Photos Of The Week 10-30-15

We say goodbye to October with PHOTOS!! These were all taking with the iphone 6s Plus.

The first one was this cool ass cake from a birthday party I attended.

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This is my child being silly.

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Mean ole pitbull.

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This is a hotel in downtown Spokane, WA.

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A picture of my girlfriend’s costume.

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Album from friend and talented SOB Glen Case.  Get it on Amazon now!

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Not a photo, but still an image.  My comedy album will be recorded December 11th and 12th.  Check it out if you are in the area!

Harry's Flyer

 

 

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I Built An Ark Out Of Toothpicks

This week has been a somber one.  A friend committed suicide, and it just brought up all these emotions. Here is the thing though: I respect her decision.  I always find it odd that people call persons who commit suicide selfish.  How is it selfish?  I think it is the other way around.  I feel it is selfish to want someone to keep existing because it makes you feel better.  If you don’t want to deal with someone dying then listen to them when they talk.  What I mean by that is, by just listening to people while they talk you can gather a lot of information.  People don’t do that though.  They just wait for their time to talk again.  I’m not blaming anyone, I just accept that if a person is in so much pain that they think about not existing anymore then it must be a terrible pain.  Or, maybe it is because I have felt like that in the past and so it makes more sense to me then it does most people.

I finally got the podcast started!  It wasn’t that long, but it got out there.  I am still trying to work on the finer points of the podcast.  I want to make sure it is a great podcast, so that means probably adding a couple more segments.  I am still trying to stay away from a co-host.  It isn’t as dynamic when it is just one person talking, but what it means is I can do it without worrying about another person that may not want to do it as much as me.

The photography side of things have been ramping up, but I think a lot of the quotes I give, causes people to pause and reconsider if they really want to pay that much for pictures.  I think the same thing happened to music.  Because everyone can just get music, they value it less.  Whenever you want a picture, you just jump online and save one.  The thing is, someone had to take that picture.  The reason why you find someone that knows what they are doing is the same reason a lot of people find a plumber instead of doing it themselves.  You want someone that took the time to learn what they are doing.  Since starting this photography thing, I have come to realize that, and I feel bad for photographers because people think that their camera phones is good enough…until they try to blow it up or have it printed up.

Oh, and all pictures that appear on this podcast are license free.  Just go to Bing or Goggle and look for an image and there is a tab above the photos where you can select the license of the image.  I pick public domain, or free to share and use options.

Keeping Your Head Up When All Seems Lost

This thing we do is hard sometimes.  There are a lot of lonely nights, of self doubt, where you can only see the darkness.  Standing up and bearing your soul to the world is a painful thing to do, and to complicate matters you also have to put up with the rest of the world when you step off stage.  Relationships, relatives, jobs, all of the hardships others have to deal with.  What makes it even worse is that you are one of the few that notices it. That is what makes a comic a comic.  They have the ability to see the nuances of the world that other people just ignore.  That can tire you and make you look at the world negatively.

With that going on for years and years it will eventually get to the point where you see no other way out. Your non comedian friends just don’t understand what propels a person to drive 3 hours for 100 bucks. They don’t know how it feels to notice the world the way you do.  So, you hang out with like minded people. The problem is that those people also tend to be in the dumps as well because this is the albatross we carry to be able to do this.

How can you keep on going when it seems the world doesn’t understand you and you feel as though you are falling down a jagged cliff?  I have no idea.  I am in the same boat as you.  I can tell you what deadens the pain. I find the things I like to do and I do them a lot.  That is easy for me to say however, my favorite things don’t include ingesting drugs and/or alcohol, which could make matters worse.  I read, play video games, and go to the pawn shop, and hang out with my loved ones.  I try to stay around positive people. Those people tend to be comics, but more often then not they make me feel good to be around them.  I also try to keep as busy as possible. The way my mind works (and the mind of most depressed people) is that if it is left idle, to just rummage around through the blank spaces in my mind, then negativity will arise from that.  That is why I decided to start photography and videography and podcast and anything else to stay out of that place that brings me down.

It’s hard.  You don’t know if this thing you love will be loved by others to the point where you can earn a living from it.  The grind of being a comedian can get you down.  I just hope that while you are pursuing your dreams that you stay positive and make sure you are doing the things that make you happy, not the things that you think will make others around you happy.

 

This blog post is dedicated to Meredith Flanders.  She was a not only a great comedian, but also a great person.

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Don’t Judge Your Success On The Success Of Others

Parents have seen this before.  Your first child was walking at 9 months, talking at 16 months and went off the college at the age of 13.  Your second child…Not so advanced.  Instead of throwing that dumb kid in the trash, you should probably understand that not everyone follows the same path.  That was a round about way of getting into the blog this week, but I think it is a pretty good (if not exaggerated) example.  This week we are going to talk about why you shouldn’t base your comedy career on the success of your peers.

