I wet the bed. Well, sort of…
I haven’t done stand-up in almost a month, and I haven’t posted an entry on this site in nearly five weeks.
It’s a funk. A creative funk.
On September 15th, I placed 5th in a comedy competition and was moved to the next round to compete in the semi-finals.
I did really good. It was a great set.
I also didn’t place, and was eliminated.
“Nobody wins em all”
“You’ve only been doing comedy for four months, you’ve come a long way.”
“Fuck competitions, if the audience laughs then that is all the verification and satisfaction you need.”
“Steve, I’m your doctor and I have told you countless times; I don’t care about your comedy, and you don’t need to be naked in my office if all you have is a dry cough. Please get dressed.”
So I brushed my shoulders off, and told myself I would just work harder.
I haven’t done anything creative since.
I’ve even lied to friends at certain points-
“Oh, tonight is your birthday and you’re going out for beers? Eesh, yeah, I have a comedy gig tonight but I’ll see if I can make it.”
No new writing.
I don’t think I could even come up with a decent knock, knock joke.
In fact, I feel like I’m doorbell ditching jokes…setting them up, and then running away before the punchline or payoff. Maybe even leaving out a flaming bag of poop.
Don’t put it out with your boot, though.
I’m tired of performing my old set.
I now understand how Chumbawumba feels in concert every night.
Eat a dick, audience.
I get knocked down…but I get up again…and proceed to pour myself a big bowl of cereal while I watch the Price Is Right.
I worked my ass off for comedy.
The payoff is incredibly rewarding, but it’s the worst feeling ever when you bomb.
Dish it out, but can’t take it.
“Steve, you have to be able to deal with rejection to do this business.”
Oh, I can. I’m ready to get back on the horse, baby. Nobody gonna break-a-my-stride, nobody gonna hold me down. I gots to keep on movin’.
On the night of Oct. 20th, the final round for the competition was being held and I received a phone call from the owner.
“Hey Steve, we had a guy drop out of the competition from injury. If you can make it down here in the next hour you can compete.”
A second chance.
“…shucks, I have my son tonight and it’s too late notice for a babysitter. Dammit all to hell, wish I could make it. Sorry.”
I didn’t have my son that night.
It was pointless to go through that again. The people that I would’ve been up against were all very funny individuals, and my heart wouldn’t be in the performance.
It would be welcoming rejection.
I passed up a second chance because I wanted to wallow in self-pity.
I pissed the bed.
Motivation is a funny thing. It aides in pushing us to stay focused and complete a task, but it also works in smaller doses.
Like a deep sleep, failure can make you comfortable. It’s peeing the bed.
Why get up and do the right thing, when you can just do it without moving an inch?
Why do comedy (or anything) if all you are going to do is fail? I’d bet that people who succeed have a grasp on their nightly bathroom visits. They wake up, do what they need to do, and then go back to bed. They have a responsibility, and they adhere to it.
Then there’s me: I’m comfortable right now. I’m too comfortable. I’m five-years-old again.
I’m just sleeping in my own bed and dreaming that I’m swimming in a warm lake.
No competitions. No boos. Nobody seeing me fail.
Then I wake up to the mess I’ve made. I’m saturated in it.
I’m embarrassed that I didn’t wake up for two fucking minutes and take care of this properly. I took the easy way out.
…and now I’m covered in piss.
…or did I willingly ignore it?
“I’m not bunking with Ernie Sir, the other night he wet the bed.”
“-Well, we all have our accidents sometimes…”
“He did it from across the room!” – Quotes from Sgt. Bilko
The ‘peeing the bed’ metaphor only goes so far.
What happens when you want to pee the bed? When you want to wallow in that comfort of doing nothing, and if you have to hang out in a little bit of piss to do it…so be it.
I feel like one of R. Kelly’s victims right now, wallowing in yellow shame, and oddly enough having “I believe I can fly” on in the background.
I need my body to wake me up.
I need to walk over to the bathroom and let loose.
I need it quickly.
I feel if I don’t stop peeing the bed it will get worse. I want to break the mold and do something better, something ambitious.
I’m starting a new screenplay the 1st of November that will be done in 30 days and I’m excited about that. It’s new and fresh, and exciting. It’s a goal, and I’m hoping to stick to it no matter what.
Are you in the same rut? If you are, what do you do to break the cycle of being too comfortable? I would like to know. I’m tired of this funk, and more than open to suggestions.
Because if ‘urine’ the same boat as me, and ready to break the cycle; then let’s wake up and start streaming our creativity live.