Spike TV filming went fantastic. Thanks to all that came out!
It’s Sunday morning, and I’m in a metal tube hurling through the air 30,000 feet above Ohio. I’m not exactly sure when I’ll get around to posting this online, but this is when it started. My Spike TV comedy special is filmed and in the can, and now I can relax for a few days. At least that’s the plan. Even as I sit here trying to close my eyes and listen to a little Blind Melon on my ipod there’s already the distant rumblings of discontent emanating from somewhere deep in the back of my head; telling me my work has only just begun. I’m never completely satisfied, and if I am, it’s disturbingly brief.
The filming of my comedy special went about as good as I could have possibly hoped for and now comes the editing of the video, the ruthless self-analysis, and ultimately the writing of a whole new act. I can already feel myself gearing up for a fresh run at an even higher frequency – a new level of material and connection that can only be achieved by throwing the old away and building the new from a fresh foundation – a foundation that’s ever evolving.
At least that’s the plan. Whatever comedy really is, whatever expression is and whatever creativity is are really is pretty much up for debate.
I mean, we have these things labeled and because they’re labeled we tend to pretend sometimes that we know exactly what’s going on with them, and that can be really deceiving.
If you look at it simply, comedy is just a guy or a girl making some people laugh, but I really think there’s something more to it than that.
Comedy is a really weird form of expression. It’s a way of describing life that makes people feel good. It triggers a response in us and actually makes us feel better. And when I say us, I really do mean us. You get a charge from it in the form of laughter, and I get a charge back from you. The more you enjoy it, the more pleasurable it is for me.
The only way I can enjoy it and be good at it though, is if I don’t ever think of “me” when I’m on stage. You’ve got to sort of vanish into the material and go for a ride.
We filmed two comedy shows, and I was so amped up for the performances that I really had a hard time relaxing. The night before I think I only slept for maybe an hour. I was in bed for 8, but I just had too much energy. I jerked off twice, still couldn’t sleep.
I knew I wouldn’t be tired, though. Quite the opposite really, because my problem was that my body had too much energy. By building up to this special and making it an important event in my mind, my body responded accordingly.
The problem with that is that we still possess genetics shaped by a savage world of murder, long, long ago. My body doesn’t really understand that important just means a comedy show – it thinks that wild animals are coming to eat me.
An important event registers to my body that danger is coming, not that I’m just going to have a very important good time, so I had to really consciously try to relax it.
I did a hard cardio workout Thursday afternoon to try to relax and stretch out, and I felt really positive about the whole event. I was really looking forward to it in a really calm, positive state of mind. I had two sets that night, the 7pm one was a lot of fun once I got going, I caught my stride somewhere after the first few minutes when I finally relaxed it just became what I wanted it to be; just another fun show that we decided to film.
The Q&A in the first one was awesome, and I just want to thank everyone that came up and asked questions. I especially appreciate the people that were such good sports when I was fucking with them. Both shows were awesome about that, and I truly appreciate how cool you guys were.
The 10pm show was fucking insane. That was just like any regular fun show. I was completely relaxed, and it was really just a matter of putting it all together with the correct amount of focus. Especially since I was loose from the first show going so well it really flooded into the second one. I think the Q&A was definitely better on the first one, though. We’re going to edit it all together for the special, and then for the DVD it won’t have as much of a time constraint so we can put a lot of the behind the scenes shit in there too. Now comes the really challenging part: writing new material.
The challenge of creating all new material is exciting, but what’s even more enticing is the whispering promise that the new shit can be even better. I filmed the show just 3 days ago, and now I want to edit it and release it like a rock thrown from the back of a hot air balloon and use the momentum to push me to the undiscovered territory of my creative consciousness.
I feel like I’m a part of some crazy momentum right now, and I’m obsessed with seeing where it will take me.
I’m at a point in my life where I’ve really embraced the idea that the energy I put into my work will be directly, absolutely reflected by the results.
This past month preparing for the filming has been a real revelation, especially the writing of the daily blogs. Forcing myself to create something every night has reinforced the abstract concept that these ideas are out there in the ether, you just have to put your attention to them and draw them out. Sit down and think. Focus on it, and the ideas will come to you. The more you focus, and the more correctly you focus on it, the more the ideas come. Over the last few years I’ve been ever more curious about the source of creativity and ideas, but lately I’m absolutely obsessed by it.
One thing that I’m aware of that’s incredibly important is that we need to be inspired by each other. Paul Mooney told me that once many years ago; he said that to get excited to write he likes to go get entertained. He told me to go to a movie and then you’ll want to write some jokes.
It was excellent advice, and I’ve followed it ever since.
Right now I’m finishing this up, and it’s 1:47-am on Tuesday. I’ve got the movie “Gonzo” “The life and work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson” playing in a small window in the corner of my screen. It’s an awesome documentary, and it’s incredibly inspirational to me.
The editing and the music choices are fantastic. It’s really well made.
I have to confess; I never really read any of Hunter’s work until I did a gig earlier this year in Seattle. I was doing a theater in town, and I had to fly in a couple days before the show to do radio. I was bored in my hotel room, and on a whim I ordered this movie and was immediately charged and inspired. I wound up writing for hours after it was over because I was so motivated by it. Hunter was a crazy motherfucker, but he wrote some great shit, and had a huge affect on an enormous amount of people. The documentary always makes me want to write whenever I see it, so I fire it up often.
Music, movies, books – we feed off each other’s inspiration and work, and what I truly hope more than anything for this latest special that I just filmed is that I do my part and contribute to this chain of inspiration. I want someone to watch my special, and want to go write, or want to go paint, or be inspired to do anything else that you enjoy.
That, and laugh. Treat it like it’s yours, because I made it for you.
Mad love to all you cool motherfuckers, and a special shout out to my boy Tommy Jr.
If there’s a typo in there somewhere, he’ll find it.
Tomorrow I’ll throw up some pictures and video of the trip.