Archive for November, 2016

Over the past few months, I’ve frequently gotten the impression that the mental health services in Winnipeg are set-up in ways to discourage people from using them. Going to an open house at the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (ADAM) is as easy as showing up to one of two monthly sessions (which is a […]

via Getting pro help is hard — megjcrane

I really felt like shit about myself last week. Despite knowing better, I was judging myself rather harshly for not being able to take care of myself properly on my own. And then you all stepped in and set me straight. An acquaintance responded to the status update about last week’s blog post on my Facebook […]

via I can do this, with you — megjcrane

It’s never worth getting laughs when it comes at the cost of your soul
Writing stand-up comedy jokes is extremely difficult. It is much easier to write whole chapters than a thirty second joke. That could be, because after you have been doing comedy for a while your inner editor papoos any joke you think of as not as funny as the last one. When I was starting out, I found writing jokes super easily. Whether that was because I had years of insight built up just waiting to be written down on a page and then told in front of a live audience that is one possibility. The other possibility is that, when you are first starting out, you don’t know what a funny joke is. Therefore, anything that remotely tickles your funny bone must be absolutely hilarious. The truth is, none of these original insights are really that funny. It takes a bit of time, before you learn how to tell the difference between a good joke and something that is only funny if the other person was there at the time. Therefore, many comedian’s first jokes are inside jokes that you have to have been there to understand why it was funny. You have to have shared the experiences. After all, these jokes are what got us our laughs before we started doing stand-up comedy. In addition, the first shows are mostly for our family and friends and we don’t have a chance to go up to complete strangers and hear what they thought of the joke. We are too busy celebrating.
Once family and friends stopped coming, however, then you have to perform for a room of strangers some of which are other comedians who will be bored out of their minds if we try and tell inside jokes. This is when we start developing our inner editor and start learning how to tell the difference between a rubbish joke and one that is actually really funny. Once that inner editor begins to grow inside of us there is a trade-off. We start telling quality jokes that are universally funny, but, at the same time the quantity of jokes greatly decreases. Therefore, we start repeating old jokes over and over again, praying for anything to tickle our funny bone so we have something new to tell on stage. At this stage, we are usually sick of our jokes, but, we are also addicted to the rush that we get from performing and having an audience laugh.
The laugh becomes the ultimate high. You will do anything for that laugh. Even cross lines that you would never have considered crossing before. For the most part I started off as a good person. At least I like to think I was. Maybe, the pain from frustration at social attempts started to make me more bitter. Therefore, I started justifying things that I shouldn’t have. When someone explained to me that being asexual means that you can still have sex, you just are not interested in it, I thought that was hilarious. After all, to me it sounded like the complaint that all the comedians were making about their wives.
Therefore, I thought, ha being asexual isn’t something unique, it is something all middle-age married women go through. Therefore I wrote out a joke that I planned on telling on stage. In my mind, it was the only really funny joke that I had written in weeks. I knew it was going to get me the laughs. That rush of ecstasy. The drug that I am most addicted to. One of the other comedians begged me not to tell it knowing that by telling it, I would be crossing a line that I could never come back from. I would be joining the dark side with all the other asshole comics throughout history. There is no talking a drug addict out of taking that hit, however. They know that it might hurt people and they regret it, but, they need their high more than they need anything else. Drugs have destroyed families, ruined friendships, destroyed promising careers and yet, an addict is an addict.
Therefore, I went on stage. I started with my old standby starting joke of telling the audience that I have Aspergers and that I am better than them which got me less laughs than I was used to. I told my new tags for one of my old jokes about how two girls came up to me at the bar this one time and asked if I really had Aspergers because I wasn’t like one of their cousins. I then told a few other jokes and didn’t get my fill of laughter. Therefore, I told my new joke about asexual people. It got me the laughs I so desperately craved. Yet, when I got off stage and went to talk to one of the other comedians he was like “well was it worth it?” I wasn’t going to admit that I had crossed a line. I was high on laughter after all so I wasn’t going to let him ruin it for me. He was just jealous. When I saw how upset the comic who had begged me not to tell the joke was, I was like whatever. One of the other comedians has a joke about Autism. No one gives him shit about it. I am supposed to just laugh it off, so it’s okay to make fun of Autistic people but not asexual people screw that! Also, how many times do I need to pretend that I am okay when someone who isn’t Jewish makes an anti-semitic joke. Everyone is just chasing that high.
After the high started wearing off, however, and I was looking for anyone to justify my behaviour I had to come to the stone cold conclusion. I had crossed that line and that there was no coming back from it. I had sold my soul for laughs and it totally wasn’t worthwhile. The other comedians were going to look at me different from now on, and I might have cost myself a friendship and what had I got out of it? A few laughs at an open mic, which will never lead to anything bigger.
I can’t really take steps in going backwards after all, what can you do? You can’t really apologize after all it’s easy to apologize if it’s an accident. This was no accident, since he had already told me not to tell the joke. You also can’t pretend that in a do-over you would have done anything differently. After all, a drug addict is a drug addict and they will do anything to get their fix no matter who it hurts. All you can really do, is move forward and realize that it’s not worthwhile. Try and maintain what self-respect you have, after all it can’t all disappear after telling one joke. I didn’t murder anybody. If that person wants to forgive you and move forward you do that. Otherwise, you accept that they have made their choice and still move forward.