Tag Archives: comedy

I quit my job to take my hobbies full time. Here’s what happens now.

Future daytime improv star

Future daytime improv star

On June 27th, 2014 I quit a (relatively) cushy corporate job to pursue my hobbies as a career, these hobbies being writing, improv, comedy, acting and amateur clowning. Many people congratulated me on this decision and told me I was brave (read: foolish). Maybe they’re right because the truth is I don’t really know how make this happen. I just needed to do something.

Two days later, I left the Bay Area bubble for a 7 week journey that will take me across the Eastern third of the United States, starting in Chicago and continuing through Nashville, Atlanta, North Carolina (Asheville area), Washington DC, Boston, NY and then Oklahoma City (Edmond area) on a miniature “Wassup USA” tour. I fully expect to get scurvy and lose a couple of teeth on this journey which can only be described as low-budget.

I’m doing this, the quitting and the traveling and the clowning, to test the hypothesis that there are no rules in life and no limit to what I can dream up and do, that nothing is in my way except for my own fear, and it is a formidable opponent that has some great arguments for why my dreams are a bunch of hogwash.

“Why should you be so lucky that you get the chance to quit a pretty good job and pursue comedy for a career? Not everyone has the chance to go after jobs they find meaningful – why should you? You shouldn’t look for meaning in your work, so why don’t you just do something that will get you a good income so you can be secure and figure out a way to work in your passions at nights and on weekends? Improv, really? Can’t you be passionate about something else? What if you fail?”

There’s some truth in these doubts, but at the end of the day they are just fear disguised as practicality, and I can’t convince myself to listen to them anymore. Not yet. But they are interesting questions.

In the next phase of my life and as I’m doing my hobbies full-time-ish, I want to explore these questions of meaning and career, who gets to follow their dreams and why, and who cares about this and does it even matter.

And for the next 50 days, I want to see what’s up with the USA. I want to do an Alexis de Toqueville “Democracy in America” except more along the lines of “Drevets in America.” It’ll just be me, in America, with my vision and dreams along with everyone else’s. Nothing much has changed except my morning commute and my inbox count.

So….what’s up USA?

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Improv Is Not What You Think It Is [Guest Post]

I have a secret to share with you. It’s been hidden for long enough but now it’s time for it to burst into the spotlight, in full view of the entire world, President Obama, and any non-earth intelligent life: I am an improviser, as in, I do improv.

Yes, this is where I stand on a stage with some other brave souls and create something out of what appears to be nothing. It’s not as hard as it looks. In fact, it’s much harder, and the trick is that you can’t think about what you’re doing. Not even a little bit.

The thing is, improv is not what you think it is. Whatever you think you know about improv is probably wrong. That’s how it was for me, at least. But since my days of improv ignorance, I’ve come into the light – my improv troupe True Medusa has helped with that enlightenment process. They are pretty amazing.

Are you intrigued? Do you want to know more? Do you want to know how wrong you are about improv? I dare you to read my blog post on the brand-new True Medusa blog, lovingly titled “Improv is Not What You Think It Is.” 

Take a read, take a look, and let me know what you think. Read now.

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Dance to the beat of a little girl’s drum

Quick! Steal her drum while she’s not looking!

Hey you.

You have the power to be who you want to be. Dance to the beat of your own drum. Steal a little girl’s drum and dance to its beat if you want to.

She might start crying, but that’s okay, because it’s the perfect chance for you to tell her that she has the power to be who she wants to be, and if she wants to be a sissy whiny pants with no drum, then that’s her choice. Run away with her drum.

Now you have a little girl’s drum and you’re out there dancing to it like there’s no tomorrow, because you want to be a person that dances like no one’s watching.

Unfortunately, there are many people watching, including those with pets, the elderly, and one jock who comes up with a great line to mock you with. “Nice moves.” A pet owner’s pet gets nervous and starts barking at you, because you’re flailing your limbs wildly and your eyeballs are rolling around in their sockets and you’re having a grand old time while everyone around you stares in horror at the maniac writhing to the bizarre beat of a hello kitty drum.

Someone calls the police.

You try to tell them but they don’t understand and that you have the power to be who you want to be. Unfortunately, they have the power to make you be who they want you to be. You had never heard the corollary before.

You’re arrested for theft of a little girl’s drum, and dancing is discouraged in the courthouse. You learn that sometimes you need to think about adages before you follow them blindly, and you shouldn’t take advice from someone with unclear motives.

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5 Key Ingredients for the Perfect Midwestern Salad (Ready Your Mayonnaise)

Miracle Whip, though no substitute for real mayonnaise, can be used in a pinch.

Jell-O: Few things have captured the Midwestern imagination like Jell-O. Its mysterious jiggling qualities, its Biblical ability to suspend fruits, and its molded shapes that reminded German immigrants of their homeland, all contributed to Jell-O becoming the base of the ever popular Jell-O salad.

My grandmother once told me that everyone in their old farming community had to have the latest Jell-O salad. It was a simpler time, when the space race between the Reds and the Uncle Sams was matched by a furious Jell-O race between Kansas homesteads. It was also a time that witnessed truly frightening innovation, which reached its pinnacle in the “Perfection Salad,” composed of lemon Jell-O, pimiento, celery, cabbage, vinegar, and sliced pineapple.

Cool Whip: Cheers of joy were heard all across the Midwest when NASA revealed that its attempt at entering the hair product market had proven unsuccessful but that its creation, Cool Whip, was tasty and went great with gelatin. It quickly became the bosom buddy of almost every Jell-O salad. And thus Cool Whip made its way onto the dinner table, because Jell-O salads are not dessert.

Mayonnaise: If one is unlucky and fresh vegetables must be prepared, mayonnaise is a sure solution to make them palatable. Considered the Cool Whip of non-Jell-O salads, it is a must in everything from the Kansas Broccoli Salad (3/4 c.) to the Kansas Cucumber Salad (1 c.). According to a scientific study, when Midwesterners view a salad bare of this white miracle condiment, they are 57% more likely to enter Mayo-rage. Few survive.

Sugar: More necessary for the vegetable salads than mayo, sugar is what truly makes these savory combinations come alive and lose their gross savory-ness. Every kind of slaw, be it Chinese or German, and each kind of salad, be it corn or Sauerkraut, by definition must contain at least ¼ cup sugar. In fact, the Midwestern word for sugar actually means “salad spice.”

Leafy Greens: Just kidding. The only truly acceptable version of a leafy green is cabbage, which can be turned into Mayo-slaw. Otherwise, all leafy greens are prohibited from joining the salad party and should be left in the garden as decoration.

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Things that Fascinate that Weird Guy at Work

And he seemed so normal.

1. Watching sailboats on the Charles River, their white sails floating above the water as in a dream.

2. The way blood beads on clean incisions.

3. Recording human reactions to his animal noises.

4. The swift transition from joy to despair when he gives children candy and then wrenches it away.

5. Logs rotting.

6. The sheer mass of nails and hair that he’s accumulated over the years, the continual nature of his body’s shedding.

7. Slicing.

8. Yo Yo Ma.

9. The taste of tears, his and others’.

10. Yoghurt smeared over coarse surfaces.

11. Seasonal sweaters.

12. Deception.

13. Fire, its complete and utter destruction, embers glowing in the ash of a ruined life.

14. Jogging.

Photo credit: stockimages from freedigitalphotos.net

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