One of the things I’m sure about my identity is I am not going to make any of my friends’ top 10 lists of people who are A.) funny; and B) silly. Conversely, you could probably etch #seriousperson on my tombstone and no one would think it would be vandalism nor far off. I believe this is a result of both nature and nurture. I won’t get into how personality develops, because I’d have to dig up my dusty MA Counseling Psych notes. It would suffice to say that my dad was a very serious person and I take after him physically and psychologically, to some extent. And given that he was of the old school parenting school, this GenXer is a product of a simpler time. I grew up loved, provided for (never spoiled), and always conscious that the slightest transgression would mean a meeting of the gluteal region with a flexible but not squishy object.
I think a lot of people of my age were brought up like that, or similar. Which probably explains the fact that I personally don’t have any friends my age who are stand-up comedians. Most stand-up comedians locally, that I know of, are yougner than me. There are a few older ones, maybe my age or older, but they’re probably the exception that proves the rule. Not that growing up disciplined means you can’t be funny. I know a lot of funny people. It comes to them naturally. But then, becoming a licensed professional like a doctor, lawyer, or engineer also came naturally to them, too. If being a stand-up comedian was actually a viable means of making a living back then here in the Philippines, I’m sure they’d be really rich right now.
I wouldn’t call my Netflix habits anywhere near bingeing, but it’s all the “TV” I watch these days. An hour-long comedy special here and there, and I’m good to go. I’ve always loved stand-up. I make no secrets about fantasizing being a stand-up comic. But I’ve come to realize that the one hurdle that I’m going to face with becoming a stand-up comic is irreverence. Not ego or narcissisim, as a retired stand-up comic friend of mine once told me. Right now, though I wil laugh out loud at a lot of jokes that would be considered racist, sexist, and downright mean in any other context outside of the stand-up comedy stage, I can’t imagine writing stuff like that. I don’t even know if I have enough of an “audience” within my circle of friends or network of contacts that I can try that stuff out on.
I’m basically an alien to irreverence. The field of the silly and counter-culture to proper and orderly might as well be another country or planet to me. I’m sure those are places nice to visit once in a while, or even regularly, but I can’t yet figure out if I’d like to get a green card to that place. And then what becomes of my stand-up comic dreams now? I definitely can’t hack what passes for comedy here in the Philippines. I mean I get it, maybe just because I’m a middle class Filipino, but it just doesn’t suit my taste and most of it is just not that funny to me.
I need to read and watch more, I guess. Seinfeld wasn’t all about bold and bald humor. I’m sure there’s a path to writing and being more funny that doesn’t have to tread on a lot of toes. Ok, maybe some.
I need to write more. I’m mentally going over this and the past few posts in my head, and damn if this is still the hundreds of garbage that will lead to the golden lines writers always strive for.