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My Favorite Tunes of 2013

I like songs and these were a handful of my favorite ones to be released in the last calendar year.

Kurt Vile “Goldtone”

Dr. Dog “The Truth”

Ducktails “Under Cover”

Jay-Z “F.U.T.W.”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Monki”

Not the 1’s “Lite Years”

Toro y Moi “Harm in Charge”

Rhye “Open”

Boards of Canada “Reach For The Dead”

Wax Children “Close to Home”

Thundercat “Heartbreaks & Setbacks”

Quasimoto “The Front”
(technically from 2005 but released this year so fuck it)


Still diving.

I leapt off the diving board of this blog last week.

Apparently I’m still midair.

In my first post I quoted Steven Pressfield‘s book The War of Art:

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.

The Resistance is having a fucking fiesta.

I knew it was getting to epic proportions when yesterday I spent over an hour drawing this nifty sign that says “Write.”

write
I could feel the irony surging through me as I shaded the shadows on the letters spelling out the one thing I needed to actually be doing.  My procrastination has become borderline psychotic.

In Linchpin, another of my go-to books for creative inspiration, Seth Godin writes:

When you feel the resistance, the stall, the fear, and the pull, you know you’re on to something. Whichever way the wind of resistance is coming from, that’s the way to head – directly into the resistance. And the closer you get to achieving the breakthrough your genius has in mind, the stronger the wind will blow and the harder the resistance will fight to stop you.

The resistance will help you find the thing you most need to do because it is the thing the resistance most wants to stop.

The last week I’ve averaged 2 hours of sleep a night.  My mind is racing with ideas for this blog and a podcast I want to get launched.  I get out of bed non-stop, race to my computer and write down ideas.  The list of ideas gets to be so long that doing the actual work, in other words, sitting down and writing, pressing record and talking, becomes overwhelmingly daunting.  Fear.

More from Pressfield:

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates the strength of Resistance. Therefore, the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.

More validation!  I’ve got the diagnosis.  Time to take the medicine.  Time do to do the fucking work.  Which is all the better, because honestly I don’t know how many more posts I have in me about diving.


Diving The Fuck In

At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, my career begins now.

I’ve been writing, performing, producing, and booking comedy for 12+ years now, and in the past month I’ve deleted or taken offline almost every file, every script, every video, every project I’ve done up until this point. Mostly, I’ve deleted drafts and ideas that at some point or another were undoubtedly the million dollar idea that was going to make me a star — and then let sit for days, weeks, months, years, or a decade plus.

Shit, if I had a nickel for every million dollar idea I’ve had I’d be a goddamn millionaire.

Don’t get me wrong. I have zero regrets. Each and every show, every joke told, every project completed or incomplete has gotten me to this moment. If I admire myself for anything it’s been my fearlessness in putting myself out there, taking chances, not thinking twice about acting like a silly fool in front of other people. The problem, in retrospect, was that so much of it was done purely out of ego; out of a need for attention, and more than anything else, a need to be liked by others. I suppose it’s pure irony that so much what I’ve done to impress people to this point has been half-assed.

God knows I still want people to like me. But I no longer need people to like me. My mom has always told me that if everyone likes me, I’m not being true to myself, and I’m only now finally beginning to understand what she means. I know now that I need to take care of myself in order to take care of others, sometimes at the expense of someone else’s fragile ego, and in the world of comedy there sure are a lot of those. Until recently, I managed to build a comedy career in spite of my ability to keep everyone happy. But now I see that it’s often come a the expense of my art.

In the past couple years I’ve learned that true art is a gift for others, created with no ego. It’s pure expression born out of a longing for deeper connection with the universe, and other people. That’s what I want to put into the world moving forward (even if sometimes it’s through a joke about big gassy farts), and that’s what I’ve come to expect from the people I work with. As the booker at The Hollywood Improv, I’ve been put in a position where I am the arbiter of what I consider to be good, with an extremely limited resource at my disposal (stage time) for only a select few. So making everyone happy is no longer an option. It’s forced me to confront my greatest obstacle, and based on how much personal growth I’ve achieved in facing this fear head on, it’s a confrontation I would recommend for everyone.

The pursuit of a career as an artist is hard as fuck. I’m still a million dollar idea away from a million dollars. But through all the ups and down I’m more excited than ever that I’ve stuck with this path in spite of all the hardships. And as I continue to traverse the mighty mountain, I want to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way, as well as the lessons I continue to take in, seemingly daily.

I am a searcher, and at 37 years old I can finally embrace the quest.

I’ll end this post by saying that I have 278 reasons why I shouldn’t be clicking publish on this: The site is bare bones. I didn’t get a good designer to pimp it out. I’m still trying to find my voice as a writer. People I’ve tricked into thinking I am cool will find out that I am not really cool, etc. etc. But if I’ve learned anything it’s that you gotta just DO sometimes. It’s nice to have direction. It’s a bonus to have an outline of some sort. But most of the time you gotta dive the fuck in; trust your instincts and see where it goes. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t decided to put on that first comedy show or do that first open mic.

So I think of this blog as just a new art project: a way of expressing myself in order to connect with others.

Even at the risk of having some judgey ass people judge it. Or the risk of sounding overly dramatic.

<<big gassy fartzzz>

Fool’s Gold, “The Dive” Lyrics


Come On, Let’s Go

In the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (which I highly recommend for just about anyone who struggles with making the things they know they should be making — which is basically ever artist I’ve ever met– ) it states:

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.

If that’s the case, I have some extremely important stuff to get started on.

I’ve got a crazy busy job, but I know what I should be doing and I’ve known it for a long time, and the last several months I’ve been on the cusp, the precipice, the edge of the good stuff, the real stuff.  The next chapter.  The beginning of the rest of everything.  Hopefully this will make more sense a few months down the line when there is a greater body of work here.  Or maybe it’s ultimately moot, as the only point of this is to start.  Yeah, I’ll go with that one.

So why start tonight?

Because my apartment isn’t getting any tidier.  My bills are paid (the minimums anyway).  My email inboxes are as clear as they’ve ever been.

I assure you there are no duplicates in my Itunes library at this time.

There are detailed charts and to-do lists which outline all the things I know I should be doing.  I am resisting every urge to make charts and graphs to track my charts and graphs.

Tonight I cooked all my meals for the week.  I never cook all my meals for the week.

Resistance!

Tonight I start because my soul just can’t fucking take not starting another minute.

So what exactly is it I’m starting?  Not sure, but in a few seconds I am going to press Publish, and that’ll be that.

So there.  Let’s go bitches!

Broadcast, “Come On, Let’s Go” Lyrics


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