A long time ago, when I was a mere waif of sixteen, I had my heart ripped into a hundred pieces and scattered in my face like confetti. “Voila. How’s that for a trick? Didn’t know your heart was quite that rippable did ya?” said the magician who accomplished this feat, but then he forgot the second part of the trick, the one where he puts the paper heart back together. (He probably didn’t say or do any of that but that was the subtext.)
About six months of celibacy later, and I started dating a different guy. And even though both of these people were technically guilty of statutory rape, I don’t harbor any ill will. But it was during this other “relationship” that I first met my new great love, the one with whom I truly found myself, the one that would inspire and excite me and spirit me to the most interesting places in the world…
Stand-up comedy was my first great requited love. I was its mistress, or it was mine, for twelve years and during that time I stood up on stages from Melbourne to Macedonia, and sometimes on TV. And then one night on a stage in Hollywood, while I was pregnant with my first child but still not talking about it, I suddenly decided (mid-joke) that I had become too sensitive for this shit. I continued to write and perform, but left stand-up behind with nary a glance. Fuck that cheap bastard. Still wanted to get me for free, after all these years? Not to mention that the same jokes worked one week, and didn’t work the next- the emotional inconsistency was on par with dating in LA, but I was married and didn’t know that then.
Over the last ten years I have done sporadic gigs, but always viewed them as somewhat of a “relapse,” back to the drug that was so unreliable when it came to giving me the consistent high I craved; the one of other people’s approval. Now that I give barely a damn about others’ approval, except for if I’m dating them, I guess stand-up will be a somewhat different experience. Unless of course, I fuck the whole audience.
This last month I finally got angry enough to necessitate standing on a box in the town square and being heard. Or in this case behind a microphone in The Belly Room at the World Famous Comedy Store at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday January 24, 2015. On that night I am either returning to my true self, or going back to a bad boyfriend. (No, it was me, I walked into a doorknob, I’m so clumsy.)
There are a hundred reasons why stand-up is both a good and bad idea, and believe me I have thought of all of them, and they are too many to enumerate here. But sometimes you get to those places in life where if you don’t jump off the cliff into the ocean below, you will never feel the air rushing by your ears and letting you know you’re alive. Ya may as well because there was nothin’ goin’ on at the top of that cliff anyway, and life is for the living. Or you could just fall, break your neck and die. So either way, it’s a win.