The Seat of a Comedian
To laugh or to cry or even to take a dump without ever thinking about where it lands is the sort of comic relief that sends a strong message of who I am, what I am, and why I write comedic lines.
In less than one minute, a spectator came along. “Hey Zazo, what do you do for a living?”
I replied that I write comedic lines.
“Oh, who knew that was a career? So technically speaking, you are currently unemployed.”
“I never said that; I said I write comedic lines and that’s how I make a living.”
“Well, who pays you for writing those lines?”
“Fans and supporters.”
“Fans and supporters, Zazo?”
“Yes, fans and supporters that appreciate comedy.”
“Oh, I get it, but anyway that’s not a career.”
I bottled my anger and hit the stage. I kept pacing back and forth – should I do it, or should I not? Should I follow the script, or just blast Ms. X with a few lines? The audience thought my pacing back and forth was part of my repertoire, and they started laughing and clapping, giving me the time needed to gather my thoughts. In a flash I snapped out of it and said, “You know what I really hate is someone who is very attractive, but damn! Their breath smells like rotten meat stuffed in a plastic bag for days.”
The audience went into a frenzy, finger-pointing and looking around, and I continued. Oftentimes those people are the most talkative, asking inappropriate questions like Catholics asking whether I am a Catholic. “I went to Catholic school. Why didn’t you go to Catholic school?” Really? Do you really want me to answer that question? The nerve of some people, I tell you. What else? Oh yeah, don’t you hate people who look for different ways to kill your dreams, like, “Do you have a retirement plan since you are a comedian? Have you ever had a real job? Get a real job, why don’t you.” And the answer is no, no, no, why should I get a nine-to-five? Oh, how about those busybodies who like to share their opinions when no one asked them? For example, “Zazo, why not wear the navy blue jacket with the navy blue pants? The green pants is just too…” Like excuseeeee me, but that’s what I like: loud green pants with a fuchsia top, what’s wrong with that? Ms. X did her best to discredit the one skill that I love most, and I am working really hard at improving my punch lines and flow, and out of nowhere Ms. X showed up wanting me to accept that I was unemployed because I did not travel the traditional nine-to-five career path. “Writing comedic lines is not a career!” she exclaimed while bruising every corner of my creativity, at the same time belittling my efforts.
The seat of a comedian is to always remain true to one’s passion and the uncertainty of the craft, and never allow someone else’s career trajectory get in your path of self-discovery. I write comedic lines because I want to make people laugh. When people come to my shows, I want them to be comfortable enough to scream and shout and be themselves. Most people have been trained to wear a mask and some people, when they go home, they take the mask off, and others, they go through great lengths to keep the mask on. Why frown when you can have the life that you always dreamed of? All you have to do is destroy the mask and expose everyone to the real you. I know the process is arduous, scary, a lethal dose of lithium, but what do you have to lose? Nothing, except for living for someone else, and as someone else. It’s detrimental to think that I have one shot at living the life that I dream of, and I could spend my whole life living as someone else. I write comedic lines because I want to make people laugh.
True story, so my Best friend Stan thought he had found a friend, Ben, only to find out several years later that Ben had had an affair with his mother and fathered a baby. What a way to say, “Hey, I am here to stay. I have not only fathered a baby but I am in love with your mother too.” Stan takes me as I am. How could Stan refuse a such long-term friendship proposal?
The seat of a comedian is to always mark an era with finesse and style. Forget about what other comedians are doing – you are the keeper of comedy. Without you telling your inspired jokes, everyone will walk around with a frown, so take a seat and write, practice, and never get discouraged because your jokes are all that matter. Your jokes come from a place of self-discovery, so why would you ever compare yourself to another comedian? In reality there’s always one seat reserved for the most disciplined, prepared, and hard worker.
The seat of a comedian is never plural, so have no fear, and show appreciation for the five people that show up religiously at your shows.
The seat of a comedian is to experience, think, and release that bag of gas on their asses! As far as the Ms. Xs of this world, never mind that, honey! She is too far gone to understand our language.