When I post links on Facebook, I'm given the option of using a thumbnail image preview. I'm no SEO or social media expert, but I'd wager that a photo improves an article's "clickability" quite a bit. I used to have this option when I attached links to my blog. This is no longer the case. If you found this article on my Facebook page, you probably noticed it was absent an image. I'm not saying my smiling face is what brings anyone to this blog, but it certainly helps make the link look less like spam.
So for that reason, along with a few others, I'm probably going to be changing platforms soon. Where should I go? I have some ideas, but I'm interested in hearing yours. Let me know in the comment section of this post or on Facebook.
Since I moved to Portland, I've been hitting the comedy open mic circuit. This is noteworthy because there actually exists a comedy scene here, and I previously tried really hard to be a comedian while doing as little standup as possible. Longtime readers of this blog will recall how frustrating an experience the Comedy Walk was for me. Knowing what I know now, that was one of the dumbest and bravest things I've ever done. I don't regret a second of it.
Okay, I have a lot of regrets, mostly in the form of "what I should've said was..." fantasies. But you know what I mean. Starting off with what was arguably the toughest and stupidest way of trying to make people laugh gave me a thick, calloused skin.
Tangent -- the weird thing about the internet is that I'm nowhere near what I would ever deem as successful, but here I am talking like a pompous ass about something educational and bold I did to further myself. Maybe this will fizzle out and I will ultimately fail. Sure, I've had some victories along the way, but maybe I won't have accrued enough points to stay near the top of the table by the end of the season.
Oh well. I'm having a lot of fun.
I may carefully select which photos and links I share on social media, but I have no interest in fooling you about who I am or where I'm at. That's my "brand," so to speak, and I can't think of any better medium or platform or art or whatever through which to build this brand than comedy. I'm glad I have friends and family who are genuinely supportive, or who are at least curious. That's really the only reason I'm sharing any of this right now; I want to let you all know what's up.
So I'll leave you with an anecdote about my aspirations. Last weekend during Bloody Sunday Comedy Night at Rose & Thistle, a nice looking family was finishing their dinner as the comedy started. I was surprised at how long they stayed, and how respectful they were to the performers. However, you could tell the older members of the family were uncomfortable. Why wouldn't they be? There were rape jokes. People told plenty of other gross jokes, but, like, come on, rape jokes are doing the "offensive material" heavy lifting here. That is, after all, what Bloody Sundays is (are?) all about, not rape jokes, per se, but otherwise unacceptable blue and black humor.
A few comics made light of the awkwardness before and after the family left. One comic mentioned how the oldest looking lady heard a vagina joke and promptly pushed away her Scotch egg plate. To paraphrase, "that had to be hard, because Scotch eggs are delicious." (If anyone remembers who this was, I'd like to give proper attribution.)
Most comics probably dream of selling out theaters around the country, landing a sweet late night gig, or moving on to a more "respectable" profession like acting or pitching biscuits and gravy in the frozen section. I have a more inclusive dream (and yes, that makes me a little better than you). I dream of a day when old ladies and their families not only laugh at Elizabeth Teets while she talks about vaginal tearing, but stay for the whole show, *and* finish their Scotch eggs.
Meanwhile, there was a booth of young people closest to the stage. They were loud and disruptive most of the time. By the time I got onstage, one of them remained. She felt like she had something to add to my opening joke. She did, but not in the way she expected.