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Showing posts from May, 2013

Mental Coffin

Most Asian-American kids seem to live in a mental coffin.

"I want my parents to be proud of me"
"I want my peers to be jealous of me"
"I want to look good in the eyes of society so I will do whatever it takes to achieve that"

I wonder why nobody taught us to create a dream, a life of our own making.

Always living up to expectations.
Always living up to standards.
Always competing.
"I'm not happy if you succeed" "I'm happy as long as I succeed"

Is that worth fighting for?

Life is not a race.
Not a competition.
All that bitterness and envy is not necessary.

If we were to live as cavemen again, would we care who had the better job? who had the better boss? who had the better salary? who had the better shoes and benefits?

Back in school, everything seemed so much simpler. Friends and I could talk about nothing and just joke about stupid things for hours. Now that we are grown up, we focus just on getting ahead, cutting others down, comparing, be…
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." By : Martin Luther King

Maybe

Sagittarius horoscope for May 27 2013 
Are you being yourself, Sagittarius, or are you trying to be someone that a friend, a boss, or a family member wants you to be? You have a strong personality, and you rarely hide your true feelings. But you also have a very strong drive to succeed, and you may be playing a role to impress someone or to get ahead in some way. Although it may work for now, it will ultimately drive you crazy if you aren't true to yourself. You may have a slightly tougher road to travel if you honor your true feelings, but it will be far more rewarding in the end.

Day-Job Primary Pride Model and Day-Job Passion Support Model

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There seems to 4 types of major categories when it comes to how people mentally process their day jobs.

1) Day-Job Primary Pride Model
(ex: bankers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc)

This is when your life is about committing 100% into your day job. Whether it be a corporate job, working for a small business, at a hospital, university or wherever, your day job is your source of pride. A big part of who you are and your identity.



I feel like things are more straight-forward and simpler for these people. Invest 100% into your day-job and keep moving forward. Get that promotion. Find better day-jobs in your industry. In your evenings and time-off, you relax and charge up, and go back into that job.

The compensation you receive from your day-job supports your comfortable home and leisure life. Traveling, shopping, personal care, entertainment, housing, food, dating, etc.

Ah, my mother wanted me to have a life like that. Many of my sane, intelligent peers do and will continue to have lives like …

Saw "I am Comic"

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Saw that documentary "I am comic"



What's up with Carlos Mencia stealing material and being proud of it?
That's the worst thing you can do as a human being.

Personally, I don't think you can steal "topics" or "set-ups"
You are stealing material if you are stealing both the setup and the punchline almost WORD for WORD.
Even if you put "Mexican" or "Asian" in front of a set-up, that doesn't change the fact that you stole.

And if you could completely come up with something original and you didn't know someone else did it in the past? Then you should probably toss it. Because it's too similar.

Any way, stand-up joke stealing is just a complete, despicable thing to do, especially when you think about the months and years that comedians put into their material. I barely have 10 minutes of material now and that took bout a year. That's right, it took 365 days to come up with 10 minutes of stand-up material. If somebody ste…

There Are No Accidents

I'm about to move to a new job. It will provide me the financial security needed to keep pursuing stand-up comedy in the future.

I tried being unemployed while trying to improve my stand-up comedy.
I don't think that's the right way for me. It drove me crazy. The lack of daily rhythm. The lack of social interactions. The lack of challenges. The feeling of being useless and a huge financial burden.

All the greatest people in history have shown that their early lives are filled with traumas, obstacles and shitty-ass jobs. Those challenges are gifts of God. They are no accidents. They make the people stronger. That's why they become the greatest people in history. Pain will drive you. Chris Rock worked at Red Lobster. J.K. Rowling wrote because she failed at everything else. Jim Carrey did stand-up comedy because he didn't want to be a janitor anymore. Kevin Hart used to sell shoes before he made it big. Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson weren't even discovered until wel…

I Was a Pampered Boy

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I never made a decision on my own until I turned 23.
The day I quit my job and decided to pursue stand-up comedy was the first decision I ever made.

