It’s Only Just Begun

sad clown

I have a day job. That’s it: it’s over.

The dream of being a comedian squashed by the base compulsions of Maslow’s bottom rungs. Now, with all my energy being spent on trying to buy it for a dollar and sell it for two, I don’t have the time to do stand-up, let alone write.

Yeah right! In the words of Puff Daddy,

“Can’t stop, won’t stop, eh eh, eh eh…”

Now, it’s true, I do have a day job. The quest to monetize comedy is not an easy road, my friends, and it’s definitely not a quick one. I had to be realistic: in order to really focus on becoming a great comedian, I had to be comfortable taking risks over and over and over again, and that’s just not compatible with trying to make money in the short run.

In the beginning, I wasn’t even looking for a full-time job, but an opportunity crossed my desk (ugh, I’m even talking like a suit) that I just couldn’t pass up. Long story short, my goal is to make money as effectively and efficiently as possible so that I can spend more time on comedy, not less.

Comedy is still my passion, make no doubt about it. It’s still the thing that my mind comes back to, no matter what I’m doing. But let’s face it: comedy’s at least a 5-10 year game plan. And with headliners in Canada only making like $150-250 a show, a guy’s gotta have his eyes wide open.

What’s really interesting is that what I’m doing for a job (headhunting/executive recruiting) is so difficult that it’s causing me to reevaluate the fundamental assumptions I have about myself. I’ve started going through the seminal personal development program, Beyond Positive Thinking by Dr. Robert Anthony, and it’s already changing the way I’m approaching my life. One of the great things is that I’m learning what hard work is again. To think, I thought I was pushing myself by writing for an hour and a half every day. Ha!

So, as bad as the cover of the book might be, things couldn’t be better. With my voice recorder handy, I’m writing all the time. And while it’s hard to get on stage when you come into the office at 7:30am and leave at 8:30pm, I’ll figure it out.

In a lot of ways, this is more a Diary of a Stand-up Comedian than it ever was. I love comedy, but sometimes, love is a hurting thing. Never fear, homeslices! I ain’t going nowhere.

And besides, this is all just part of the game of life, and we would be wise not to take any of it too seriously.


PS – To the piano player on that track, whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you.

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About Michael Jagdeo

My name's Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I'm a Comedian from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to honing my stand-up comedy act, I maintain this blog and write the weekly comedy article for blogTO.com.
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One Response to It’s Only Just Begun

  1. Cindy Allingham says:

    My dad, who passed away in July, used to say that 98% of people have to work at something they don’t feel passionate about in order to live. Somehow I learned from him the gift of trying to find the fun in any job, and looking for the reason to get up in the morning (or evening as the case may be). He was able to work most of his life at something he enjoyed, even if he didn’t really feel passionate about it. What he felt passionate about was playing jazz piano. Early in his adult life he realized that he did not have the innate skill or drive to morph into a professional, and he also decided he liked a steady, healthy paycheque. In 1980 I got into IT, and, wow, I was passionate about it!!!! The pay was amazing, and it seemed to be doled out in ever increasing amounts, just for learning new interesting stuff. I was in heaven. For twenty years I pretty much devoted my life to it. I didn’t develop hobbies or focus on other accomplishments. Long story short, eventually my passion was unrequited and the industry changed; I suffered burnout and downsizing and the ‘commoditization of IT’. No one in particular is to blame, and I have continued to be employed in various IT roles at various levels, so I’m not starving. But I really wish that I had an all-consuming passion. It would be nice to be working at it, and getting paid fabulous sums of money, but I would even settle for just doing it every Friday or Saturday night. At least then I wouldn’t have to be concerned about whether I was improving, or good enough for the big leagues, or able to play Carnegie Hall. It wouldn’t be work, it would be sheer pleasure because I would enjoy the doing of it, not the money and applause and ratings. Big secret: there will come a time in everyone’s life, believe me, when they are just too tired to chase their dreams. They can turn them into fantasies, they can stop thinking about them altogether, they can just enjoy the pleasure of skating along. If you just enjoy making people laugh, you will make the time to do that. Maybe even find a way to work that into your day job. But don’t waste a minute regretting that you aren’t on the streets, starving and suffering for your art. That way lies madness. Instead, enjoy your passion.

    Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2013 17:43:15 +0000 To: cindyallingham@hotmail.com

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