I haven't blogged in a bit. I've been traveling A LOT. Traveling can be fun at times but most times it's VERY exhausting. Most of my travel is going to a different city every day. Most of the times, I'm in a city for only 12 hours. It's kinda laughable but I'm very grateful that I'm so busy.
I taped my half hour special for Comedy Central on Feb. 27th. People have been asking me how it went, how I felt and I figured I would write this to tell people exactly that.
I started doing stand up in Dallas in 2003. I didn't start doing stand up because I wanted to be rich or famous. I started doing stand up because I've been in love with it since I was a kid. I was a big comedy nerd. I'd watch stand up specials all the time, I'd buy comedy albums...the whole nine yards. When I started doing stand up, all I wanted was to make enough people laugh so that it would give me the confidence to keep doing it. That's it. I never thought about the future. I really just focused on now.
My life has had a lot of starts and stops. Especially after high school. I was doing theater after college and found myself having to give up on my dream many times to move back home and help out my family. After a couple years, I really thought I would never have the chance to do what I wanted to do. Even in stand-up, I've had a lot of starts and stops, the biggest stop happening in 2008. I had been working on the road with people that I finally realized, I had no reason to be working with (God, I could write a book about it). We were completely different and I found myself trying to make my stand-up fit with what they were doing. Not only that, I wasn't being myself. I hated what I was. I hated my stand-up. And on one cold night in Atlanta, I quit that life.
That year, I had a big breakdown.
I was severly depressed. I would stay in my bed and cry for days. I went to therapy. I went to a psychiatrist and was put on medication (that I had to stop soon after because I couldn't afford it). I was pretty sure I was done with stand up. I didn't work for a year. I found myself completely crippled. I had no idea what to do.
Then I booked a feature spot at a club...and I sucked. I sucked SO bad. I was sure I would never work that club again...and frankly, it took me two years to get back in there. I hadn't written anything new and my old stuff sucked so I started writing new stuff. It was hard but slowly, I started noticing a difference. My set was coming along. I started doing colleges which thankfully, was my turning point. When I started doing colleges, it allowed me to really work on my set. I had an adundance of stage time where I could just throw stuff out and piece things together. I know it sounds weird but college gigs were actually a blessing for me.
Cut to 2012. I got the call in December saying that I had been offered a half hour special for Comedy Central. I'm not going to lie. I cried. I cried a lot. I didn't expect to but I did. It came out of nowhere. Actually, I should've expected to because I cried when I got Conan. I can say that I wasn't happy when I got the call, I was more in shock. The first thought that came into my mind was, "Holy crap! I need to get to work!"
I emailed the LA clubs that give me the most stage time - The Comedy & Magic Club (my home club) in Hermosa Beach and Flappers in Burbank. Both of them instantly gave me sets to help me out. They were great. Then I started wondering, "What the hell am I going to wear?" The next two months were all about figuring stuff out for this 30 minute taping.
My agents booked a week for me at the San Jose IMPROV, the week before the taping which was PERFECT because it gave me a chance to run the 30 I was going to do for Boston. (Can I just say how much I love my agents? I really do. My management too. I can't tell you how much of a difference there is since I changed representation.) I had such an amazing time in San Jose. I can't wait to go back there. It quickly became one of my favorite clubs. Great room!
Cut to Boston. 2013. I had my manager with me, my agents came out, my boyfriend was there. It was very comforting to have everyone there and at the same time, very stressful. I was afraid that if I did bad, I'd have witnesses to my bad set. I had a production meeting with the powers that be and at that moment, I got very nervous. It hit me. We were having a meeting on a balcony overlooking the stage and it hit me. I was taping a 30 minute special for Comedy Central. This wasn't the seven minute set on a Live at Gotham or Stand Up Revolution. This is a 30 minute special featuring me. Wow. It was surreal.
The day of the taping came and I had so many thoughts running through my head, it was ridiculous. My boyfriend saw me stressing and decided he would leave me alone in the room for a while so that I could just have time for myself. The moment I found myself alone in my room, I looked around and thought, "I can't believe this is happening." So I picked up my phone and recorded this video hours before my taping, trying to explain how I felt. Here it is:
The taping came and went. The announcer said my name, I came out and had fun. The moment it was over, I thought, "Wow. That JUST happened." People asked me if I was happy with it and honestly, no. I wasn't happy. I was more relieved that it was over than happy. I had spent so much time working on it that happiness didn't hit me at that moment. I was just glad it was over. But in a good way. In a great way.
I got a lot of good feedback from people (which made me VERY happy). I can't wait till it comes out. The moment I get an air date, I'll let everyone know.
It's been a long road to get here but the fact that I got here is kind of amazing to me. To think of where I came from...to where I am right now is mind-blowing. I grew up in an abandoned diner and moved to a small house that didn't have electricity or plumbing that worked well. I grew up surrounded by gang members. My family would have to walk miles to the grocery store to get food because we had no car. My mom was a dishwasher at a Mexican restaurant and later became a cook. She would make $110 a week to raise four children by herself.
You get the picture.
I don't know how it happened but taping this special was something I never dreamed could ever happen to someone like me. You keep getting told that the dream you're chasing after is ridiculous...after a while, you start believing it. I don't know what's in store for me in the future. I always tell people that I don't like to look ahead...I like to just accept what's happening right now and treat everything that happens to me like the last big thing I could possibly do because a future in this business is uncertain.
I didn't mean to write this blog to toot my own horn. I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging because I'm REALLY not. I just wanted to share this big moment for me with everyone and let you know...I was very grateful to have this opportunity and I really feel I owe this moment to everyone that's ever seen me and laughed at me.
You guys gave me the confidence to keep going and not give up. Ten years later, I'm still doing it.