Blog

The Zero Barrier of Comedy

So I am approaching 9 years in the comedy “game.”  Since a new year is a great time for reflection I reflected on my relatively empty calendar, my even emptier bank account and my fully empty soul and realized that I am approaching the zero barrier of careers.  The term zero barrier, if I am remembering the term correctly, is from the film Armageddon (which failed to use Armageddon It by Def Leppard which is one of the great soundtrack omissions of all time) and it refers to the last possible moment they could blow up the asteroid to ensure it avoided Earth before it was too late.

"J-L, if you don't blow up in 2012 then we have to end your career!"

Well, I am not sure if I am at the zero barrier of my comedy career, but I am close.  Now I will always be fairly employable – a Georgetown Law Degree will always qualify me for bagging groceries, cleaning toilets and substitute art teaching, but those will just be jobs.  The possibility of a career is slipping away though.  I have been at comedy for almost 9 years and doing it as my full time job for 3 years.  It feels like I have been released into the wild to be free and pure instinct, but now mental health and financial health seem to be calling me back to the controlled zoo of a day job as well as career ambition that doesn’t depend on the reactions of strangers.

But that has not stopped me from pumping out a ton of new content in 2012.  My weekly podcast has launched, just filmed two new comedy short films, I am in the process of putting together my weekly movie review show and of course my new CD Too Big To Fail will be out in February (along with the honor of having my voice doing the intro on Patrice O’Neal’s posthumous CD).  I also just got picked for a NACA showcase where I can potentially (but of course not guaranteed to) make a decent chunk of change doing college gigs.  The point of this is not to brag.  This is all the shit I am doing to keep even!  Just to keep people interested (because bookings have been slow, which are the comedy business’ way of helping you maintain a sharecropper’s status – go to a club, make a couple hundred bucks profit if you are lucky as a feature, get some Twitter followers, some Facebook friends, some YouTube fans, and then don’t get called back to the club for 2 or more years so that half of your fans are dead and the other half has moved on to supporting their local def poetry scene).

So thanks to the people who read this blog, watch my videos, listen to my podcast through early problems and generally put up with my shit.  I say this in part out of gratitude, but mostly because this is probably the year I go full on crazy, like become the 2006 Ron Artest of stand up or the Montecore of stand up and I will need at least a few of you at a sentencing to speak to the pressures of comedy and the joy I brought to you when you read this blog and realized – wait, maybe life is not so bleak because I certainly don’t feel as bitter and riled up as this meteor falling to the Earth.  Happy New Year!!!

It's all fun and games until the giant thing realizes it hates entertainment.