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11:52 pm - 06.13.2009
The Funniest Homeless Guy You'll Ever Meet

The Funniest Homeless Guy You'll Ever Meet

Sat 6/13/09 (8:29 p.m.)

(Listening to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”...)

It’s moving toward 9:15, which means I’ve spent the past 45 minutes trying to write a paragraph.

I’ve got a lot bouncing around in my giant head right now, so I guess I’m basically struggling with the batting order...which I guess is better than having nothing going on in my giant head, and struggling to come up with anything to say.

Inspired by Wayne Dyer, and Drs Amen and Frederickson, I’ve written a list - “Ten Things That Have Made Me Happy Of Late”:

1. The return of “Burn Notice”.

2. Ditto “So You Think You Can Dance”

3. They recently re-paved a great stretch of 4th street, so it’s been really fun to ride my bike on it.

4. Sara Lee’s “45 Calories And Delightful” bread has been on sale at Ralphs, 2 for $5.00 (I prefer it to the Weight Watchers brand of low-cal bread, but it’s way too expensive to buy when it’s not on sale). When sandwiches are a staple of your diet - like they are of mine - and you’re a Weight Watcher on an extremely limited income, this is good news indeed.

5. Got three checks in the mail yesterday, totaling over $450 (A commercial check for the Yellow Pages spot, and two smaller checks from a class action suit - Apparently, some people running a couple online billing services did some “online billing” they shouldn’t have, and finally got busted).

6. Facebook - Yes, it’s a bit of a “double-edged sword”, in that it’s a serious time-suck that can take away from more “productive” pursuits, but it’s definitely helped me feel less lonely and disconnected from people (Even if the only thing it did in that regard was to bring Margaret C. back into my life, it would merit inclusion on this list).

7. Saw “Up” recently. Another big winner from Pixar.

8. Sadly, they broke yesterday, but I was really enjoying the “Wayfarer”-style sunglasses I recently bought from the 99-cent store (Previously I’d paid $14.95 for the very same sunglasses at a convenience store near Olympic and Westwood).

9. I’m very happy Conan O’Brien has replaced Jay Leno on “The Tonite Show” (I’m still more of a Letterman man, though).

10. I’ve had an audition in each of the past two weeks.

Keeping the “positivity” going... Doing laundry a couple evenings ago, I was very surprised to get a call from Brett (My manager), since it was late for him to be calling about an audition.

Brett wants me to get into stand-up - He basically thinks it could be my gateway to acting success out here (Basically “branding” me as “Jim Hoffmaster, Funny Guy”).

Brett’s apparently tight with Gary Katzman, a comedian who teaches a stand-up class here in LA (A ten-week class where your “final exam” is doing a 5 minute set at The Comedy Store).

He put Gary in touch with me recently, but my finances being what they are (I’m nowhere close to making enough to pay the bills, and am paying $335 for classes at IO every two months besides), I declined to sign up for his class right then, but told him “I hope I’ll be able to hop on board before the year’s over” (Which was, to be honest, about equal parts sincerity and blow-off)

Brett was calling to reiterate his feeling that stand-up would be a good way for me to go; he said he’d talked to Gary again, suggesting an “arrangement” could be made regarding the money (i.e. making payments of some kind, rather than having to pony up the dough up-front).

Brett wanted to take me to the Comedy Store on Monday to watch Katzman’s beginning class do their thing, but I have improv that night, so instead, we’re going to see some of his more advanced students on Tuesday, which will also give me a chance to talk to Katzman himself.

Honestly, I’m afraid of stand-up - Always have been.

But clearly, I have to do something different, because my “career” is going nowhere. And however “afraid” I am of stand-up, it’s not some ridiculous, off-the-wall idea - People have told me all my life I should be a stand-up, and it’s not as if I’ve never gotten up in front of people and been funny (I’ve just never done it all by myself).

Since money’s a concern, Brett would just as soon I quit the improv stuff and work on stand-up instead - Improv wasn’t his idea, and he thinks stand-up would provide more “bang for the buck”, in career terms - but for various and sundry reasons, I don’t want to do that.

(Long story short, I’ve invested a fair amount of time and money in improv class, and I feel like I’d be flushing that down the drain if I jumped ship at this point - Not to mention that sometimes it’s just fun.)

But “stand-up vs. improv” aside, I’m pleased that Brett’s taking an active interest in my career, and isn’t content to just submit me for co-star parts and hope for the best.

In the Wayne Dyer “Excuses Begone” show I recently watched, one of the “excuses” he highlights during the show is “I can’t afford it”.

Since I’ve gone through my adult life so far mostly not having much money, that’s always seemed like a really good excuse to me.

But I think me continuing to take improv is a good thing - I think it’s a good thing both personally and professionally.

And ditto for exploring the idea of stand-up.

So I’m going “full steam ahead”.

The worst thing that could happen?

I end up being the funniest homeless guy you’re ever likely to meet.

 

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