After four years of committing my life to the art form (arguable) known as stand-up comedy, I’m finally ready to admit that you were all right: comedy is just a hobby. Fortunately, I’ve already begun pursuing a stable career: walking dogs.
I would like, first of all, to apologize to those of you who pointed out this reality to me long ago. You can say, “I told you so!” (A lot of you already have lol.) Secondly, I’d like to thank those of you who kept your fucking mouths shut and faved my tweets, even if your support was a mere act of charity, a kind but empty gesture meant to give a thirty-something woman who threw her actual career away to pursue a difficult and male-dominated art form (redundant) a small and fleeting jolt of pleasure and pride. Yours was a selfless act and I won’t forget your generosity anytime soon.
Though I’m ready abandon the ruse, pretending comedy is an actual career option has been fun. I’ve performed in front of tens of people under the illusion that I was offering them some sort of professional expertise — but now I realize I was the only one who’d fallen prey to my delusion, that the audience members were fully aware, the entire time, that I was simply a failed television producer and aspiring dog walker trying her hand at self-expression. To all those who humored my attempt at humor: thank you.
Will I continue to perform? Yes, of course. I’ve devoted years of my life to this hobby. I’ll ask you this: would a knitter give up on a blanket she’d been fastidiously stitching away at for four fucking years just before…well, just before nothing, I suppose. Perhaps that metaphor doesn’t work because blankets can be finished while comedy “careers” follow no pattern and therefore have no end. Comedy is like a dozen spools of yarn that can be stitched together in any way, can zig and zag in cables and seeds, but which will never, in any combination, form a complete, finished thing. Regardless of the knitter’s skill level, strings will hang loose and stitches will be dropped, forming holes that will widen and — unless you’re very, very lucky — tear the whole thing back into the very pieces which formed the project in the first place.
And yet I will continue to get onstage and tell my little jokes, just for fun, and because sometimes I actually do make money. Last night, for example, I made $5 for a mere two hours of work — excuse me a mere two hours of practicing my hobby. In contrast, I made three times that amount walking dogs yesterday. Numbers like that can’t be denied.
Of course, if you can still find it in your heart to fave my tweets, to attend my shows on a bi-annual basis, I will remain forever grateful. I’ve succumbed to reality, accepted my place in the world — and yet. And yet I hope to sustain just enough of my treasured delusion so that once in a while (a great, great while) in the dead of night, I can still dream. So that just for just a moment, deep in my subconscious, far away from the reality of my life, I can be onstage, in front of people, fucking killing. When I wake in the morning, I promise to leave the dream behind, to not lie in bed even for a minute and relive the moment in my dream when a joke hit and the audience lit up like a struck match. I promise to rise the second my alarm blares its first dreadful blast and recommit myself to the pursuit of walking dogs in the middle of the day while their owners are at work.
It is, after all, my career.