About Me

Ignoring My Passions In The Name Of Practicality

sad pug

I was always a nerd. I was always cracking jokes in class and getting in trouble for distracting the others. I was always one of the best writers in school. I always participated in speech arts.

But then I graduated and, of course, had to go to University. That’s the thing you do after high school, you know.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I drove around and thought,

I like history, but I can’t get a job in that. I like English, but same problem. Business is OK…yeah, I guess that’ll get me a job. Business it is, I guess…

And that’s how I ended up spending the last 8 years of my life in a corporate world that stifled my love for knowledge, humor, writing, and public speaking.

University is BORING

bored at school

So there I am, at the University of Toronto, learning how to calculate the amount of tax owed when you dispose of a capital asset, peanut butter costing…you know, life lessons. Immediately, I adopted the mantra of my fellow business students: I will do whatever it takes to make $100k before everyone else around me.

Luckily, I got a co-op job as a Headhunter, recruiting talent that made over $100k. I quickly found out that making big money didn’t necessarily mean that you would get to enjoy it. Meeting guys that were miserable at $500k per year really opened up my eyes to what really mattered in life.

But I was only partially awoken. It would take another 7 years before I’d see the truth.

Paying the Bills Part I


When I got enough experience from my co-op job to get a full-time position at an IT Consulting firm, I started going to school part-time. I saw University for what it was: an expensive, but necessary, evil on the path to getting a job.

Those were the toughest years of my life. I’d work 10 hours at the office, go to school at night, and mark exams and assignments for a professor on the weekend. Deep circles under my eyes and bad eating habits ensued.

Eventually, the adrenaline rush of being a Director and making more money than all of my friends wore off. After a few years, I started DREADING going to the office. I began using up sick days and vacation days just to stay home.

I didn’t want to work there anymore.

And it wasn’t my employer’s fault. They were the best employers I could have ever asked for. I just didn’t want to go into work anymore.

So it was time to start following my nerdy passions of writing, humor, and performing, right? Yeah…right…

Paying the Bills Part II


I ended up finding another opportunity in personal finance helping people recover what they lost in the recession of ‘08. It was gratifying at first, showing people how the banks were screwing them. I enjoyed the work for a time.

But eventually, the Sunday anxiety attacks returned. I didn’t want to do the work. Could I do the work? Yes. Could I do it reasonably well? Yes. But I just didn’t want to do it.

I was getting worried. This was the second time that I was backing out of a career. Did that mean I was a quitter? Because you know what they say: quitters never win and winners never quit. Eventually winners win and losers lose. Was I a loser? Was I destined for a lifetime of unrealized potential?

I was depressed. I spent 2-3 months in complete isolation worrying about my future day in, day out. It got so bad that I started taking medication to treat depression.

And that’s when things started to turn around for me.

Comedy Calls via the Joe Rogan Podcast


While at home, I would listen to Joe Rogan’s podcast. On one episode, a comedian told a story about how he left the life of Corporate America behind to pursue his love of comedy.

Things were going well for him. He said he started when he was 28.

“Damn” I thought. “I’m 28.”

Why Didn’t I Think Of This Before?!?

the child is the father of the man

I was always a nerd. I was always cracking jokes in class and getting in trouble for distracting the others. I was always one of the best writers in school. I always participated in speech arts.

Comedy was made for me! But I just didn’t know it at the time. Hell, I didn’t even think it was an option. That was October 2011.

Where I am Today in My Comedy Career

zen stones

I’m now two and a half months into my career as a Comedian, and loving every minute of it. I also don’t need the depression medication anymore.

I get to write and laugh all day, work in my t-shirt and trackpants, and best of all: go to comedy clubs and hang out with people that love the art of laughter just as much as I do. I’ve found a home and a new family.

And because I’m doing something I love, the successes have already started to come in. This morning (Dec 24, 2011), a blog in Toronto with 75k followers on Twitter featured one of my posts on their front page. A comedy producer has asked me to help him put on corporate shows. I’ve started building strong friendships with a few of the top comedians in the country. All in two and a half months.

