Progress. Goals: Spring Cleaning for The Brain
Time for a little brain Spring cleaning.
Two and a half years ago I put out my first album. It was a culmination of the material I developed over my first 6 years in stand-up. I was proud of it at the time and even looking back, I feel that a lot of the material was strong. For a brief moment, it reached #1 on the top of the iTunes charts and I felt like a superstar.
That was over two years ago. Since then, I’ve started my BrewTube web-series and wrote a one-man show called “Seeking Consciousness”. SC was basically an hour of the material I’ve written since the album. Most of that hour will be recorded on my next album...whenever it is I decide to record another one. I’d like to spend another 6 months developing, writing, perfecting…but nothing is ever perfect. And I get antsy and impatient.
The first 5 months of this year have been pretty good. Traveling is a big part of what I do...and most of the time, my favorite part. I did shows in Michigan, DC and at the House of Blues in Chicago. All career firsts. Being based in Indianapolis lets me shoot up to Chicago, down to Louisville, over to Cincinnati multiple times a year. I feel like I’m starting to build up a little bit of a fan base too. This is insanely minor but my Facebook Page just reached the 900 likes mark. I mean who even likes Facebook Pages anymore?...seriously though, go like my page!
The timing feels right to get some buzz going. My comedy feels genuine and strong right now. I know that feeling is fleeting in this career that is just a roller coaster of highs and lows. For instance, I didn’t get into two festivals that I submitted to this year...but the rejection didn’t affect me as much as it had in the past. Partly because of experience. I know that every festival, just like every comedy club, isn’t a good fit for every comic. If I feel like I put a genuinely good representation of myself on tape, that’s really all I can do. I’ll live with the results. I don’t want to be a comic that appeals to everyone. On the plus side, I got paid work from two new clubs. Everything balances itself out I guess.
The next few months are exciting. I’m traveling a bunch more and I’m going to release a few more BrewTube episodes; we’re going back to Upland to kick off the Limestone Comedy Festival. What a huge honor. Limestone is in its 6th year and is regarded as one of the best comedy festivals across the country. The comedian selection process is brutal. They only select 40 comics from nearly 500 submissions. Woof. Talk about cutthroat. In the past they’ve hosted headliners such as Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, W. Kamau Bell, Tig Notaro, Henry Phillips, Michael Che and the list goes on. This year, I’ll get to run my BrewTube kickoff show and scurry over to the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to catch Margaret Cho. Exciting.
My goals for the next year are lofty. I want to release another #1 album. I want to perform my DMX story on a show like Comedy Central’s “This Isn’t Happening” - A comedy story telling show where a story like this fits perfectly. I want to start the process of submitting to late-night shows. I want to get BrewTube sponsored so I can take it to Texas, Denver and New York. I want to do all that shit. Who knows someone in power!?
I’ve also started working on another one man show called “Black Atheist” (Working title) that I hope will debut at next year’s Indy Fringe. I’m really interested in doing something different with this one. A lot of comedy on religion feels attacky...I want to take a revolutionary idea and do something more explorative, accepting, zen...I’m not even sure how I’ll pull all of this together but I’m gonna give it a shot.
I’ll also be writing a bit more for Craftbeer.com. They’ve let me be pretty liberal with my pitches and I’ve had fun writing the articles - like this one.
My main goal is to avoid complacency. Creative endeavors are the type of things where you don’t see results for months...even years at a time. I’m working on not taking what I’ve accomplished and my current projects for granted. I’ve always been a sucker for motivational quotes so I’ll leave on one of my favorites from Marvel’s Luke Cage. Simply, “Always forward. Forward always.”