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Tue, Aug. 5th, 2008, 12:50 pm
Living life sincerely

When I joined a task force last June to fix Walter Reed hospital, I stopped writing and performing comedy.  Two months ago the task force no longer held my weekends and evenings hostage, so I started meeting every Monday night in the comedy club to write.  I haven't performed on stage yet.  I don't want to.

I thought I might ask a booker for a thirty-minute spot for a few months from now to use the pending gig as motivation to craft a show and practice.  But I don't want to craft a show or practice.  The work is not fun.

I realize my relationship with comedy is like my former creative relationships with science fiction writing or poetry, work I attempted to create even though I don't patronize those genres as a customer.  I had a few comedy albums as a kid, but I never wanted to be a comedian, and it shows.  Don't run a chicken shack if you don't eat chicken.

Something's changed.  It feels insincere to write, perform or teach comedy.  I don't enjoy it anymore, and I'm not a fan.  What I miss about comedy is the panic to create new jokes, which drove me to write something creative every day.   But I no longer need comedy to write creatively every day; I'm writing creatively in this moment as I write this.  All I have to do is click my ruby-colored Blackberry and I'm right back in the Kansas of creative purpose. 

So I started thinking about what creative work I consume, thinking I could create in the genre I consume and feel like less of a fraud.  The only creative work I consume every day is music.  I don't think I have an inborn talent for music, but I'd rather create bad music I enjoy listening to than create works in a genre I don't patronize.

I don't know where I go from here.  Maybe music lessons.  People keep asking me when I'm going to perform again and I haven't had the courage to tell them I am no longer willing to sell food I don't eat. 

What do you think?  Opinions/insights or GTFO.

Tue, Aug. 5th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)

I could be philosophical and tell you something about not doing things that bring you no joy, but I think I'll quote my Granny instead.

She said, "If the shoe don't fit, girly, don't force it. It just ends up being an uncomfortable damned walk and life is hard enough as it is."

You can, of course, leave out the girly part.

Tue, Aug. 5th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)

You can't force art. My vision went South and I could no longer do the type of needlework I love. But I fell into paper crafting and I'm happy here. I didn't go out searching for a craft. The craft found me.

Tue, Aug. 5th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)

It's not a terrible thing for interests to change. I seriously practiced dumbek in and out of the SCA for about a decade before I decided it was no longer doing it for me. If my goal had been to be a star dumbek player then I failed - but it wasn't. It was to play it as well as I could, improve at it, and enjoy it. Of the three, it was the enjoying it that stopped. So now I pick it up now and again and enjoy it when I do. You can always go back to comedy if the urge strikes.

Tue, Aug. 5th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)

I think my goal for comedy was to discover where it would take me. I think I've made that discovery.