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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Comedy--the good, the bad, and all that

Happy Tuesday! I trust that you all had a nice holiday weekend. Thanks for checking in. Here we go:

Today I have decided to discuss the pros and cons of being a comic. I wanted to do it yesterday, but I was having a rough day. Guess what? I'm having another rough day, but that is just the way it goes and I guess people need to hear that side too. Sometimes I think people assume the life of a comic is like a musical or something. Don't get me wrong--it's frickin awesome being on stage and making people laugh--but it is NOT at all like a musical. It's more like a bloodsport meets a musical meets teen angst meets the feeling you get when you are about to take the most important exam of your life. Yeah--it's like that.

Here is a list of why I love being a comic
1. I get to make people laugh
2. I get to express myself in my own way
3. I often get free drinks
4. Free therapy
5. I get to meet a lot of new people
6. High fives--I always get high fives--
7. I get to tell people that I am a comic
8. I'm good at it
9. I have the most amazing fans in the world
10. I'm "film" worthy--hence the documentary.
11. I actually make a difference.
12. Black men love me--they love me. They LOVE me, and I think it's because I'm a great comic.
13. I never ever have to grow up
14. As long as I continue doing comedy--I will always be a teacher.

Here is a list of why I hate being a comic
1. It's nearly impossible to make $ doing it
2. It's unpredictable and that can be hard to deal with on a daily basis
3. People expect me to be "on" all of the time. If one more person says--"tell me a joke right now" I WILL punch him/her in the mouth.
4. I have very little control. When I'm on stage--I can do whatever I want, but sometimes the people "running the show" do not have any idea what they are doing. That is why I've decided to produce my own shows. My goal is to produce 25 shows before the end of the year. Now--I'm good to work with cuz I get sh** done. I think Bridget can vouch for that.
5. 5 minutes on stage literally takes hours of prep time. People do not realize that.
6. I'm old. It's hard staying up all hours to perform, network, and keep stuff fresh.
7. There is no such thing as a day off. True story: Joan Rivers still makes her own calls to get shows. Yes--Joan Rivers.

Heroic self disclosure + acceptance of responsibility with the mic= a great comic.

I try really hard to do the best I can every time I get on stage. Sometimes it's awesome, sometimes, it's ok, and sometimes it sucks. That's ok. I expect that. I don't "beat myself up" after having a bad set. I just assume that the audience is wrong, and I move on. I'm sensitive and of course I want everyone to love my jokes, but that is an unrealistic goal. Comedy is very subjective. I certainly do not like every comic I hear. It's fun though, and I am enjoying the process.

Here is a list of things you might not know about comics and comedy
1. A very large percentage of comedians struggle with severe depression (myself included)
2. Many comedians were bullied--some still are! lol Comedy is often used as a survival skill
3. It takes a lot of courage to get on stage and try to make people laugh
4. Even though we should--we do not all support one another. We aren't all friends....which seems obvious, but people always seems surprised when I tell them that. Some comics HATE me--that's aiight though. I'll win--I always do.
5. Sometimes we actually have to pay money to get on stage
6. We HAVE to use the same material for more than one show. Can u imagine Weezer writing new songs for every concert? Yeah--see.  So don't freak out if you've "heard that joke before." <3 U Scott
7. We kinda like hecklers--it's a challenge
8. It's a lonely profession. Studies have actually shown that being a comedian--specifically a comedian who travels causes a great deal of both joy and anguish. The joy is of course, awesome. The anguish can be crippling. Addiction and suicide are the top causes of death for comics.
9. "There is a name for men who like funny women." "They are called faggots." Myriam Gurba. It's hard to be a not so sexy 40 year old queer female in this business. I do well because I'm awesome, but it is not an easy task.
10. It's not about how good you are--it's about being in the right place at the right time.

Ok--now here's a few observations I've made about comedy, other comedians, and some of my highs and lows....
1. No one should EVER bring his/her children to a show unless it's a family show. WORST SET EVER was because of this
2. Confidence--YES!! Cockiness--NO!!
3. Carrot Top needs to lay off the steroids
4. Black men LOVE me
5. Rape jokes are NEVER funny--unless Sarah Silverman tells them
6. Second place is like a punch in the face--first place is magical
7. Always stay for the whole show. If I want others to support me--I must first support them.
8. Drink tickets and free appetizers = the best thing ever! It's actually all we really want:)

This is a very sad yet true reality.

That's all I have for today. I have an interview with "Ellen" (the show) later this week and will probably be scheduled for the fall. Thanks for writing to her. Big stuff is going to happen for me. I just need to be patient, keep working hard, and try to stay sane. It's been a rough week with Myriam's surgery and 11 shows in 14 days. feeling overwhelmed in a lot of ways right now so send me love.

Here are 3 flyers for shows this week--yes--I know I am amazing. Thanks for all of your support. One of us will post in the next day or two. Also, I will be live at 5:00 on Friday right here--tune in. It's gonna be hilarious. I'm giving dating advice, gonna talk about our kickstarter success, and they have some cool stuff to discuss!  KUCI 88.9FM in Irvine, Orange County Public Radio

Also--here is a short film that was done about me. 3 Chapman students looked at me, my comedy, and my love for GLEE!  SHORT DOC ABOUT ME--TJ

I'm the monkey puppet--two men are currently fighting over who gets to be the hand:)
Thanks for reading everyone. One of us will post again soon. TJ


  1. Never doubt that you are pfunny.

  2. This is, hands down, my favorite post yet. I learned so much about you, TJ, and about comedy!

    I knew the Ellen meetup would take place. She's clearly got mad awesome taste. And, like everyone, found you irresistible!

    I'm so stoked for Friday's radio show!!!!! It's a shabbos dream come true! I can't wait!

    I'm sending you tons of love, good vibes, energy!

    P.S. Hope sweet lil Myriam Rare is recovering fast! I love you amazing people!

  3. BRILLIANT POST TJ. Well said. Thank you for your "heroic self disclosure" as you call it.

  4. New material for every show is a must. No excuses. lol. Love u 2, Scott

  5. Crazzzzzyyyyyyy shit yo. Keep doin yo thing TJ. You'll make it.

  6. TJ, As Gladys says on the Ellen show "keep on, keepin' on!". With your level of perserverance ,you will achieve your goal! Love, Mary N.

  7. I now have a newfound respect for comedians. Thanks TJ

  8. I knew you find some excuse to "never grow up". You are doing great, you accept good and bad comedy nights, and you teach us all so much. Really!!! Ellen!!! I don't know who is more excited, you or me. Love you bunches.

  9. two snaps and a rewind. TJ you are the king and queen of all things. Skeet! ryan

  10. Love it! You are awesome. Can't wait to see you tonight!