Stand up, the Maxim tour, and washing your ass…
As I write this, I’m in a plane headed back to LA on the Maxim/ Bud Light (get your barf bags ready for the title) “Real Men of Comedy” tour with John Hefron and Charlie Murphy. Most of the time when I go on the road I go out with my friends, so this is the first time in ages I’ve worked with new people, and I really didn’t know what to expect.
Although we’ve never worked together before this tour, I’ve known John for a while from the comedy clubs, and this was my first time meeting Charlie Murphy.
John is a great guy, super cool to hang out with, and thankfully he’s really funny too.
Charlie is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met in this business, and his stories are fucking hilarious. The whole tour so far has been much more fun than my expectations.
For the entire month of October we’re crisscrossing the country in a different city every night.
One of the really cool parts of this tour is that they have a comedy contest for each stop, and the winner gets to open the show for us. It’s been a nice opportunity to meet some really funny up and coming comics, and a nice opportunity for them to get some exposure in front of some big crowds. It’s also really refreshing to me as a fan of the art form to see all these talented guys out there all over the country plugging away at it.
This really is a great time for stand up comedy.
The crowds have been fucking awesome, and we’re going to these really cool, old theatres like the Landmark theatre sunday night in Syracuse. It was made in 1928, with the kind of attention to detail and craftsmanship that you just don’t find in today’s construction. Most of the time before this tour I’ve just done comedy clubs, so this has been a really interesting change.
The best part of this tour by far has been getting to meet all the people out there all over the country that read this site on a regular basis, but have never gotten a chance to see me perform. I get the emails and myspace messages, and I respond to as many as I have time to, but talking to people face to face after the shows is just fucking bad ass. It really makes me want to just run back to my hotel room and write some more, and I can’t tell you how humbled and honored I am that I have so many people out there that call themselves my fans.
It’s virtually impossible to answer all the emails and myspace messages that I get every day, especially with all this traveling, but I just want each and every one of you to know how much it means to me, and how much I appreciate it.
It provides me with a fuck load of inspiration, and your kind words energize me to no end. Again, it may sound corny, but I am truly honored.
Fear factor has reached it’s end, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited.
My first love has always been stand up comedy, and that’s all I’m going to work on now.
I never set out to act in sitcoms, or host a game show; it’s just sort of something that happened. They offered me the jobs, and I took them.
I’ve enjoyed it for the most part, but never as much as I enjoy stand up. The real problem is that when I’ve spread my focus out into all these other things, my stand up is what has suffered, and that’s the thing that’s the most important to me.
I rode fear factor right into the beach, and now that it’s done, I’m looking forward to really concentrating on my comedy from here on out.
I’ve got a couple other projects cooking, but they’re all related to my actual interests as opposed to just my interest in making money.
Don’t get me wrong, fear factor was a great gig, and I certainly benefited from it a great deal, but for the most part it was just a job. It was a great job, but still just a job.
Stand up, on the other hand has never felt like a “job” to me. It’s always been this fascinating, ever growing and expanding, living art form that somehow I’m a part of. To do it, you have to constantly focus on it, and constantly work at it. It’s literally an expression of life.
The more you think about life and explore your curiosities, the more it grows.
The rewards from it are so much sweeter than any other aspect of show business, and they’re immediate.
I fucking love it, and when it all comes together, there’s really nothing more fun.
It’s really like a living thing; a big, live, collection of ideas that when put together properly and performed with enthusiasm actually makes people feel better.
And like a living thing, you have to nurture it and feed it in order for it to grow. The more I focus on it, the more I’m aware of how much more there is to it.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time lately on things that free and expand my mind, like yoga and spending time in my isolation tank. What I’m realizing more and more is that in order for my mind to function at it’s best and clearest, there’s a certain amount of biological noise that has to be cleared out. Residual stress from all aspects of life can build up and clog the pathways of thinking, and it’s just amazing how much better and clearer the mind functions when you attend to that process of clearing the mind on a regular basis, and treat is as a necessary ritual, like brushing your teeth or washing your ass.
