I am currently on my laptop in public. Yeah, I’m that guy!
And I know what people think when they see that: “Oooo look at you! Drinking your caramel macchiato and writing some kind of modernist novela about the strife you have witnessed in your 22 years on this planet on a Macbook your parents bought for you.” … Or at least that’s how I feel when I see people in public on their computers. And by feel I mean quietly yell under my breath. I like to write in restaurants. It allows me to eat my meal alone and also get work done. And while the act of having a laptop out in public still has a similar douche canoe effect that it would if I was in a coffee shop, I still feel okay with it. I may openly admit that it is still a dink move, but it’s what I do. Don’t judge me! Another macchiato please.
I am in a quiet restaurant and the waiter, while talented, has left me alone for a good amount of time during my meal. Today, unexpectedly, I am having a bout of horrific, but quiet, gas. It also seems that my ill-timed flatulence is acting like a servant bell because every time I try to release the pressure the guy comes running over. “Do you need a top up on your coff …” and then I see the look on the face. It’s subtle, but it’s there. That simple flash of eye contact that says in a moment: “Is that you? Are … are you dying?” And the truth of the matter is yes, yes I am. Mostly of embarrassment.
I’m in a strange place. I’m going through a bit of a personal crisis realizing that I have never been truly honest with myself about a lot and realizing that the life I have attempted to build needs some big improvements. It’s hard to be funny when you are feeling this way. The other day I had a headlining gig and I was so unfocused on the task at hand that I didn’t think the show did very well. Lots of people came and lots of people laughed, but I still couldn’t help but feel that I bombed. In reality, I know I didn’t because when you bomb – you know it. When you bomb on stage you spend your time scrambling to find a joke that will get a laugh, you ruin set ups and punchlines because you’re nervous and sweaty and then you remember that painful silence of a room void of laughter for a very long time. There wasn’t any scramble or lack of laughs at my show, but I still felt it.
This week I fly down to Los Angeles to meet with some agents for the first time to get their advice on where I should go next. I had a meeting with these same agents a year ago over the phone and it helped me focus a great deal, and now, a year later, I am going to see them in person. After I am done in Los Angeles I fly to Halifax to film the opening and closing galas of the Ha!ifax ComedyFest which will be my very first appearance on national television. It’s an exciting and terrifying month.
So how does a comedian who is having a crisis, go to Hollywood and be funny for the big guns? Well, I guess he shuts his mouth, puts on his man pants, and does his job. Right now I think the bigger questions is … what should I wear?