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12:25 am - Weds 8.26.2009
Comedy Is Not Only \"Not Pretty\"...It's \"Labor-Intensive\" Too

Comedy Is Not Only "Not Pretty"...It's "Labor-Intensive" Too

For the past three days, there's been nothing on my itinerary but Weight Watchers meetings (Correction: Nothing but Weight Watchers meetings, and a meeting with two of my fellow stand-up students, on Sunday, to work on material).

It's making me a little crazy.

(Listening to a "classic rock" compilation from Rhino Records, which I am enjoying immensely...but because I'm enjoying it immensely, it's also making me feel about 100 years old.)



Saw Inglorious Basterds a couple days ago.

I guess on some level it "worked" for me, because I'm still thinking about it, but I can't really say I enjoyed it. It had some great individual scenes, and a great performance by Christoph Walz (As "Col. Hans Landa"), but I don't think it "hung together" very well, and it's ultimately a somewhat empty experience.

And I never got over the fact that a movie called Inglourious Basterds wasn't really about the "Basterds" in question (A group of Jewish-American soldiers, under the command of Brad Pitt's "Lt. Aldo Raine", who are assigned the task of striking fear into the hearts of the Nazis by being, basically, even more cruel and bloodthirsty than they are); I agree with the critic who said you almost need to see the movie twice, once to get over the fact that it's not the movie you thought you were going to see, and the second time to see the actual movie.

I'm not going to be doing that, though.

Long story short, if you like Tarantino, you should go, because there's stuff to like here. But if you don't, this won't be the movie that changes your mind.


I haven't done any writing/re-writing of my stand-up stuff since meeting with two of my classmates on Sunday.

I've got some stuff that's going over well in class, along with some stuff that's just laying there...which means it's a bad time - with the "showcase" less than a month away - to be petering out creatively...but that's exactly what I feel like I've been doing.

The class has been a struggle, but not like improv class, where (In my mind), I didn't demonstrate the slightest ability - Improv was about figuring out how to relax and have fun, being loose while at that same time remembering what you've been told, all the while trusting, when you get onstage with nothing but a one-word suggestion from the audience for inspiration, that something interesting and/or entertaining will happen (I never got there).

While stand-up is more about working and re-working stuff till you're bored with it and can't really tell if it's funny or not anymore, as you try to turn the stuff in your life that's really depressing and sad into comedy gold.

An offshoot of all this dredging up the sad and depressing stuff of your life that you hope to mine for "comedy gold" is...well, that you're spending a lot of time with the sad and depressing facts of your life (Specifically, in the case of the "set" I'm working up, that I was a foster child, that losing weight hasn't made that much of a difference in my life, and that, in lieu of an actual sex life, I watch a lot of Internet porn).

I've put a lot of time and energy into this, even while not putting enough time and energy into this.
It's extremely "labor intensive" stuff...and "labor intensive" isn't typically my cup-of-tea, for reasons too involved to get into here.

But it's been fun when I've gotten up in front of class and had things go over really well, and I imagine it'll be even more fun if/when I'm making an audience laugh.

I think one thing I need to do is stop thinking about what happens after, when the class is over and the showcase is history (Basically, whether that's going to be it, or whether I'm going to try and be a professional funny guy), and just focus on getting ready for the showcase itself.

"First things first" and all that.


One thing I continue to wrestle with out here is that, if I don't have an audition, or a gig, or something, on a given day, it's very hard for me not to see the day in question as a total, pointless waste.

That doesn't seem like a recipe for happiness and/or general life-satisfaction.

Since days where I don't have auditions far outnumber those where I do, and I actually work maybe three or four days in any given year, that's a whole lot of "pointless" days.

I've got to find other things that will make life enjoyable, fun, worthwhile (And yes, profitable would be nice as well).

But what?

And on that questioning - and questionable - note, I'm going to bed...


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