I was always protected by my mother and older sister.
I had never really worried about my future.
I never realized how pampered and immature I was all these years.



I was always chasing whatever my older sister did. Just imitating her. Trying to be as accomplished as her.
Always chasing whatever my mom told me to do. Just doing what she says. To make her proud.
And that was it. That was the extent of my ambitions. I thought that was all I needed to do.

A protected, little kid who never worried about money, career or future and just played video games all day. Money was never a problem. I never had a part-time job in high school. I quit my jobs in college when they got hard. I spent Mom's money while traveling, eating out at fancy places, having nice campus housing, chasing girls in clubs, doing frivolous things in general, etc.

I studied b…
"Only after we can learn to forgive ourselves can we accept others as they are because we don't feel threatened by anything about them which is better than us." By : Stephen Covey
Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about. By : Author Unknown

Friends who pass you by

You invest in something like stand-up comedy all your time and your resources.

They all go down a drain and come out in the form of jokes. The laughter you can generate in a club full of people.
But others used their time and resources in safer things. Degrees. Certifications. Skills. Things that materialize in the form of money and wealth in a predicted, stable manner. 
Will my investment in stand-up comedy pay off? That's the big question.
Not in the form of money any time soon, I know that much.
I can do this I can do this I can do it I can do it I can do it

I'm really tired today for some reason

Show #64 - Barking Program and performing 3 times in one day

WOOHOO

Broke my personal record by performing 3 sets in ONE DAY!! And ALL THREE in front of real audiences!

God I was so tired. I'm still tired.

What happened was, I had the audition (kollaboration) around noon and then at night, I did this thing called Barking program where I work for the comedy club manager by selling tickets. Basically be one of those guys yelling "stand-up comedy, comedy show, comedy tickets" around Times Square and try to sell tickets to tourists. The big plus in doing this "barking" is that if I sell 3 tickets, I get to perform in front of that audience and do my set!!

I was so scared. It's terrifying to sell tickets on the street to random strangers. For the first two hours, I was so scared I couldn't even open my mouth. I was just holding the "Stand Up Comedy" sign in front of me and didn't even say a word because I was so afraid of talking to people.

I almost gave up. I was just walking around thinking "I'm no…

Show #62 - Audition for local production

7~8 minute set.

I did okay. Pretty nervous. Apparently, the acceptance rate is 5 people out of 45 candidates. 11%, huh? Hmm ... we will see. 
If I pass this audition, I think I get to perform in front of something like 500~600 people in a concert hall. It was for a group called Kollaboration NY. Annually they have a talent showcase of Asian-Americans in the area and the winner gets to compete nationally and things like that.
Doing stand-up comedy in a serious "audition setting" is always tough. 5~6 people in the judging panel looking at you in a quiet room. Not exactly the same as doing it in comedy clubs. If you have 10 comics in a comedy club at an open mic, you still have more of a relaxed atmosphere than a "judging audition" setting. Because nobody's really there to judge you or pass you to anything in open mics. Everyone knows open mics don't really matter in terms of getting a professional gig or anything like that. I think this one tended to be more seri…

Time moving fast

Feel like 1-month has just zoomed by in rocket speed.
Work, Open Mic, sleep. Work, Open Mic, sleep. Catch a little breath on the weekends and have sometime to work out. Otherwise, I feel like I'm playing Harvest Moon in real life - same thing over and over again.

Think it's mostly a good thing. Have too many things to do so not standing still. When you are unemployed, time moves a lot slower. You have a lot of leisure time. Not anymore.


Looking for a writing buddy

I just wish I had somebody to bounce off material with.
Maybe I should offer the idea to someone I see on open mic

Show #60

Yay

40 more to 100 performances. .

Yay

I am feeling good lately.
Motivated. On a roll.

I think it's because I've been disciplined about going to mics even though it sucks. As much as it sucks, everytime I show up, it pays off in some way. I meet a new person, write a new joke, hear a new inspiration or just learn new things.

