So, much to my dismay, one of my neighbors --- specifically the one upstairs --- found out that I'm a comedian. I feel like someone just walked into the Batcave. A friend of mine asked me why I wouldn't want my neighbors to know that I'm a comedian, and let me be clear... I don't have anything specifically against this neighbor. (Although they are noisy up there sometimes.) I just know from years of experience that when random, everyday people --- like neighbors... or your local grocer... or the tellers at your bank... or the dude at the coffee shop that you regularly see when you go use the free wifi to write your hilarious yet socially scathing jokes --- when they find out that you are a comedian it generally means three things start to happen... 1) They feel the need to say things like, "I want to come see you." Which they usually don't mean, but they know that it sounds good to say. And I understand, because who really wants to go see stand-up comedy? Not me.
2) Every time they see you --- say on the occasions that you are both walking into the building at the same time --- they ask things like, "When's your next show? And then you give them a handful of dates, they stare blankly at you and say, "I really want to see you." Which means, "I still have no plans on seeing you, but I want you to know that in theory it sounds like a good idea."
I've learned that in this scenario people think it's rude if I just turn away from them and spit behind me, "Check my website." as I shuffle into my apartment.
3) Over time --- and this one is the WORST ONE --- they start to look at you differently the longer they realize that you aren't famous; therefore, you must not be that good at being a comedian. Admittedly, this one is kind of hard to recover from and necessitates entering and entering my building through the garage, climbing up the fire escape, and going into my apartment through the window.
So I've spent the last ten years avoiding the subject in my building. It's small building so fortunately, I don't have that many people to avoid. But it also means that I can't be as anonymous as I like. And in that time maybe only two different apartments found out I was a comedian. One was right after I moved in, and it was my fault. I told that neighbor I was a comedian back when I didn't know of these inevitable results. And the second time was when one of my neighbors saw me on TV. But since I went up to the roof and knocked the satellite dishes down that hasn't been a problem since.
That and the fact that I haven't been on TV that much --- if at all --- since.
The other problem is I know when people imagine a comedian, they aren't imagining me. Everyone has their own comedy avatar in their head, and I've learned from experience that whatever that avatar is, it ain't me. So when these neighbors say they want to see me, I figure they are imagining some combination of Jerry Seinfeld meets Dane Cook meets Jay Leno's monologue. (Unless they are black... then they want me to be Bernie Mac. Black people always want you to be Bernie Mac.) The comedian I assume --- and have often found they don't want --- is a black guy ranting and raving about his disappointment in the system, his distrust of our leaders, and his frustration with the fact that few people see things the way that he does... and his goofy facial expressions.
Well, thanks to the Internet and Google my anonymity is GOOOOOOOONE. (I'm heading to Google today to looking into knocking their satellites down.) Luckily the show went fairly well... even though it was a Monday night in bar. And I think I'll be able to continue to make eye contact in the hallways.
You can click the picture above to read the blog. She seemed to really enjoy it. She even says she'll come back. If that's the case it's time to write some new jokes specifically for her. Here's a start...
"Who are these people who play their stereos at full volume at 7:30 in the morning???"
Heheheheheh. Just kidding. Mostly.