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Aug 02

New Adventures in Comedy

Blackadder: Where have you been Flash?
Lord Flashheart: Where haven’t I been?

Wow, has it really been three years since I updated this blog? Why have I been away? Well, in short, I felt I was spending too much time talking about humor and comedy rather than doing it. Hence the three year absence from posting. However, I do love talking about comedy and so I missed blogging about it.

I also was moving towards presentation skills coaching and training, and while I am able to do that, it doesn’t make my heart sing. So I had to be really honest with myself and get back to what it was that I really enjoyed and that was comedy. Both writing and performing it.

Can you summarize the last three years, creatively, in less than 30 seconds?

During my time away I did some stand-up, wrote a screenplay (currently fundraising for), came with ideas for a six other screenplays, became literary manager and co-founder of a theatre company with my wife, won some humorous speaking awards at Toastmasters, became artistic associate of a female-driven theatre company, got a talent agent, did some improv, did some plays, did some voice overs, appeared on a podcast, wrote some comic prose, came up with some ideas for an original sitcom (as yet unscripted), wrote a one-man show (as yet unproduced) and began to draft a comic novel. When you see it written like that… It sounds great, but there might be too many irons in the fire. Uh, d’you think?

Anything else you’d like to share?

Who is it that’s asking me questions? No one has submitted any, there isn’t a way to submit questions and no one even knows this blog is returning. I’m the one writing this post…? Hmm.

Things have changed in my personal life during that the las three years too…

In 2012 I became the proud owner of a son, still not quite sure of the correct terminology, which means I’m now a stay at home humorist. My wife works a full time day job, and I work part-time. Part time because if I was full time in an office somewhere all the money I would make would basically go towards childcare and someone else would get to watch my son grow up. This way, I get to be the child care.

It’s not been easy this last year. In fact, it’s been quite tough emotionally. We are still in Chicago right now, but that may change. Logic would dictate that we move to L.A., where a lot of T.V., film and comedy happens, or New York, where a lot of theatre, comedy and some T.V. happens. But then we’d be joining the millions of others attempting to do the same thing. And I’d have to become a waitress.

However, it could make fiscal sense to move to a state where things are a little bit more affordable. Which is what makes me slightly afeared. Yeah, I just used an Old English word for frightened, what of it? I feel that way because moving to a town or city with a smaller theatre and comedy scene and no film or TV might sound great because the possibility to dominate the local market increases, but ultimately you become a big fish in a small pond.

That’s part of the reason why I left the small village I grew up in and moved to London. There was nothing go on for me there with what I wanted to do. So perhaps, to an extent, moving to another state where there is not a prevalence of the arts makes me feel like I am taking a giant step back.

But unless start making significant money from comedy I have to re-think things a little. I have a kid now and I want him to have a decent education. Well, as decent as you can get living in the United States.

What is it you really want to do?

I could fill up posts and posts on this topic.

What I’d like to do is carve out my own niche in comedy, where I develop a following of fans of my work and I’m able to make a full-time income supporting myself and my family. Not too much to ask, right?

I’ve spent time these last 3 years, not only getting used to a new country and culture, but trying to figure out that niche through trial-and-error.

“Pappa’s in need of some nickels.”

Cash flow is often a problem in this sort of business. A constant stream of income would really do it. That’s the goal of many small businesses. Or even a large one-off payment significant to a year’s salary would also help. Just a bit.

I am hoping to become more involved with freelance writing as this could be a welcome financial boost. This will be tough because I am a performer at heart. I like knowing that I have access to a stage and an audience with similar sensibilities. In Illinois I only occasionally have people pointing at me asking why I sound weird. Whereas, who knows how I will be received in other states?

But at least by moving more into writing, I still get a creative outlet if not a performing one. I am sure this will change again. Such is life. “Writing the funny” still has to come before the “reporting on it.”

Which way is up? (If only I knew right now)

This blog has taken a new direction.

I will try to track any successes that I have, however minor. Both the ones I have had over the last 3 years and, hopefully, the ones to come in the future. They say success can leave clues so I will be hunting down my own and will try to note what I discover for those who’re interested. While not the out-and-out how to posts I wrote in this past, I am hoping there will be nuggets you’ll be able to take away.

I am not sure of the frequency of posts I will make here. I’d like to say once a week, but who knows? I know that doesn’t help me build up a reliable readership. All the blogging gurus I don’t know, but have studied, would be collectively furious if they gave a shit. I may find a rhythm of once a week, I don’t honestly know right now.

I may write shorter posts in the future too, rather than the essay this has become like so many others I wrote in the past.

What with Twitter, Tumblr making shorts posts popular and video sites like Vine and Instagram short ideas seem to be the future. Which is tough as a writer because, while I see the benefits of concise expression, I love exploring ideas.

I am thinking about returning to Twitter. I was on there a few years ago, I think the year before Prohumorist (this blog) went on hiatus and I just wasn’t digging it. I hadn’t found a way to use it and make it worthwhile for me. Still working on it.

I also want to write about my adventures as a stay at home dad and British ex-pat, but I feel that that belongs on a separate, new blog. That will be mostly for entertainment purposes. Once that launches that will be linked to on this site. This site with remain more like a journal, or reportage.