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I love you bitches

I spent most of the day today editing my Spike TV comedy special.
It’s always weird to go over my stuff because I’m ruthlessly self-critical, and after I’ve released something I’ve only got about a 6 month window where watching or listening to myself is even tolerable.
The other day I was in my car listening to Sirius satellite radio and one of my bits came on, and I had to change the channel for a few minutes until I knew it was over.
I literally couldn’t listen to it.
It was from my first CD 9 years ago, and when I listen to those old bits I hear all these things that just bug the shit out of me. It always feels like I’m using too many words, or explaining things too awkwardly, or the most disgusting transgression of all: faking energy and enthusiasm.

It just feels so douchey to listen to.
Stand up is this kind of a never ending pursuit where in order to do it right (for me at least) I get really hyper-analytical and critical about it, and because of that I’m never really satisfied with whatever I put together. I can have the best set of my life, and when I go over the recordings after the show I’ll find at least a dozen things that I feel I could do differently or better.
To put it together correctly just requires so much focus.

Sitting in the editing room today going over the set with a fine tooth comb, I almost have a sense of urgency to get it over with that borders on irritation. I just want to get it correct, and then get it out, and once it’s out, I don’t want to see it again, even if I thought it was great at the time I recorded it. I just want to get it off me.
I want to release it, and then get to work on the next shit.

One of my problems is that a bit never feels completely done to me. I rarely say a bit the exact same way every time, and because I’m always tweaking them and fucking around with them they’re constantly getting better.
My filming was just a couple weeks ago, and I’ve already got a bunch of new tag-lines for some jokes, and some better ways of setting up other ones. It really just never ends.

editing_spiketv

Another weird aspect of editing my stand up comedy is that it forces me to have a closer look at the surreal state of existence I currently enjoy.
I’m pretty used to my weird life, and I don’t think about it for the most part, I just live it, but when I’m forced to take a look at it closely it reveals to me how truly weird it is.

Just watching film of me going onstage to a standing ovation in Columbus was like someone gave me some sort of a weird, boundary dissolving drug.
Part of me just accepts it because that’s just what I do, and I’ve been doing it for over 50% of my life, but there’s another part me; that objective, questioning part that just looks at the whole thing and goes, “What the fuck? Is that you? What the fuck is that all about?”

Watching the set, critiquing the material and seeing the reactions to it forces me to look at myself in a way I rarely do, and it’s weird as fuck. My job today was to look at my work as a professional with passion for my chosen art form – and I certainly put that focus first and foremost – but there’s this other focus whispering questions in the background.
It has to be contained, or else it will consume my other thoughts and demand all of my focus. It has to be restrained and kept peripheral.

While the tape is running and I’m focusing on the task at hand I can keep it at bay, but in the down time in between edits it demands my attention like an impatient child.
It’s not just a “wow, is that really me?” feeling (which certainly is trippy) but rather a feeling of, “what the fuck is this all about?” Is this notion of performing stand up comedy actually a much, much weirder proposition than I’ve ever even considered?

I’m sitting here in this room full of electronics using technology I couldn’t even begin to explain to edit together a collection of my thoughts that I’ve carefully orchestrated specifically to make other people feel good.
That’s what stand up comedy really is; it’s the art of spreading a very concentrated form of positive energy.
Strange, strange shit indeed – but that’s what I do, and I fucking love it. I can’t wait to get this thing out to the people and release it like a runaway virus.
The night it comes out I’m going to be in my isolation tank while it’s airing because I want to see if I can feel the laughter from the great beyond.

I’m gonna be on KROQ 106.7 tomorrow morning in LA at 8am. You can listen live here: http://www.kroq-data.com/kevinandbean/index.asp

I love you bitches.