You Ain’t Gotta Be Famous Today

having fun on stage

Dear Diary,

One of the best reactions you can EVER get on stage is when an audience member repeats one of your phrases as they’re laughing at your joke. Case in point, listen closely at 1:01 when Chris Locke says, “she looks like she just had, like, a millions of…” You can hear a woman laughing and echoing along (joke starts at 0:31):

Beautiful, right? Well, last night, I went on stage for the second time in, oh, I dunno, A YEAR, and two audience members repeated a few of my phrases (0:54 and 1:20), which is awesome because it was legit like 1:20AM on a Thursday night!

It was easily one of the most enjoyable and successful performances I’ve ever had at an open mic, and it’s funny, because…check out the note I made to myself as I sat in the back, preparing to go up:

how to approach stand-up comedy

Last night I had FUUUN, maaannn. I wanna do that again, SOON. Even crazier is that those three sentences I used to coach/motivate myself blossomed from the intersection of four very disparate rivers.

Mark Forward’s Retirement

Mark Forward, when asked what the turning point in his career was, replied,

“I retired from a certain way of doing comedy. I reinvented what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.” – Retirement is a joke to comedian Mark Forward

Seneca’s Query

My change in the way I approached comedy also related to Seneca’s fundamental question, “For what end do we toil?” I realized that my goal when performing stand-up was to put together a new five, seven, or ten-minute set, rather than trying new things, getting comfortable on stage, or taking risks, and fuck, even just having goddamn fun! I ain’t gotta be famous today, or tomorrow, or then next day. That shit’ll come.

MadVillainy

What did I mean when I said, “Madvillainy that shit?” Well, Madvillainy was a collabo between two of the heaviest underground hitters in hip-hop, MF DOOM and Madlib. They created an album called MadVillainy which, while unacceptable for radio airplay, received widespread critical acclaim. What a great notch on your bedpost, eh? Oh, you went platinum? Well the people that study music for a living said my shit was better than everyone else’s. Oops, I mean, I have outstripped myself.

Pressfield’s Hierarchical vs. Territorial Perspective

I realized that I was always judging my performances in relation to the people around me, which as Pressfield argues in his seminal work, The War of Art, is a sure-fire way to drive yourself batshit crazy (my words, not his). He contends that artists should strive to become a master of a domain, rather than rabidly focusing on beating everyone else, because the latter will never make you happy in the long run, and can’t be sustained over time. Michael Jackson was great, and so was Prince, and neither of their achievements diminished the other’s. There’s plenty of room for great comics, musicians, artists, software developers, etc.

Aiite, homie, thanks for the kind ear. Here’s some tracks to keep ya warm on this cold winter day…

And the sample…what a track!!!!!! Certified banger.

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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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