I have been doing this stand up stuff since I was 17 seriously. I have been getting regularly paid for it since I was 19, so that's pretty okay, I guess, considering I only had about 10 times on stage from the time I was 17 until I was 19. That's not too bad. I was able to pay for a car in cash by the time I was 23. That felt really good. It was a Chevy Sprint, but it was mine. ALL three cylinders.
In all of that time I probably have a full 40 hours of material written that is usable, and I've been on stage a total of 2,315 times. I know this because I've just checked my calendar program. It verified every date I did for 20 years. For some years, I was working every night, two or three shows a night, while other years, it was a little sparse. But it adds up. That's a lot of stage time, and that gave me a lot of time to work out what material was working well for me, and what was toilet matter.
I have some video. I didn't keep a lot of video materials. I have some of it on 1 inch because the quality of the larger size was so much better when that was the way they recorded it. The original I have from MTV is still on SVHS, and the the one from Carolines is on 3/4". I have yet to transfer that to DVD. That's going to happen sometime this year, I guess. My family keeps asking to see it again. I keep hoping that it will air on tv so I don't have to dig it out, but you know, that was the 80's, and chances are, unless I get to be suddenly hit with a huge movie deal or something... it will never re-appear. Maybe if one of the other folks who was on gets hugely famous.. . who knows. But, it's up to me. And my lazy buns to get to the transfer place.
Then there was the many radio spots.. I have all of that on cassette. I mean ALL of it. I have a full bookshelf of material on cassette from every show I ever did. Some of the time I guested on other shows, I just don't have that. I figured I could download it later, and poof... the websites disappeared. Gee, who saw that coming?
But, this week, I found that I was able to complete the sixth hour of material on one particular topic I've been writing on for years. Six HOURS on the same topic. I just wrote my sixth hour. It struck me that when I first started it was killing me that people would say, "What do I write about?" and just get on stage and stammer. They'd stammer and stare and look at nothing.
And I just wrote the SIXTH HOUR on a sole topic. There is still more that I could say. Every time I think of it, it just kills me. Absurdity. Goofy. I mean, politics- It's easy nowadays because you just quote Bush- he's just giving you material daily. He is hilarious, but he's also tragic, so I stay away from him and his white house. Jimmy Tingle does his work so very well, as does Durst. The pair of them could make me laugh so much, and add Lewis Black to the mix, and there would be no point in having me write a single word on my thoughts on politics. They've covered my feelings so very well.
I think back at when I was sitting in Nicks, sucking on the ginger ale I ordered, and looking at the scribbles on my napkin, the first time I thought about writing. I thought, "What about art" and just doodled some ideas. When I got on stage after Steve Sweeney called my name, and started hearing people react, it was then I knew that had something. there was some reaction to how I presented my thoughts on art. It began there.
Now, I have a masters degree in art, and a bachelors degree. I can speak on the topic from different perspectives. I also worked in animation. I've been in the film industry, and web design business, and even was hired as a graphic designer, despite my disdain for straight lines. (that was part of the routine for years). I just wrote about art in a new way tonight. I'm on the sixth hour. New, and better, and it still works. And people get it. And it's not foreign. There aren't a lot of people talking about it. It's my topic. I've got more life experiences. And now I'm up to six hours!! The fact I even taught at university level in this stuff? Just makes it better.
I'm on my sixth hour. Take that Michealangelo.