Before Stand Up Comedy… I had a comfortable life and a great job with fantastic pay and a stable schedule. I would get home from work and go to the gym or make a great meal and we would watch TV … shows like Project Runway or Hoarders. Life was good. I had money and traveled and went to nice places for dinner…life was good.
I loved watching stand-up comedy on TV, I thought it would be fun to Try that so I looked up comedy class on line and signed up for one… Something like $450 bucks…for 4 Sundays and a Grad show at the end… Fine I can write it off and I made good money at the time, it would be a hoot.
I learned how to hold a mic, got some pointers on some jokes and then off to my big show. We were urged to get 10 friends and family to go to the club on a Sunday at like 2PM … A 2 drink minimum and a bunch of first timers stumbling through their 5 min sets. We even could pay extra for a DVD… To show our friends that didn’t fall for the crappy show invite.
I have to say it was amazing the range of feelings you go through back stage, then on stage, then after your set. From back stage wanting to Run away or throw up… to being on stage telling your jokes to a large group of people… and that first laugh you get is more powerful than any drug I have ever done. Seeing the look of the audience all looking at you and finding something you said to be funny and clapping is a trill. After my set I was so full of adrenalin… so pumped… I loved that feeling. I was hooked, I wanted to do that every day.
Be careful what you wish for… the economy took a turn. The job market was doing bad and I was fine with taking time off after my Parents died, comedy would “Heal Me”. I would give myself more time to work on my jokes and I can do more open mics to practice at night…
Fast forward 4 years… Now I am unemployed, hang out in back rooms and bars looking to gets my fix… usually 5 min at a time at an open mic somewhere… Being happy with chuckles just hoping that I can finally make that bit I have been working on about glitter work.
My regular friends are living their normal lives happy I stopped asking, no begging them to come to yet another bringer show. Sitting through yet another line up of marginally talents wunna be’s like me who conned them into a cover charge and a 2 drink minimum. I get gigs now and then that are really fun and feed that fire I have usually right about at point where my common sense is starting to be heard… “give this stuff up”, “do it as a “hobby””, “get back in to the working world”, “Start bringing in money again”, “work on that resume gap”.
I don’t do it for the fame or to be on TV. I do it because I am addicted to the attention… but only when I do well. Crashing and burning in front of strangers is one thing but to do it in front of friends really bytes.
You do not know how hard it is when my spouse comes home from a day of saving lives and delivering babies at work and I am there with nothing done around the house, unshaven, un-showered and racking my brain about a joke about Herpes… It’s not a normal way to live…
The data is hard to believe:
It has long been known that dyslexics are drawn to running their own businesses, where they can get around their weaknesses in reading and writing and play on their strengths. But a new study of entrepreneurs in the United States suggests that dyslexia is much more common among small-business owners than even the experts had thought.The report, compiled by Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a third of the entrepreneurs she had surveyed – 35 percent – identified themselves as dyslexic. The study also concluded that dyslexics were more likely than nondyslexics to delegate authority, to excel in oral communication and problem solving and were twice as likely to own two or more businesses.
Keep in mind that only 10 percent of Americans are believed to have dyslexia, so the percentage of business owners with dyslexia is a very significant aberration. The explanation seems to be that children with dyslexia develop compensatory mechanisms that allow them to excel in business. They turn a potential disability into a new set of cognitive skills.
One reason that dyslexics are drawn to entrepreneurship, Professor Logan said, is that strategies they have used since childhood to offset their weaknesses in written communication and organizational ability — identifying trustworthy people and handing over major responsibilities to them — can be applied to businesses.”The willingness to delegate authority gives them a significant advantage over nondyslexic entrepreneurs, who tend to view their business as their baby and like to be in total control,” she said.
The larger moral of studies like this is that we should never underestimate the importance of neurodiversity. At first glance, dyslexia might seem like an unequivocal disability, a brain disorder that we’d be better off without. But nothing in the mind is that simple, is it?