Again, it’s always something that I’ve been aware of; feeling the calming and clearing effects of working out or meditation, but lately I’ve been much more disciplined about it, and because of that discipline I’m reaping the rewards in my stand up.
For a long time before I ever did yoga, I thought about it the way a lot of people do, like it’s just some gay, new age fad that people are into because it sounds cool to say you’re doing it.
Especially living in LA, because a vast percentage of the people there doing yoga are just doing it because it makes them seem spiritual, and having met some of these posturing fucks, my thoughts about the discipline were pretty prejudiced.
What I’ve been finding out though, is that like many cool things including a lot of other things that I love like comedy and martial arts, there are a lot of silly people out there ruining the perceptions of it.
There’s a reason yoga has been around for thousands of years, and not because it’s been helping yogis make money and get laid. It’s because there’s a real science to it. It’s a real repeatable method to attain higher states of consciousness.
Those ancient poses don’t just clear your mind because they’re difficult to perform and require your full attention, they work for some other reason that I’m not sure most people are aware of. There’s a very physical effect that they have, where the strain and energy you put into it acts as some sort of a flushing mechanism allowing your mind to free itself of useless and constraining thoughts, and in the process broadens your point of view and makes you feel incredibly peaceful.
One of my personal heroes, Terence McKenna spent a part of his life living in India studying yoga because he believed that what yoga was really all about was a physical method that you could use to stimulate your bodies endogenous production of natural psychedelic compounds, and the more I practice it, the more I believe he was absolutely right. It seems like a very long road to travel, and I’m really on my first steps, but I’m finding it very interesting to say the least, and it’s just another part of my focus on all aspects of life to further open my mind and to improve my stand up.
Another big part of my focus is going to be getting my stand up out there for more people to see and hear. My bad ass webmaster Andrew Blevins is in the middle of creating an updated version of this website that will include much more audio and video content.
I’m also going to make a lot more blog entries by putting myself on a regular writing and posting schedule that I have to be responsible for, and I’m even tossing around the idea of writing a book.
I’ve got this really interesting predicament, where 80% of the people that know who I am have no idea I’m even a comic.
Part of it is because a lot of the shit I do just isn’t funny, like Fear Factor and the UFC, and unfortunately most of the Man Show, and another part of the reason is that I just don’t have much material out there. I put out one CD in 2000 (I’m gonna be dead some day,) and a really fucking low budget DVD (Live from the Belly of the Beast) slightly later. Either way, my act has changed and evolved and moved forward, but I haven’t gotten any of it out there for people to see or hear.
It’s not like I took any time off, because I kept working on it and performing the whole time, but I just never released anything else, probably because I was busy and distracted with all that other non-stand up shit.
Well, that’s all going to change now.
I just recorded a new CD a few weeks ago in San Francisco, and it’s my best work yet by far.
As soon as this tour is finished I’ll be going over the recordings, and I’ll get to editing it right away. As soon as I have a release date I’ll let you guys know.
I’ve also got a DVD that I recorded over a year ago in Phoenix that should be out in December. It was produced by netflix, and it’ll be available on their site, and then on Showtime.
I’m on a really clear path right now, and I can comfortably say that this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. It just feels great to be able to do what I love to do, and perform it for all you people out there that enjoy it. I’m just really excited about putting all my energy in that direction instead of spreading myself thin with a bunch of other things that I really don’t give a shit about.
Again, none of this would mean anything without people out there to receive it, so to all the people that have taken a the time out of your day to read these blogs, or taken the chance to come out to a comedy club to see the “fear factor guy,” or to the people that have been fans since way back when and tried to convince people that I’m actually a funny comic, I truly can’t thank you enough.
I just want you to know that I don’t take it for granted, and that I appreciate it all very much.
One love, bitches. The train is on the tracks…