could be freed up for other uses. Then there’s the general existentialism of giving meaning to our lives but still side-eyeing our bank account. Basically, things kind of suck at the moment head-wise.

I don’t like how this feels because it isn’t productive and staunches the creative flow. And when the flow is dammed up by obsessing over the money I have in my bank account, it’s makes it more challenging to create that which, with diligence, lead me to more lucrative projects and not have to fuss so much about the number of pennies in the jar.

None of this goes into the act, of course.

I did research a couple weeks ago for an article on instant ramen I wrote for another site. Though I do have a package of some nummy Nissen noodles, what I found out about what goes into instant ramen is kind of horrorshow. No protein, bad for your heart if you eat it more than once a decade, all sorts of scary things that give me pause when I reach for a pack. One article I found suggested that because instant ramen is so cheap, one could live an entire year on the stuff for just $150. If you can make it the entire year and no drop dead from heart failure, you should qualify for some sort of prize. Like fresh ramen noodles for the rest of your life or something. Or a better healthcare plan because you’re going to need it.

In two weeks, I’ll be doing an actual show. It’ll be the same location and I’ll be doing ten minutes instead of the open mic five minutes. I’m heading out there tonight to watch other comedians perform so I can see how a show runs and get the DVD of my performance last week.

Yeah, I’m on DVD, yo. And I got a show, yo!!

More later. Time for an invigorating game of cerebellum rugby.

I Came, I Saw, I Comedied!

Wednesday night went off pretty much as I had hoped, even better than expected. I didn’t dry (I had words on a note card to jar my memory), I didn’t speed through my act, and I pretty much killed. If were to use a picture to sum it up, it’d be this one.The Author standing triumphant outside Legends Bar.After I got off stage, I got a lot of compliments and feedback from the other comedians there, including a veteran local comic or two who said that I should stick with it. The best part was that the guy who organized the night told me to see him after the show. So I now have a gig lined up for the 25th. I get ten minutes. Time to create more jokes.

It seems I have a good side as a stand up comedian, which I can add to my current gigs as a freelancer and (hope-to-be-published) writer. Things are aligning and I just have to keep at it.

Special shout-out to one of my readers, Lisa. She couldn’t make the gig so she sent me a Doctor Who thermal mug. As far as gifts go, this is awesome! Thanks, Lisa!

Here’s a picture of my mug with my mug.

Dalek t-shirt on point.

Until next time…

Pre-Mic Jitters.

The latest from the Magical Orangutan Laboratories

Tonight, I dip my toe in Open Mic comedy. Five minutes of material that’ll hopefully lead to fame or free drinks. I’m good with either. So long as I’m not tarred, feathered, and tossed into the Ohio river, I’ll be good.

I’ve always been naturally funny, someone who could riff off one-liners “in the moment”, but I always had trouble writing a stand up bit. This is one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to even venture on stage to tell jokes. Writing comedy is a lot harder than regular writing because not only must you come up with ideas, you need to come up with funny ideas. Thankfully, there are many resources, like books and websites, that help you play around with structure, formulas, and the like to produce material. Also, writing stand differs from regular writing because you’re writing what is basically dialogue for yourself. It’s a different form of narrative than you would find in your basic third-person narrative writing. It helps to write dialogue like Faulkner, I suppose.

One joke less. One joke less.

Tonight’s open mic is happening in my home town of Cheviot, OH. I had a joke at one point that went like this:

This is a bit of a homecoming for me. I’m from here — not the bar, but Cheviot. Cheviot was my home, Cheviot was where I grew up, and, judging by your response so far, it looks like I’m going to die in Cheviot.

In the end, I took it out. However, if I’m not getting the laughs I hope I do from the rest of my material, I might slide it back in.

Cheviot can probably be considered a Conservative neighborhood, and since I’m pretty leftie, my act is steering clear of politics. Hopefully, what I’ve written is funny, it’s definitely me, and with the help of a note card, I won’t blank on stage.

Will report back tomorrow.

Mucky Snowy Saturday Update

Greetings from the Magical Orangutan Laboratories. We’re getting ourselves one last blast of snow here but since the temps aren’t going below freezing, it’s just leaving slushy slush snow. Regardless, it’s enough to cause hours and hours of bad driving decisions. Which doesn’t affect me much since I’ve no car or no plans to head out of my warm abode, especially when I have hot tea, homemade bean soup, and Sparks playing on Google Music.

I’ve been in a flurry of activity with lots of writing, some freelance work, and crippling poverty. On the writing side, there’s this:

  • I’m working on a short story based on the old fable, Belling The Cat. If all goes right, I’ll submit it for publication.
  • I’m also polishing up a bit of flash fiction that I’ll probably submit to flash zines or something like that.
  • I’m pondering a rework of a novella-length short story wrote a long time ago, The Road to Rigor Mortis (to the joy of some of my friends, I’m sure).
  • Also, there’s a thing that I’ve been scribbling in my journal. Something tells me its name is poemanifesto. I’ll probably be posting that here.
  • Recently, I’ve been blogging for a local group called Cincinnati Bloggers and have two articles up there:
  • I’m freelancing as a virtual assistant but slowly meandering my way towards freelance copywriting & proofreading. If you need something written or read & edited, I’m your In Person.

Add to that a recently terrifying decision on my part: signing up for an open mic comedy show.

Comedy Open Mic at Legends Bar & Venue

After years of people telling me to be a standup comedian, I’m taking the dive. And no, I’m sharing my act here. Yet.

Back to the writing…

 

 

 

 


* Footnote

I got to see Neil Gaiman courtesy of tickets won from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.