I once was a Maytag Repair Man
Anyone who knows me realizes that must be a metaphor. I can barely fix a meal let alone an appliance. But I was the guy who waited around for something to happen. It first started when I graduated college at my first job. I thought there was a natural order to things and when my time came for a promotion, it would magically appear, especially since I was in a government job and everything seemed to be pretty spelled out according to the negotiated contract.
I learned, though, that that is not how life works; a lesson others seemed to have learned a lot earlier in life. As I moved through my career I learned that the Maytag repair man would have been better planning his next steps while he was doing all that waiting. That’s what I did and it made a difference. Whether it was school, networking or just learning about different fields and jobs, it helped me direct myself forward.
When it came to comedy, those old voices re-appeared, however. Just as moving across different fields was an uncomfortable endeavor for me because I always had this feeling like I didn’t follow the same path as everyone else, I definitely felt that with comedy. I read all the blogs and websites that everyone else did. I listened to all the same podcasts and interviews as the other guys. It was just going to take time and patience. The one thing I didn’t do, however, was apply the same lesson I had learned earlier to comedy. I waited and followed-up every now and then to see if I could get stage time but did nothing to learn more about the industry, understand the business of comedy, become a better writer, etc.
Well, actually, I did, eventually. And here I am. It’s made a big difference, too. I feel like I’m not asking for as much permission anymore. I’m grateful for the help I have gotten and hope to receive in the future. I’m glad that I have been able to help, as well, and will also continue to do so. But, I won’t be able to just sit still and wait. Even if you tell me it’s going to be a while, I’m going to need to do something. Anything. Anything, that is, except repairing appliances.