Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Warm Day, Thoughts on Comedy, and a Long Story Regarding Spaghetti

Today was the first warm, sunny day in what seemed like a long, long while. I spent most of it outside. It was pleasant and refreshing, and it seemed like the outside world was becoming sane and habitable again. It all came crashing down on my return when I get about a block from my apartment building and see this stupid muscled cocksucker in a pair of shorts and t-shirt with the collar popped straight toward heaven. I use to believe there was no heaven, that all that was bullshit. Surely that starchy towering piece of cloth now proved I was wrong. It was a signal post to an unreality. I was hoping his fucking sandals would land him tits-up on the ice, just to return the day to its former pleasantness.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, routine thing, but was in an old hospital here in the city I don't think I'd ever been to. I was early, so I spent some time exploring and gawking at the sick people who passed me by. God, hospitals; what shitty places they are. The whole place reeked of piss and failure. I gave them my info at the desk and was directed toward the waiting area. This mannequin was positioned in a seat in front of the TV, which blared a pointless local morning news show. Just then, the mannequin moved and revealed herself to be a little old lady wearing hospital PJs. It was easier when I could pretend she wasn't real. She just sat, emotionless, staring at the TV in those green draping clothes. I felt bad for her.

I've been trying to figure out ways to get out and do more things, increase my social groupings and broaden horizons, sexy female ones. And also find new and interesting perspectives to keep things interesting. I'm been going to a few of the Yuk Yuk shows on amateur night. Mostly entertaining, and I really feel for a few of the performers, 'cause that's got to be tough scary shit. Or I imagine it is initially, but I'm giving it a hook anyway. Maybe in a couple of weeks. Let the confidence cultivate. Pour some beer on there, add some fertilizer or whatever venom I seem to be fueled by that particular day.

There was one bad experience at Yuk Yuk's. It was amateur night, but the place was packed. And not only packed, but packed with frat boy douchebags who, like fucking clockwork, would drunkenly nuzzle the necks of their blonde supermodel dates (swap this act with drunkenly mumbled retorts at the comedian's punchline, "yeah you don even have a tha much hair", and you have the whole picture). I didn't realize it before I got in, but there was to be a "real" comic that night. That made the show twice as long, and I can only drink so much of that Coors Light crap (I like my lady beer to be at least Keiths). Skipping to the end for a second, I was initially impressed with the final act. He was indeed a professional. But his material quickly plummeted into an R-rated Ray Romano act that revolved around his kids. The guy had his moments, but he lost me completely by the nineteenth utterance of "yes sir, everything changes when you have kids." So many jokes about all shit you can't do after having kids. No fucking shit genius. I felt like screaming, "IT WAS A REALLY POOR DECISION FOR YOU AN YOUR WIFE TO HAVE CHILDREN!" Alright, let me back up a bit now.

The worst part of the evening, for me anyway, was one of the acts. It would be callous and awful of me to slag the kid off. I don't have an end to that sentence. So, the guy has some sort of physical disability, which I simply don't condone. Just kidding! Boy, I had you there! So anyway the guy slowly approaches the stage and I think to myself, "uh oh", because, you know, I'm a prick! So the kid gets up there and already I'm checking my pockets for the suicide pill my mind was trying to conjure. For many uncomfortable minutes the young gentleman's act, his shtick, was that he has a disability. And as a disabled person, he notices funny observations regarding his disability and how people treat him. It was a little bit brutal and dehumanizing; not for him, because his timing was great, he was a good performer, and he seemed to be generally enjoying himself. Maybe I was reflecting it all back on me. There I was in the audience, watching an entire room with clap-shaped hands and laughter steadily at the ready, waiting patiently until each sentence finished so they could deafen the room with their acknowledgments of acceptance. But then halfway through the act he actually had some jokes and I came to admire him a little bit, and the feeling of pitty for him and residual self-loathing for me lifted. If I ever get up there, my goal is to bond with the audience with carefully plotted bits that say the things I wanna say. And maybe I'll get something back from them. That does does not involve ignoring disability; there simply isn't place or room for it. My goal is not to make the audience "comfortable" with a person with a specific disability, nor is it to "educate" and send the message that "hey, I'm different, but that's ok, let's all be insincere and hug and make jokes even though in the real world you all know i have a really hard time getting blow jobs!" But again, that's me, and that wasn't overall what that dude did. I just have my hang-ups. And hey, at least the motherfucker is up there trying and putting his balls on the line and here I am behind a keyboard with mine resting underneath.

Tomorrow I'm going to make a short film about shirts. It will be called "Shirts". I'm going to eat spaghetti now.

Michael

2 Comments:

Anonymous Matt said...

So I think you might have missed a bit of why disabled people make jokes about their disabilities. It is only in part to make the audience comfortable. It's also to acknowledge, and then move past, something that will automatically be on the audience's mind. Some have more success getting past it than others. It would seem their are some comedians who just go for the easy, albeit uncomfortable, laugh. I think you'll make a great stand-up but it takes a lot of rehearsal. I recommend arranging a couple of impromptu performances in front of a few friends who haven't heard the material you hope to cover. Write it down so you can perfect the delivery you want. I'd be happy to be in the audience. for the "trials".

3:36 PM  
Blogger Michael Charles Gillis said...

Hey, thanks for the tips, but way ahead of you there. I've met a few of the most amazing people in the last few weeks (one girl in particular) and am trying to take it all in. Write and record etc. Bomb, learn, move on. As for as the disability crap as some kind of anchor to merely get past, that's their deal, not mine. So I can address the fact I look fucked up or have two extra sets of balls where my ears should be, but not in the way that is supposed to be, "see, it's ok, I'm like you!" etc etc. That is disrespectful to both myself and the audience; despite the unfortunate truth that most people are dumb motherfuckers.

2:19 AM  

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