A Never Ending Process

Wednesday July 11th, 2012 – Sparta, WI/Libertyville, IL

   No matter what may go wrong in my life, I’m always going to be a comedian. That’s who I am and what I do, and nothing can ever change it. If I go broke and have to get a day job, I’ll still be a comedian with a day job. Whenever I’m on the radio, I’m still a comedian talking on the radio.

Comedy is a craft, and always has been. I specialize in standup comedy, but if I focused I know I could do improv or comedic acting. I choose to do standup because to me that’s the purest of all forms. There’s a rush that comes from being on stage one with an audience, and I never get tired of being around it. I love performing and talking about performing and studying others doing it.

Bill Gorgo and I stayed overnight in Sparta, WI so we could have a breakfast with Jim Wiggins and spend more time with him. He’s not on the road nearly as much as he used to be, and he’s as passionate and in love with comedy as we are. We had a delicious breakfast at a diner that could have been right at home in Mayberry, but after that we got down to the brass tacks of comedy.

Jim is a master student of the game, and Bill said he’s never known anyone who has read more books or spent more time studying the history and technique of the art form. We sat in a park for two hours and recorded a three way conference between Jim, Bill and me that was jam packed to the very end with hints, tips and inside stories of the comedy trade. This made our trip a success.

It was an experiment we wanted to try, and it worked even better than we imagined. Jim was in rare form, and really added to the mix as we knew he would. He was flattered that we asked him to be part of it, but we were the ones that were flattered he accepted. We were able to nail down a lot of detailed information, and in the future we’ll be a lot more prepared to do it even better.

On our drive home, Bill and I went through my act and decided that I’ll need a major retool if indeed I’m ever going to take myself to the next level and have a career instead of just a job. It’s not an easy thing to hear that one needs to make a major change so far into the game, but I agree with his observation that where I am now is just not cutting it. I need to cut bait and cast again.

Tiger Woods is a perfect example of someone who has done this more than once. I read where he hired a new coach and restructured his entire swing from the ground up. Not many could ever understand why someone so successful would need to do it, but I totally get it. It took major guts, but he did it and it produced tremendous results. I understood Bill as soon as he suggested I do it.

Louis CK says that he now gets rid of his entire act every year and comes up with a whole new one. It may sound totally foreign to all his fans and most other comedians as well, but I get it. He has the opportunity to keep growing and improving, and that’s his way of doing it. I respect that.

Tonight Bill and I taught a comedy class at the Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL. We had a tremendous class, partially because we’d spent the last two days immersing ourselves in the craft continuously. The students were into it, and we clicked the entire two hours. No matter what else gets in my way, this is what it’s all about in my world. Nothing else comes close to this passion.

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