Update! Recent successes:

  • January 2012 – Performed on local TV, which lead to a close friendship and mentor in Quinn C. Martin.
  • January 2012 – blogTO, readership 1.5M per month, asked me to write a weekly column for them called, ‘This Week In Comedy.’ I accepted.
  • February 2012 – Asked to be Head Writer and Co-Director for a TV Show. I accepted.
  • February 2012 – Performed at the Hard Rock Cafe, headlined by Quinn C. Martin.
  • April 2012 – Invited by Ron Tite, named Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing Magazine, to review his show, MonkeyToast. I accepted.

Why’s all of this happening? Because I’m finally doing something I love. Imagine if I started doing this 8 years ago?

But that’s not the right way to look at things.

No Regrets

looking-forward

Do I regret going to University? No. I met two excellent professors that gave me advice that I’ll never forget.

Do I regret my time in Corporate America? No. In fact, my experience in Corporate America has helped take larger strides than most people two and a half months into this career. I’m even advising comedians that have 5-10 years of experience on how to promote and build their brand.

What ‘Watering The Roots’ Means To Me

watering the roots

When I think of watering the roots, I think of doing something that nourishes my soul. You don’t have to believe in a higher power to recognize that we all have different gifts that, when used, can light up the world.

The Greek’s knew this 2000 years ago. When someone died, they would simply ask,

Did he have passion?

Now that I’m doing something I love, I wake up every day (and sometimes stay up all night) not because I have to, but because I want to. Twenty years ago, I was a nerd who loved making people laugh, writing, and giving speeches. At 28 years old, I’m starting to be a kid again.

What Should I Do?

confused

It is my sincere wish that by reading this, you will:

  • Reflect on what you love doing. What would you do all day if money wasn’t a consideration? What are the things that you do that causes the universe to fade into the background as you lose yourself in the task?
  • Think about how you can monetize your passion. Why can’t you do what you love and get paid for it? Why do you have to do it on the side when you’re exhausted doing something you hate?

You’re only here for but a flicker of time. Do what you love.

Michael Jagdeo
@JagdeoComedy on Twitter
Diary of a Stand-up Comedian

12 Responses to About Me

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  3. ateen says:

    happy for you jagdeo :)

    • Geeeeyorl!?

      Wheh yuh deh? So laaaang mi nuh see yuh!

      BTW, I understand what you mean by vibrations now…

      We are without separate existence; that is a fact.- Rodney Smith, Stepping out of Self-Deception

      Take care of yourself…wait, there is no self…um…may you be a vessel for Universal Consciousness.

      • ateen says:

        mi deh propa good. aww :). you got it re purpose. love this. double aww. let the creativity flow – i agree that impacting through clean material uplifts your fans in a lasting way. congrats, jagdeo.

  4. Pingback: Welcome | Diary of a Toronto Stand-Up Comedian

  5. Great Blog Michael, Keep working toward your goals.

    • Hey Dude!

      I remember your set from Groove Bar. If it’s any consolation, the set that I did that night at Groove Bar (which bombed) did well at the Hard Rock Cafe and on Late Night With Matty D…so keep at it!

      Jagdeo

  6. Pingback: I’m Tired…and the Chinese Are Taking Over! | Diary of a Toronto Stand-Up Comedian

  7. Taona Mbona says:

    Hey Mike, I have seen you transform from the days of headhunting, now this!!! …your on the ladder to success.. escalator style..All i can say is you are a hardworking individual…i give you 5-stars.

    • Lol,

      Escalator-style! More like snakes and ladders style! Yeah man, Rogers and McCarthy Tetrault is a long time ago.

      I’ll definitely hit you up in a week’s time.

      Your homeboy,

      Jagdeo

  8. Pingback: Living My Dreams | Diary of a Toronto Stand-Up Comedian

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