I’m doing my ALTdot Comedy Lounge showcase on Monday after the main show which starts at 9pm at the Rivoli (332 Queen W). I haven’t been going to open mics to prepare. Why?
I’ve been taking some time to nourish the soul. Jim Rohn said,
Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.
In addition, I’ve been kind of in a rut lately. When the opportunity to do:
- The Brown Effect, a four-episode pilot for ATN
- Two shows at the Hard Rock Cafe
- More Than Robots, a pilot for CBC Radio
…I lost sight of my goals.
How I Got In A Rut
Now you might say, ‘Uh…what are you talking about? The reason you’re doing comedy is to get on TV, radio, and on the biggest stages in your city!’ And you’d be right.
That said, it’s important to know what you’re doing everyday before the day starts…at least for a neurotic it is. Otherwise, I can spend an entire day deciding what to do. An old boss of mine told me that I had the tendency to, ‘…strategize about strategizing about strategy.’ You’re right (and fuck you for being right – Mike’s Ego exhibiting the Threat-Rigidity Response)
Peaks and Valleys
As I said, I’ve noticed that I’ve been in kind of a rut lately, having ideas come to me but not wanting to flesh them out.
Spencer Johnson wrote a great book called Peaks and Valleys. He said life was full of highs and lows. The interesting thing about this cycle is that peaks are connected to valleys, valleys connected to peaks. What we do in the good times eventually lead to the bad times, and what we do in the bad times eventually lead to the good times.
Luckily, over the past year, I’ve been keeping track of what gets me out of ruts.
Getting Out Of A Rut: Know Thyself
This is how I got out of the low and am climbing back into a better place:
- Working Out – today I did the chest, back, and shoulders exercise (P90x) at the gym.
- Reading – I recently started/finished Ram Dass’ Be Here Now. I was pointed in that direction by Duncan Trussell, a comedian that is a frequent guest on the Joe Rogan podcast. Ram Dass’ story is amazing: he was a young, accomplished psychology academic working on projects at the four major universities in the US (Yale, Harvard, etc.) and gave it all up because he realized the limitations of his cognitive behavioural theraphy (CBT).
- Music– I discovered some great reggae and dance music recently.
- Meditation – I meditated for about an hour today, which was amazing. I sat down, turned my body to face the sun, and a stream of ideas and insights and even new bits to flesh out came rushing in, one after another. A few other things I realized during my meditation:
- It’s often my delivery that faulters, rather than the material itself.
- My buddy Quinn C. Martin, a comedian with 10 years of experience, continuously slays crowds. He said that I needed to focus on being funny rather than focusing on reciting my material. For example, it might cause me to lose sight of opportunities to do crowd work (i.e. noticing a crowd member’s reaction, etc.). I also talked to him about the importance of committing to a joke during the delivery.
- I add in extra words when I don’t get an immediate laugh to a punchline.
- I need to identify the home run punchlines (big laughs) and the base hit punchlines (small-medium laughs) and organize the bit accordingly (i.e. make sure to end off on the home run punchline, etc.).
So I’m back! Tonight I’ll be doing an open mic at Spillin the Beans on Dundas West at 7pm. I’m going to focus on having fun, being in the moment, and letting the material naturally inform how I act on stage. I don’t want to, ‘have an act’ when I’m on stage. I want to just…be.
Jiggy Jag aka Jaggy-D aka Holla atchuh Boy aka You Know What It Is Michael Jagdeo Michael Jagdeo Michael Jagdeo Michael Jagdeo