Breakdown or Breakthrough?

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I am a tad worried. Today has been my second bad day in a row. Not entirely sure as to why, but usually I might have one, then plough on through it and be fine again. Two in a row leads me to believe that a third one tomorrow, could lead me to having a nervous breakdown, it is unchartered territory that I would be heading into, oh dear Lord.

Being honest, I am not entirely sure why the bugging/fed up/annoyed feeling is coming on all of a sudden. It might have something to do with small things building up, slowly but surely. For example, my iPod froze today out of the blue and has yet to unfreeze. That got my eye twitching and had me counting to ten for a good few bouts of ten seconds. Or the fact that it seems to me that I am the only person in my house who knows where to empty all the bins when they fill up, or that bins even have to be dumped when they are full to the brim. But that is maybe just me being picky. Maybe, for some reason today, the number of blog readers dipped and this annoyed me? Who knows? All trivial. 

However, I don’t think that was it today. Perhaps it has to do with me getting little sleep the past few days. I have it well highlighted and documented within this blog, of how my brain does not seem to work, or want to work for me anyways, during the day. Instead, the past few nights, it has taken up the nightshift, kicking into overdrive the minute I turn off the light and try to go to sleep. A flood of ideas for stand-up, scenes for the sitcom, songs to try out for DJ’ing, and potential websites have being coming to me in the past few nights. Unfortunately, I have taken to writing down every one, just in case one of them could seems good again when I wake up the next morning. In the light of day, meh, perhaps and ehh are my reactions at best, so far. Some sort of compromise will have to be agreed between my brain and I, us working different shifts and seemingly against each other will put an end to the relationship soon.

This morning I got about 10.30, shattered, but determined to be productive throughout the day after the bad day I had (or think I had anyways) yesterday. I made out my daily to-do list, and this is what set me off on the wrong note, I think. This was my actual list for the day…

1. Make out DJ playlist

2. Watch Champions League

3. DJ in the gym (it’s been a while, needed to keep the free buzz tipping over)

4. Do stand-up show

5. Buy birthday card for my Grandad

6. Go to the gym

7. Write the blog

8. Sleep

After re-reading this list, I got highly annoyed. Would you not? To me it was a fine to-do list you might have for a Saturday, or a day-off. However, not really a great one when you’re in L.A on a mission, not a Tuesday-I-must-be-productive to-do list. It is a list of hobbies, the only productive thing really is sending the birthday card home. The rest do not include me working in exchange for money, writing my sitcom pilot, or improving my acting. They are simply a list of things I could do to pass away the day. My view today in my grumpy mood anyways.

Got through the first two things fine, I didn’t really need my brain for them. I then realize I couldn’t squeeze in the actual DJ’ing in the gym part due to a lack of time. Thats ok, it’ll give me more time to get ready for the stand-up. However, my brain takes a nap, and I decide last minute that some toast would be nice before I head off. Already slightly behind schedule somehow, even though I had given myself two extra hours? Then I almost burn my hands on my George Foreman while waiting impatiently for the toast, which I can’t wait for, and end up running down the road with warm bread in my hands. I am sprinting to make the stand-up at this stage, I can’t be late and miss the signing up part.

As I belt across the street to the comedy club, warm bread in hand, shouting and waving the bread at cars to get them to stop and let me cross, it hits me that I have seen people, supposedly crazy, doing this sort of thing around L.A, and particularly in San Francisco. Am I losing my mind? No, no, it’s just an off day, I convince myself. I get to the club, and there is a swarm of people outside, the door is closed, place has yet to open, I made it on time! So I sit down outside the club, and enjoy my warm bread, waiting for the door to open so I can head inside and sign up.

When the door does open, I realize that the person coming out has a sheet of white paper… the list of who has been chosen to go up! The reason everyone was outside was that inside was so packed, it had been open all along, I had just wasted my opportunity by staying outside eating my horrible plain warm bread. Gutted, I head in, decide I’ll try to look for the manager from last week who said he would hook me up with a better time, presuming I would at least have signed up. Found him, gave him my spiel about running late, so sorry, I will be going home to Ireland next week, any hope of getting up one last time? Ok, he said, he’ll put me on first before people notice that I am not on the list, be ready.

I barely had time to get nervous, it was about a minute before I was good to go on. There were a few faces I recognized in the crowd, maybe from their photos being on the wall, but this could be a chance at a breakthrough! Time to focus, whereas last week I was just pumped to go up and in a great mood, today, however, my head was all over the place so needed to get back on track. Name gets called, big enough crowd (as in maybe 50 other comedians? big for my second time) and up I go. Being honest, I get a few cheap, easy laughs to begin – thanks for all coming to see just me, I’m Irish, then more hooting and clapping when I told a white lie and said it was my first time ever doing it (my second time didn’t have the same ring). After that, some jokes were misunderstood and not laughed at, other parts which weren’t meant to be jokes got laughs for some reason, and when I heard one person saying “That’s funny” instead of laughing, I got good mileage out of mocking the comment. 

That was the first two minutes anyways, which flew by, I used up what I had thought would be about 10 minutes of gold, ha, no it was not. I told a joke that turned into more of a rant, and made up a new punch line on the spot when the first one wasn’t recognized, it got a whimper. Finally I finished up with a quick one liner joke, and walked off stage. It was only about half an hour later that I realized the reason nobody had laughed at the joke, or heckled me for it being so bad, was that I had forgotten to give the punch line. I think I said it in my head, then my brain took a quick nap, and it forgot to come out. Mighty work. 

Overall, I could take bits away from the material, and leave the rest of it on stage. When I went up to the manager to thank him for hooking me up, and then to tell him I would see him next week, he cut me off right in the middle of my sentence, right at the “and then” part above. This is when he said “No problem, have a safe trip home, enjoy the next few months back in Ireland.” Balls, my spiel beforehand to ensure I got on had come back to haunt me, so soon! Eh, cheers man, I’ll see you when I’m back, in a few months, just like I said.

At least it’ll give me time to work on material for the next time I come back to this club! After the elation of the stand-up debut, I could tell from my act this week, what parts exactly need a lot more work. Some of the jokes I tried to tell, were ones which needed a lot of background info, situation and location knowledge, or prior reading of the blog to get the laughs which I desire. I shall have to fine tune them, a lot. Still though, the guy I thought was the funniest of the show came up to me afterwards for a high five, wuu.

Numbers 5 and 6 on the list were going to be put off until tomorrow but I managed to get them in tonight. Only number 8 to do now, and I will have had a productive day, list wise at least. Although it is a big holiday here tonight, and the place is rocking! Cinco de Mayo, never really heard of it (my last stand-up joke was related to the name, I’ll save you heckling material, horrendous). I decided I will stay in though, have a quiet one with my brain. We have a few bridges to build. If we don’t, expect a few more bread and traffic stories.

Earlier today I had a break through, mentally at least, I think I know now what I must do next. I’ll see if I still think it tomorrow. Song of the day, not the easy option of a Doors song but… Until We Bleed by Kleerup with Lykke Li

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