I’m sick. I need to make money. I’m neck and neck in a two-man race to win a spot to be on TV. I need to tighten material because I’m on a big show on Sunday. Mmmmm….sounds like one of those good problems.
Ever have someone tell you, ‘Feel better‘ when you’re sick? Am I the only one that finds that a bit impersonal? You might as well slap me across the face before telling me that. And we’re going to have problems if you give me the, ‘Well, feel better.’ Them’s fightin’ words.
Anyhoo, I’m sick. I woke up on Monday morning unable to draw in a full breath and my cough was so painful that I had to brace myself every time I hacked. Later that day, I went to the walk-in clinic. Ninety bucks later, I had the meds I needed.
Damn it. For a cheap guy like myself, at that price, the cure was almost worst than the disease.
It’s been awhile since I had a good paycheque. I’m a freelancer of sorts, teaching courses in personal finance and recruiting technical experts for large IT organizations. Yesterday, I found out that one of my candidates signed on the line that is dotted, which means sweet, sweet money for me.
I may not be making oodles of cash, but oodles of cash just isn’t worth working 10 hours a day and having to deal with a boss. I eat light, date cheap, go for walks, exercise, meditate, write jokes and get on stage. Sure I’d like to travel, but that will come once I start touring, which is only a matter of time.
Competition For A Spot On Late Night With Matty D
Matt Drappel hosts a show on RogersTV called, ‘Late Night With Matty D.’ Two months ago, he started a competition to win a four-minute stand-up comedy spot on his show. I put my name in the hat and started promoting my poor shoes joke on Facebook, this blog, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.
Two weeks ago, I found out that the finalists were myself and a hilarious comic named Calwyn Shurgold. The winner would be the one with the most Likes on their YouTube video. I met Calwyn from doing shows with my mentor Quinn C. Martin and knew it would be a fight. Oh, and he was on ET freakin’ Canada after winning a comedy competition.
Early on, he was beating me 11 Likes to 6, and part of me said, ‘Ahh, if I win I win…’ But then I stopped myself and realized, ‘Damn, this is what I really want. I really want to win this thing. I need to do whatever it takes to get on TV.‘
Yesterday was the deadline for YouTube Likes, and I didn’t even know if they would tally the Likes in the morning or at midnight. My original plan was to work on getting Likes the day before, but like I mentioned above, my throat was so bad I could hardly breathe.
So, I started messaging friends on Facebook, seeing how they were, updating them on my situation, and asking them to view my video.
I remembered a motivational strategy called, ‘Small Wins Theory.’ It said that when you have a project, you should divide the endeavour into milestones. The theory went onto say that each time you hit a milestone, you should celebrate the achievement, thereby building momentum. So, I took out a piece of paper, wrote my goal to get from 21 Likes to 50 by the end of the day, and celebrated all day long using checkmarks.
Long story short, I went from 21 Likes to 48 in less than a day. Around 7pm, Matt hit me up on Facebook asking me to come down on July 23rd at 5PM…I’d got the spot! For all of those who Liked the video, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot.
The biggest thing I learned is that I can now start promoting my own shows. If I can get 48 Likes on a video, it stands to reason I can get 10-20 people out to a show at $5. That kind of platform would give me the chance to build a paid following and start hosting on a semi-regular basis.
Getting On Stage At Yuk Yuk’s
Earlier that day I called into Yuk Yuk’s, Canada’s number one comedy club chain, requesting a chance to perform on their Amateur Night. At 4PM, I found out that I got a spot!
But my voice?! The medication was definitely making a dent, but I was still periodically hacking. So, I took my puffs around 6pm instead of at night to try and cram as much healing in as possible before I got on stage.
Oh yeah, and to top it all off, I wasn’t sure which bits I was going to do, and the time to leave home was drawing nigh. I realized that I had a solid four minutes, but didn’t have a joke to end on a big laugh. So, I truncated my dates vs. evenings joke from three minutes to one, and got in the car…
When I got there, it was relatively quiet for a Yuk Yuk’s, which is usually RAMMED, even on Amateur Night. Oh well! Two of my favourite comedians, John Hastings and Jon Schabl, were on stage, so I was going to have a great time regardless.
My name was last, which either meant that that I was the amateur headliner…or just the last person. Anyhoo, here’s the clip. You can hear my voice cracking with what might be the plague at 0:45:
How Was Your Day?
All in all, I love my life. I’m on the road to recovery health-wise, made money, won a spot to be on TV, and did well at Yuk’s, getting insight into how to exactly delivery my material at Hard Rock on Sunday.
Friend, I pray that you’re living in a way that allows you to pursue your passions. We’re all here for but a flicker of time, so do what you love.
If a white guy from England can be the best reggae DJ in the world, surely we can all follow our dreams…