LITTLE REID, BIG CITY #13
Looking back, may discover hard times in this blog. A few months back I went through a pretty rough comedy depression. I hated mostly everything I had done, wasn’t doing well on stage, and ended up spending a week where I didn’t write, perform, or really leave the apartment except to buy more ice cream (to feed the sadness). I think it stands as a testament to my new work ethic that the similar episode I just had only took a weekend to run its course. It was a weekend of staying in, watching Rocko’s Modern Life, and doing very little comedy. It was probably necessary: at a mic on Friday I pushed myself to go onstage despite not feeling like it, and continued to abandon a joke twice in order to talk to the microphone stand, an inanimate object, who did its best to console me. “If I had arms I would hug you,” it said. I then kissed the microphone stand.
Coming out of it on Monday I had a new focus and some insight as to why I was so down. There are plenty of highs and lows doing comedy, and after a number of highs I hit a few lows –some of my recent jokes weren’t feeling right, weren’t getting great reactions, and probably more importantly: in the last month I experienced two deaths in my family and broke up with my girlfriend. I think taking a break with my lady-person affected me a hell of a lot and continues to affect me, as it really stands as my last concrete link with my life in Ohio and college. Saying goodbye to that, despite the good terms we left it on, has shaken me up a bit.
Remedies! Monday was full of some good thinking, and I decided on a few things to keep me motivated. First: starting a show. This is one of those New York necessities –having your own show means stage time for you and your peers, it gives you an opportunity to connect with some of the comics at a level higher than yourself, and it also gives you some more shows of your own to perform at via a “you scratch my back I scratch yours” methodology. We contacted a couple musicians in a Jurassic Park themed post-rock duo (You Bred Raptors?) we’ve come to know and like, and we’re laying the groundwork for a late night type variety program with a house band (YBR?), comic performances and skits. The only obstacle is finding a suitable venue. A lot of bars here have back rooms or basements for performances, but it’s hard to find the right one and in an area that isn’t oversaturated already with comedy. If for some reason you know of a venue in Astoria please let me know. Reiders, I’m reaching out to you. It can be a long process; we’ve already tracked down a few places, got contact information, contacted them, and were then subsequently ignored. And even upon finding a space, I know a lot of people whose shows were canceled young by their venue, or venues who were so hard to deal with that the show took its own life. Regardless, it is a crucial step.
Back to the girlfriend business: it feels weird to know with certainty that I’ll be definitely staying in New York. I knew in my heart I couldn’t really leave, having gained and continuing to gain so much from it, but there was still some kind of deadline, some way out perhaps, to leave and be with her. A link to a life outside of comedy. For better or worse, that is gone now. I have comedy and not much else. I work a 9-5 job, do comedy after that, and go to bed. It’s just good I still love it so much and have built a great community of friends that even though perhaps I am less of a “normal” personal with “normal” experiences, the life I have now is one I would never give up. I’m in this all the way now, and I’m not leaving. Now to just stop feeling sad about it! However, spring is almost here, the weather is warmer, and out of that weekend funk I already have new things to be excited about and have been hitting the mics pretty hard, so my mood is definitely optimistic. I have a couple auditions coming up (more on those later) and a trip back to Cincinnati, so there will be plenty to lift my spirits. Yes.