Growth Hormone

Wednesday August 4th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

I’m still thinking a lot about my comedic evolution process. The gig on the cruise ships is going to cause me to do it in a hurry, as will the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show focusing on life in Milwaukee thirty years ago. It might not be creatively satisfying to dummy it down to the masses, but it’ll be good training. I’ll find my inner essence, and grow from there.

I’ve always been able to adapt and get laughs, even as a kid in school. I’m not worried a bit I’ll find a direction to go, I just want to make it consistent. Playing ‘Mr. Lucky’ is very fun to do on stage, but hell in real life. I do like the angle of one guy having absolutely the worst luck and timing on the planet, but will it be enough to build a career on? We’ll see.

I guess I could evolve more into ‘that guy’, but I don’t know if I want to. I’ve never had a solid consistent 45 minute headliner set doing only ‘Mr. Lucky’ bits. Maybe that’s a big part of the reason I’m not farther along than I think I should be, but it’s true. I have bits to define the character a little, but they’re not very deep. It’s more of an underlying side bar.

It might be a good way to go for the ships and the Milwaukee show, but I’m not totally sold yet. One thing I am sold on is keeping it clean. I’ve never been a filthy act, but in my travels I’ve never seen someone who keeps it clean get hurt by that. Ever. It’s just a smart business decision. I’ve heard swearing my whole life and it doesn’t offend me in the least.

My father was a biker, and he and his minions could turn a room bluer than someone’s face choking on a chicken bone. The funny thing is, my grandmother could out cuss them all. She was a master, and when she let it rip those bikers knew they‘d met their match.

I can hold my own when it comes to salty language, but on stage I don’t find it adds to a show very often. In certain circumstances, a few cleverly placed words can punch up a bit and add texture, but like most spices – too much ruins the whole dish. Most young comics have NO idea how to keep it clean these days, so when I get on the crowd has heard it all.

That never sets a good tone for any show, and it’s not a matter of being offended as it is an issue with being able to use those words for surprise when necessary. A well placed ‘F bomb’ is one of the biggest weapons in comedy. I’ve seen it and used it myself at times to punctuate a line and fracture an audience. But – it should be saved for the right occasion.

That’s still not what I’m talking about as far as evolution though. When I started, I liked to work the audience a lot more than I do now. One thing I have been given is a quick wit. I’ve always had it, even as a kid. I could nail someone with a line like a sniper without an effort. I don’t know why, but I could. I can still throw out lines naturally, and I enjoy it.

Evolution. Reinvention. Growth. I’ll be doing all these in the immediate future. It’s part of entertainment and life itself. Nobody stays a kid forever. Even Beaver Cleaver grew up eventually. We all move on. It’s that time for me, and I want to find something I can sink my teeth into for a few years until it’s time to do it again. I’m starting to see how it works.

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