I have a couple of jobs…
I don’t tell you this with the intention of sounding like some noble working class hero. Quite the contrary. I keep job #1 because it’s a job and I’m quite frankly terrified of leaving my khaki-clad comfort-zone. Job #2 is one I really enjoy.
I work at a reception hall. The people are fun, the food is amazing and I get to live out my fantasies of what Party Down season 3 might look like (sans pink bow ties).
Last night was a job #2 night. I hadn’t worked a shift there in a little while so I was kind of shaky for the first hour or so. It’s tough to just slip right back into an environment you haven’t occupied in a while. So I arrived at 5 o’clock. The event was to start at 6. It was a high school graduation party. About an hour in, the room was still mostly empty.
So I thought, “Maybe this kid is just an asshole. Maybe they all sat at graduation thinking they’d never have to talk to that douchenozzle again.”
Half-an-hour later, it was made quite apparent that my assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The room flooded with people. Each of them looking at the grad with such sickening reverence it made me feel like a complete comparative waste of space.
The graduate took the stage. He very gracefully thanked his family and friends for everything, then introduced his friend who would like to “say a few words.”
Up comes a kid named “Ozzy” and right off the bat, I hear him do a Louie C.K. line.
“It doesn’t matter that she was Chinese, but it totally does.”
He does another seven minutes or so. Complimenting his friend. Wishing him luck on future endeavors. Borrowing a bit or two from Russell Peters.
And even though the comedian part of my brain told me to dismiss this hack, I continued to listen as he wrapped it all up. It was a well-constructed speech that ended very strong. It became evident that this kid, (like myself and many others of our ilk) was way more comfortable on stage than anywhere else. I talked to him briefly, and he confirmed my suspicions. He’s always wanted to do comedy…
It’s been a rough week for comedy. After hearing the news about Robin Williams on Monday, I sort of collapsed mentally. Life is depressing sometimes. A man can spend his entire life in pursuit of happiness. Spend every waking moment trying to bring laughter and joy to the world (and succeeding!). But sometimes you get to the end of it all, and there’s nothing you can do for yourself.
I started to ask myself, “What’s the point? Why do I do this? Why do I spend all of my free time making Ghostbusters references in the off-chance some drunken asshole is going to get a chuckle out of it?”
The answer to that question is simple. I have to. WE have to. If you have that thing in you… That compulsion to get on stage and truly feel like a real person, you have to do it. It doesn’t matter what the end result could POSSIBLY be.
We just have to. We lost a great one this week. And lots of them over the past few years. But who’s to say Ozzy isn’t the next great one?
Also, the best Indian food I’ve had in my life came from Tadka. Will post link to website later.