Can't give up now.
I had a good set today too.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

Looking back at my youth

The Tao of Heaven is to take from those who have too much and give to those who do not have enough - Lao Tzu
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away

That's what I strongly believe. 
I never had much in High School. Maybe that's why I was blessed in college. Maybe I got overconfident in college because things were so good for me. So the Lord decided to take it away. 

God, you are my Shepherd, and I am your sheep.

Road to 100 Shows

100 performances are all I want right now.

After all the "self-motivation" talk, I've been only able to drag myself to around 60 performances (mics & other misc shows included) for the past year.
Which is terrible. That's like 5 open mics a month, barely one a week.
Then again, I bombed 30 mics of those 60 mics so it has not been easy motivating myself.

If I do at least 4 open mics a week for the next 10 weeks or approximately 3 months (til August 2013), then 100 open mics should not be that hard. Just gotta keep up that discipline.

In the past month, I've done 30 open mics so my discipline is definitely getting better.
Do I feel different from 30 open mics ago? Sure, but I need more.

Not only do I need to go out more, I need to write more. My stuff is getting stale. If I want to evolve and actually get better at this, I can't stop writing. That's the only way to move forward. If my writing gets better, crisper, shorter, clearer and right to the punch. Can&#…

I need more material

I painfully realize something lately.
I need more material.

Being good is not enough. Showing "potential" is not enough. Having good "stage presence" or a couple of good jokes is not enough.

You need to have LOTS of material so that you can entertain many different groups for a long, long time.
That's the only way you become a paid, successful comic with a comedy central special.

Not only that, you need to have lots of material so that if you ever have to perform in front of basically SAME club owners, groups, fans or friends, you can switch up material and vary the jokes so that people don't get tired of hearing the same shit.

I need more material.
Not just going out to open mics and trying out old stuff over and over but always writing more and looking to try new material. Sometimes, just throwing the entire old stuff out and trying out new stuff boldly.

That is the goal. More material. Not the # of open mics I go to, or # of hours watching other comedians. That …

Work and Comedy

There was a period when I quit my job to make more time for stand-up comedy.
But I spent more time being depressed and worrying than going out to open mics and writing comedy.

Having all the time in the world didn't solve my problems. It didn't help me advance my stand-up skills either.
It was frustrating. I thought I would have all the motivation in the world. But it was just tough to get going and out of the house.

Not meeting "real" people outside of the "comedy circuit" was a big thing too. Being at home during the day is not a smart thing to do. You get no inspiration, no new material, no drive.

Now that I've started a new job during the day, it actually invigorates me. The fact that I don't have that much leisure time actually motivates me harder to make the most of the down time that I do have.

Making sacrifices is hard though. When you are unemployed, you have all the time in the world to go to the gym 5x a week and exercise and cook and read. Whe…

Asian troubles at standup comedy clubs

Many people think making jokes at the expense of others is funny.

Yeah, I do it to a certain degree too but I just get pissed off because sometimes I hear the most ridiculous jokes about Asian people. Like how Asian accents are the most unattractive in the world, Asian guys are unattractive, Asian girls are whores, no tits ... like what the fuck? I'm sitting right there in the audience.

What's worse is some self-hating Asian comics out there too. Man, that shit, I can't even fucking watch it without wanting to break some shit. Some girl goes up on the stage and talks about how much she hates being Asian. Does some accent act-outs. Like what the fuck are you trying to achieve? Why are you up there? What's your goal? FAME, is it? at the expense of what? Everything that makes you who you are?

I try to yell at comics who make racist jokes about Asians. I've learned that I can't be too sensitive about every little joke but I can't pretend to be all relaxed about it…

Beginning

Hi, my name is Terry. I'm 24 years old. I'm Korean-American. 
I graduated college back in 2011.
I'm the most broke I ever been. 
I'm pretty good at stand-up. I really am. If I had all the money in the world, all I would do is  eat, sleep and then go do stand-up. 
I wish I could just quit everything and just go do stand-up everyday.
But rent ain't free. 
And this is my story.