A Funny Thing Happened To Me
On The Way To Senior Citizenhood
This post marks a major milestone for me, one of those moments in life that signifies a dramatic change in what one does as one's main passion and purpose. And it's been a long time coming, a very long time. Much of the reason for this is that my life has been filled with many adventures and creative opportunities. I started out in radio as a teenager, worked my way up to a news position in the number one market, New York City, then decided to start writing books and doing workshops, seminars, and lectures. In addition to traveling around the world to do these presentations, I was very involved for seven years in a nonprofit education and leadership support organization called The Inside Edge, in Beverly Hills and Orange County, California--serving on the board with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Louise Hay, Barbara DeAngelis, Norman Cousins, and other new thought leaders. Through all of this, some of my most enriching and fulfilling moments were when I would say something and get a response of laughter from my audience.
I then got waylaid, thanks to having my brains a bit scrambled by a nutritional product with inordinate amounts of high potency ephedra. At a time it was thought to be harmless and was legal, I took it three times a day for five years. This led to a 12 year prison sentence following a hairbrained scheme to carjack a motorhome. I used those years to do a huge amount of meditating, reflecting, creating, and looking at the humor in my experience. I earned some extra cash by writing cartoon gags for top magazine cartoonists, appearing in PARADE, Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and the Harvard Business Review.
Since my release, I have started this blog and my other prosperity blog, inspired by my bestselling book, Moneylove. I have also created a monthly prosperity audio club with subscribers around the world, and am working on my prison memoir and a one man show based on my prison years. And now for something completely different, or maybe not. My life does seem to be filled with lots of synergy, and honing my sense of humor for my cartoon gags, and my one man show, I decided to go back to something I have wanted to do for forty years--stand-up comedy. I actually wrote material for several successful comedians, and even tried out my own material while working at NBC in New York at the only comedy club in the world at that time, The Improvisation. I got laughs, but I was content in my broadcasting career, making good money, and didn't have that burning ambition I would have needed to make comedy a full time profession in those days.
So that brings us to April, 2012. An actor friend, Joel Canon, told me about a free introductory class at the San Francisco Comedy College. He would have loved to take it, but had plans to be out of town, so I checked it out. I had been thinking of taking some stand-up classes for some time, and this got me to take that first step. The second step was to sign up for a five week class, and also commit to performing stand-up at the famed Purple Onion club.
This is not just a whim or hobby for me, but an exploration of what could be a full time career move. If I am good enough and encouraged enough, I am willing to travel the country from comedy club to comedy club and perform stand-up. I have no end goal in mind, I am doing it to do it. I don't expect to end up with my own sitcom, or talk show, or headlining in Vegas--though I'm open to any of those happening. I am planning to have a lot of fun, to learn a lot, and to quickly get to a place where I answer the question, "What do you do?" with "I'm a stand-up comedian."