Walk With Me

I talk a lot about comfort zones and getting out of them, but I realize that I don’t often expound on my own adventures outside the wire.  By the time you read this I should be well on my way to being comfortable again, but as I type it, I’m in a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale and I’m anything but.

I fly to the Bahamas in the morning to join a Carnival cruise for the first time.  I’ve always eschewed cruise ships, mostly for the PTSD it shakes loose from a million years ago. I’ve taken exactly one cruise in my life, and my girlfriend at the time ran over $1,000 in gambling debt on my debit card without me knowing. It’s a bit comical in hindsight, but 23 year-old me thought the world had ended.

Plus, the stigma behind cruise ship comedy runs deep in my circles – the old model for comedy clubs on ships was populated with hacky old men from the 80’s – and I swore to myself that I wouldn’t ever do it. But times do change, and so do people, and quite a few comedians I respect immensely are on this circuit. Everyone I talk to who does them swears they are incredible, at least onthis cruise line under their new model.

So here I am, about to fly to the Bahamas to do something I never even let myself entertain prior to a few months ago.

I have to admit, the last few years have allowed me to get soggy in the milk.  I’ve made giant leaps in a lot of other arenas – traveling to some otherwise unreachable locations, poking my head through the window of filmmaking as a way to get stories out, writing on a much more personal level (I can’t wait for you to read my second book!) – but much of it has been far removed from stand up.

Those muscles haven’t been doing anything other than light reps for a while.

Sure, I can walk in a club and blindly do an hour with no heads up.  Even my tours for the military, which used to be nightmarishly uncomfortable, are now second nature.  I’ll do a full set in a war zone with small-arms fire off in the distance and no microphone without batting an eye. I pushed through all of those foreign sensations eventually.

But I’ve never done this before.

So now I have to metaphorically repack my entire backpack. I’m prepping for a different journey – one that involves breaking sets into half-hours and piecing together five different shows for an audience I don’t necessarily understand yet.

Not to mention the politics and the psychology that inevitably comes with an environment such as this…

It’s exactly like the first day of school except this time I can’t wait, because I know that once all this imagined fear is behind me, I’ll have just one more arena to play in that doesn’t scare me. 

So walk with me this week. Go get uncomfortable!

I don’t want to be the only one out here stretching unfamiliar muscles.

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