(Editor’s Note: Hi. How are we? Here is my 5th guest writer, Chuck Fox. A member of my Get Involved Comedy team. He was inspired to write a piece after seeing the other 4 derelicts. He said use it if I want. I didn’t want to, but I also didn’t feel like writing myself. So enjoy Chuck’s work. As usual, I’ll chime in with italics and picture captions.)
Starting a comedy career at age 55 has been an eye-opening experience that has allowed me the pleasure of meeting scores of young and up-and-coming comedians (Editor’s Note: I really thought he was going to talk about women. Dammit.) looking to make their mark on the world. What started out as a dare and actually was an item on my bucket list had turned into something that brings a lot of fun and excitement into my life. However, it also brings the reality that this is an industry for the young. I have no illusions about becoming a major player in the comedy circuit and I will probably never make it bigger than a local bar show or an open mic. My cynicism aside, it is something I am passionate about and I will keep performing as long as someone will have me.
This is actually a message for all the young comedians out there. Follow your dreams. Life doesn’t pass in years or decades, it passes in seconds. Take advantage of your youth. Don’t get discouraged. The road to success isn’t an easy one to travel. You will trip and fall, you will make wrong turns. I’m sure you will have more disappointments than stories of success. Trust me, I have.
Don’t quit. Avoid destructive habits and especially avoid destructive people. If this is something you truly want to pursue then put your whole heart and soul into it. (Editor’s Note: “Find what you love and let it kill you.” That is some Bukowski too. I knew this post needed it.)
Success takes time, lots of time. Too often I see young comedians already negative about themselves and others comics or clubs. Negativity breeds negativity and it will show to others who may actually be good for your career. You have the greatest advantage, youth. With youth comes time. You are young so make the most of it. I look back to what seems like mere moments, not years and although I have a great life there are many things which I wish I had done when I had the chance to do them.
One day you will wake up with hair growing out of your ears, aches in parts of your body you never know you had and a medicine cabinet that looks like a small pharmacy. (Editor’s Note: Don’t threaten me with a good time.) When you look back on your life, the option will be yours on what you will see. What could have happened, or what is actually there.
The worst thing that could happen to you would be to say, “Damn, I wish I tried that when I had the chance.” (Editor’s Note: Regret is like cancer for the soul.) There is an old expression; “Youth is wasted on the young.” The problem with that saying is you have to be old to really understand it…
(Editor’s Note: Thanks to Chuck for the words of wisdom from an elder statesmen. Check out Chuck on Get Involved Comedy. We’ll return with your regular scheduled vitriol after these brief messages.)