I have been doing comedy for a decade now.  I play the occasional club, but I am mostly in the lower tier when it comes to comedians in the country.  Now, there are some comics that have been doing it for 10 years that have vastly more successful careers than I do at this point.  It was hard at first to understand why they were successful and I wasn’t.  I questioned my abilities constantly.  All that did was drive me down a path I feel from time to time from other comics.  That bitterness that I am not a success, but they are.  What I had to do was look at the situation from a non emotional angle, and it has helped me focus more on me and my career than on others.

I believe the issue at hand, is that we tend to look toward the outside world for indications that what we are doing is correct.  For entertainers, it is  very easy, we just look at our peers and try to gauge where we should land if given the same amount of time. The problem with that, is these things are not constant.  Comedy isn’t the law of gravity in that there is a prescribed way to see it work.  That means that you can not look at someone that has been performing comedy for the same amount of time as you and assume that you should be in that position.

I see it all the time.  Comic A has been performing comedy for 2 years.  Comic B has been performing for 9 months.  Comic A hasn’t featured at the local clubs, but Comic B has featured, and has had success in other areas (like a write up in the paper or a theater show).  Comic A gets angry because they have been doing it longer, but hasn’t had those opportunities.  They start to believe that Comic B is somehow doing something nefarious to get those opportunities.  It is even worse if Comic B just so happens to be a female, because then it is assume that Comic B is doing sexually nefarious stuff to get those shows.  You see where this becomes a problem.

The thing is, If Comic A were honest with themselves, then maybe they could point to exactly why they haven’t had the same success as Comic B.  First, just because you have been doing it for longer, doesn’t mean you took advantage of that time.  Did Comic A go out as much as possible during those 2 years or just every couple of months?  Is Comic A writing and working out material at the same pace as Comic B? Those two things right there can explain a lot!  Some comics believe that as soon as you touch that stage the timer starts on when they can expect certain things.  Just like in life, it doesn’t work that way.  You get out what you put in a lot of the time.  85% of all situations like this can be explained away by looking at the work each comic is putting in.  If you are sitting on your ass mopping around while the other comics are out there working on their material and getting on stage, you can’t expect to show up and do as well as them.

Those aren’t the only reasons why Comic A and Comic B are progressing differently.  Maybe Comic B is a better writer.  Some comics can just write material and are able to produce it on stage better than others. Maybe Comic A isn’t too sure of their newly written material, so they don’t ever try it out on stage, they just do the same 5 minutes that they have had since day one and no one with any ability to put them on a show has seen progress.  Maybe Comic B is a better salesman.  People who can go and get their name out there, have a tendency to advance quicker than the person that doesn’t even promote their shows so their own family can see it.  Maybe Comic A isn’t as confident that they are funny.  That shows.  Maybe Comic B goes to shows in the area and so they get seen by other comics that are also putting on shows and so they build a network.  Or, and this is the one that may cause Comic A to kick over a bucket of milk:  Maybe Comic B is a likable person.  Maybe they have attributes that are lovely to be around.  They show up for shows they are put on, they don’t run out on their tab, they don’t get drunk and try to fondle people.  Their are many reasons that can cause two comics to veer off onto different paths.  Including just plain old luck.  Some people will just rise above the rest for no reason.  Can you explain why some comics blast off and make millions a year while others don’t? Sometimes, just luck.

I feel into that trap about five years in.  Then I took a long hard look in the mirror.  I was in college at the time and so I wasn’t on the road.  I am not that outgoing of a person, so I wouldn’t talk to other comedians that I was around.  Those things immediately came to me as reasons why wasn’t as successful as my peers at the time.  The comics that I came up with left Spokane and went to bigger cities so they could get more opportunities.  Some knew people that could get them jump started.  Most worked their asses off and a one got lucky on a scratch off lottery ticket.  I stopped focusing on that and I just took every chance that came my way and I am happy with how my career is progressing.  I get to do shows, and I get paid money, and I am not living in a hut made out of discarded aluminum foil.  I focus on my career and when someone I know is doing well, it fills me with happiness now instead of sadness.  In life, the guy that was the douche in high school ends up getting a sweet ass job and owning a jet ski.  Don’t let that consume you.  Or you will end up one of those bitter people that blame all of their problems on the world.

Serial Killing Unicorns

If I could draw, I would make it my life’s work to illustrate nothing but unicorns doing horrible things to other mythological creatures.  Like a unicorn ripping the head off of Pan.  It may not make me a living, but sometimes you have to do what you love.

Loved my weekend in the Tri-cities doing comedy there.  They have a lot of ways to promote their club and I found it very interesting.  The room is always cool and I want to go back sooner rather than later.  I also realized that I LOVE clubs where I can just perform there for the weekend.  One nighters are always so grueling, and in the northwest, the rooms are never close enough to make sense.  You always have to drive like 6 hours to the next show, so by the time you get out of the car and washed the funk off of you, you are back on stage.  Feels good to relax!

I am FINALLY starting my podcast this Friday!  I have the artwork, and I have the means to get it on iTunes.  I just have to get in this room and knock it out.  I am excited, as excited as I was when I thought of doing it earlier this year.