I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Which May be a Good Place to Begin

As I get older, the carrot of money, prestige and stuff has become less and less of a motivator to create things.  I’m not sure if they ever were at all, but at the age of 47 with an ample income, house paid off and more clogs than I ever could have use for, I need to  trick myself into writing another hour of stand-up comedy.

Therefore, in an effort to get myself to write (my last special OLD BABY came out on Netflix the beginning of 2017), I’m starting a blog. I love an audience and so, here we are.

I’m not the best comedian, I’m certainly not the smartest or hardest working, but I thought maybe it’d be helpful to share how I wrote a new hour- and if in sharing, I actually ended up writing and polishing a new hour? All the better! And if that means out of it comes a lot of writing that could be a self-published book on Amazon that could be passive income as I age?   Well, don’t mind if I do!

And really, why write a new hour of stand-up comedy? (i’m asking myself this question, as you  might imagine).  I could do the same act for the next 20 years and make an ok living.  What’s the point of new stuff, existentially-

Especially, when:

-I’m a relatively unknown (my name will not be remembered in the next century or most likely even in the next 10 years)

-I’m a white middle aged lady whose pov is the equivalent of Priv Lit. It’s time for me to step aside and hand the mic to any number of extremely talented artists whose voices aren’t being heard. I’d be more useful being volunteering as a secretary at a non-profit.

-I’m  dumping onto a hoarders’ mountain of content

-I’m distracting people (including myself) from the horrifying social inequalities, the degradation of our planet and the general Room for Improvement in Everything.

So, here’s the only reason I can come up with:

It makes me feel good. Maybe even happy. And I’ve only got one life- so, even if no one else cares, I do. And that’s probably the one person who should.

I feel so pleasantly “used up” after doing stand up (especially when they are new rrrrrich bits and the audience’s laughter has sculpted the rich bit itself!), that it makes it worth all of the painful procrastination, self-loathing and stage fright.

It feels good to try. And even to fail. And then, try again.

And that’s reason enough I think.

I apologize for all of the terrible grammar and spelling mistakes and poor journalistic structure in advance.  Let your disgust at my half-assedness trampoline you into working on your own stuff!

So, thanks for reading.  This is my first entry to tell you about the writing of a new hour of material.  It may take me 3 to 5 years.  So, buckle up if you want, but we’re going to be in the driveway for a few hours.

















18 thoughts on “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Which May be a Good Place to Begin

    • This does help! I often struggle with motivation and just believing that starting a project is worth it. Just knowing that someone else has similar existential questions (and makes a successful career despite that) makes me feel less ashamed of struggling to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations on your first blog post and I hope you enjoy the process. I used to be super creative and broke and now I’m in a corporate office gig and am 39 and nearly adulting. I miss doing the creative stuff but I like not being threatened with homelessness. Anyway ah…cheers! Looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love you. I love you so much. You are my favorite comedian, and I agree that there isn’t a formula for this. Moreover, comedy doesn’t hold up. What is beloved now won’t be in 10 years. But my goodness do I cherish you and your voices and vulnerability. Obviously one day (we’re the same age) you will choose to (or have to) stop, but never quit until you just don’t have it in you to keep doing it. We love it. It is your best self, which is why it makes you happy. And what a thing that is all by itself. You are my favorite comedian right now, ahead of Daniel Tosh and Anthony Jeselnik, with whom you have little in common, and Ron Funches and Jim Gaffigan, with whom you have quite a bit in common. You are my favorite comedian of all-time, ahead of Mitch Hedberg, who, well, you know. So if encouragement is helpful, and I can see this both ways, be encouraged.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love it, Maria. You’re one of my comedy heroes. I don’t want you to ever stop writing or doing the things that bring you joy. I watched you develop 20%/Old Baby around LA with the random shows around town as well as 3 times trekking out to HL park to that pop bookstore. And it was a joy to witness your process.

    Try not to think of it as hogging the limelight, cause you’re not. If anything you’re expanding the light of comedy so that there’s room for more comedians in the future. I’m working on my own hour/special too, and it’s not your fault that I haven’t ascended the pantheon yet. You inspire me to want to get there. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Maria,
    The hunk about feeling “used up” after a performance.
    The hunk about the crowd feedback loops, positive or not-so-much, having an impact right there in the moment that reflects in that performance.
    The hunk about the ultimate reward that repays all (or at least part of) the struggles, physical, psychic and otherwise.

    Oddly enough, I have experienced ALL of those feelings, on a consistent basis for the past couple of decades as the creative/technical type person who lights the stage (or studio, or set, etc.), only on a much more indirect basis.

    In the case of live venues, the spontaneous response of people to a well-timed dramatic visual change literally speaks for itself. Even if things don’t happen 100% as planned, if it looks cool and people dig it, then my job is still well done. Especially rock concerts.


    In the more discrete recorded environments, a good working relationship with the performer and the director is key, but once established, those same payoff moments will also occur, because without lights, it’s just damn loud radio.

    Otherwise, it’s back to the rock & roll equivalent of cleaning out the elephant cage, ie: pushing cases and fixing gear in a cold grey cinderblock warehouse, which coincidentally has a long-ass driveway itself.

    But what else ya gonna do? Quit show-biz?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looking forward to reading your blog Maria. I write short stories/screenplays and make short films (looking to make a ‘long’ film some day) so always interested to read/hear about other people’s experiences of writing. Also think you’re brilliant and that the world is a brighter place with your unique and compassionate voice/ viewpoint out there. A big hello from Australia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. More than interesting. I’m excited to see how this develops. And I’m inspired to get off my keister and make a little effort of my own too. Thank you for all of your work. It’s touched and buoyed me. (I’m sure you hear that all the time.) But the honesty, generosity, and compassion you exude for yourself and for fans is truly special. Here’s to however long it takes. Let’s ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I dig it. Love your stuff, like getting a glimpse of how the wheels turn that produces what you do. I bet there’s a lot of people waiting in the driveway and they don’t mind at all.

    Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As I get older, the carrot of money continuously eludes me. I’ve been my own worst critic, as well as self-saboteur. But, at the age of 41 with zero income, exponential student loan debt & more ducks than my husband thinks I have use for, I need a dynamo comedian like you to trick myself into writing another hour of poetry or prose or (lately) nonfiction horror.

    You’re a true inspiration. Thank you, Maria!

    Liked by 1 person

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