A great thing about New York is that at any moment, you can bare witness to something incredible.
When I first moved to NYC, I was blown away by the amount of culture, diversity…life in general that filled every crevice I explored. Tourists, artists, street performers, important looking men, done-up women, athletes, wealthy, poor…all in abundance going about their day in what I see as a concerto of life.
On Saturday night, I got to see a microcosm of this in action. I was heading home around 3 AM from a fellow comic’s birthday party and decided to take the L train. The G was closer, but it was a nice night so I wanted to walk a bit. As I entered the tunnel, I heard loud music from a couple of different instruments playing. This isn’t out of the ordinary in Subway tunnels. I’ve seen musicians, preachers, poets, rappers, break dancers and magicians down there. This was different though. As I walked closer, I saw a big group gathered around the musicians. “This is different”, I thought. A contagious lively energy.
New Yorkers are known for being jaded, impressed by nothing and cynical. Most times when there are performers in the subway, they play to blank stares or even worse, no stares at all. On this night, a group of about 30 strangers were able to let go and enjoy the artistry of a very good street band.
I posted a video of the fun on my facebook page.
I loved it and was kind of blown away by the city once again. “This stuff sho don’t happen in Indiana”(Said in my hick voice). Well done New York. Well done indeed.
On Sunday night, not even 24 hours later, I was hanging out at New York Comedy Club. Hanging out and going to shows that you aren’t on is a big part of being an up an comer. It’s the best way to meet other comics, bookers and managers. Also, if you’re present, and people see you around, you stay fresh on their mind. I try to go to at least two different shows a night. Most times in New York, you don’t know who’s on any given show. An A lister can show up at anytime and get on stage. Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Chappelle…these guys make random appearances on a regular basis. A select few times, I’ve been lucky enough to run into and see big name A list comics. Sunday was one of those nights.
I was sitting in the lobby because the showroom was sold out. About 30 minutes into the show, in walks George Wallace. For those of you who don’t know, George has done it all. He’s now known as the “New Mr. Las Vegas”. I like to keep these posts somewhat short, so I won’t get full bore into his credits…just know that the man is a legend. New York has done it again. I then watched him absolutely destroy a packed house in effortless fashion. Here’s a guy who has reached comic mastery. “Damn. God damn.” I kept thinking.
After his set, he was gracious and kind enough to take pictures with all of us “young bucks” as he put it. Great comic and all around good guy.
Seeing pros like George helps to put things into perspective. I’m often obsessed about making a name for myself. “How can I get this, or that?” or “How can I get there quicker?”. Whenever I have these types of thoughts, I try and make a conscious effort to re-evaluate my situation and what my goals really are.
My situation is that I belong to a select few that is following their dream. I get to have outlandish and unrealistic goals. And boy do I have outlandish and unrealistic goals. My situation is that I am not afraid. I believe that if you love what you do, you will be fearless. My situation is that I love what I do.
My goals are simple. Continue to get better and do work that I’m proud of. I’ve reached a point of no return. I’ve become obsessed with getting good and that has fueled a kind of drive and work ethic that I’ve never had before. I want to make sure that I’m making some sort of progress each day. That I’m improving. It’s like the metaphor of building a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You start out by laying one brick. You say, “I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as it can be laid.” And you do that day after day after day. And pretty soon you have a really good wall. My goal is to build a really good wall. Everything else will take care of itself.
That’s all I got for now. Thanks for reading and as always, Much love!
HEY! If you’re in New York and want to see me do stand-up, come check out my weekly showcase in the East Village at Double Wide called FORE! Free show every Thursday at 8!