It’s not unusual for me to have to host an awards gala when dinner is being plated. If you’ve taken the mic at such an event, you might know that this is often not even the biggest challenge when it comes to winning over an audience.
You likely have no context for the kind of savage pain the shingles virus can cause. Yes, I’m even talking about you- mothers of babies and dudes who don’t drink enough cranberry juice. Childbirth and kidney stones are a walk in the park compared to shingles. I’ll prove it below with my horror story, which contains (WARNING) disturbing language and imagery.
When it comes to dogs, there are two things I have never been: a “dog person”, and shy about sharing my disdain for them and their owners. I know! It’s ridicule that is unfounded, uninformed and unfair. I’ve never owned a dog. But, it only takes one nippy, yappy, smelly, slobbery pooch to swell my ignorance. It also only takes the stench of one deviant un-scooped doggy swirl on the bottom of my shoe to radiate my fanatical furor into a sweeping criticism of all of their cult-like masters. That is, until I spent a month with Hunter. After even just a few days living with this Border Terrier, I discovered my inner dog person, and what I learned is crucial to your success at work and at home.
It’s happened before and it will happen again: someone asks me, “You’re a comedian. Why do they even have ‘All-Girl’ comedy shows anyway?”. My knee-jerk response is, “why do you even care?”. But, I know better. My short answer is: because they enhance your experience of comedy, even if you never attend one. Since you asked, the longer answer is: the All-Female comedy show model is responsible for such things as the thriving Canadian music scene and could save television in this country. It’s not like there’s a lot of them happening in the first place, but they should be mandatory.
There’s almost nothing less interesting to me than hearing someone talk about his or her dreams. Aside from listening to them read their tax return, or analyze their playoff draft picks, which are… nope; I’d prefer to hear them talk about those things before struggling to stay awake as they attempt to describe their “crazy” dream. That’s why being a therapist who specializes in dream interpretation in clinical psychology has got to be one of the worst jobs in the world.
My “Man Brain” and I get into enough trouble on our own as it is; we don’t need any assistance with digging ourselves deeper into any holes of disapproval, thank you very much. Yet, at a recent Brunch with friends, I found myself in the glaring spotlight of unpopularity with the Momttendance because of a comment about a younger woman. Even worse, the “I just don’t understand the ‘Man Brain’ sometimes” comment about me came from a woman whom I had just met! But, what was worse than the even worse, was the comment that got me into trouble wasn’t even made by me- it was uttered by my WIFE!
Recently I was prepping one of my trivia shows and I came across a “factoid” that I had jotted down years ago about an infamous moment for a celebrity singer. I started crafting a short question about the incident, but stopped myself and wondered- “why would I ask a question about this?”. Sometimes contemplative pauses like this are due to second thoughts I have about the informative and entertaining merit of the “factoid”. In this case, it was because I remembered a promise I made to myself to avoid being carelessly mean-spirited towards people when trying to be entertaining and informative. I call it being “Casually Nasty”, and I believe it’s a more serious problem than being intentionally nasty.
Some memories of my college years are, well, a bit fuzzy. What I remember in vivid detail, however, are the holidays of my first year away at University living in college residence. Attending U of T from Vancouver, I was one of just a handful of students in an entire building who didn’t go back home for Thanksgiving, Christmas or March Break. As a result, the halls of the dorms were unusually quiet at these times. Not in an eerie way, like when reading, “The Shining”, by Stephen King alone in a hotel-like environment, (not recommended). Instead, the distinct serenity of being left behind in residence was liberating. I felt that I had free-run of the space that was otherwise congested with the jocularity, antics and frenetic energy of day-to-day living in close quarters with dozens of other dudes. Reflecting back as a working parent now, I’m astonished that I could open my door, step into the hallway and say my biggest secrets aloud without any repercussions.
In a marriage, or long-term relationship, the person responsible for handling the regular monthly finances shouldn’t be the one with the craziest cash flow schemes. I know, right!? So, it’s not just a fluke that it worked out that way in my marriage. Wait! Before you jump to the defense of my wife, (who is of sound mind in almost every other way), I’m not saying she’s crazy; just the system she’d have me employ in facilitating our mundane monthly money matters.
There’s a rush you get as a comedian when you’re on-stage performing and, at the same time, thinking about the material you’re going to do later in your act. It’s amazing! Now, I realize it’s not uncommon for people to be able to talk and think at the same time. Being able to stand up in front of an audience and juggle these two with no one else being the wiser is another story. It’s a special skill that is developed and perfected over time. I remember becoming aware of my talent for doing so early in my career as a Headliner at comedy clubs, and it reminds me of a magical moment of awareness I had as a parent.