Monday, July 2, 2012

There's good stuff on the other side!

I know people who don't work. I know people who don't like to work. I know people who have many valid reasons why they can't work. I feel badly for them.  Maybe they haven't found the thing that motivates them, maybe they can't push through the hard part of any great endeavor to get to the yummy goodness on the other side. Maybe they don't know that it's not a flash of blinding inspiration but rather a notion that you might want to do something that starts the ball rolling. God didn't come to me and tell me to do standup, I just thought "I'm kinda funny... let's give this a shot."  I'm not judging. I'm really not. I've been there. For the first 33 years of my life I avoided hard work at all costs. I wanted to take the shortest route possible between two points. I half learned the guitar, I barely got a theatre degree after 6 years of college, and the first 5 years of my standup career were spent hoping something better would come along. I was also a drunk who preferred  the delusion of success than actually attempting to be successful. When that all came crashing down on Aug 12 of 1996 and the smoke began to clear I discovered something wonderful... a work ethic. With no money and no real prospects I didn't really have a choice. So I threw myself into standup, got a job catering, and started a love affair with trying.  Since that time I've had some great successes but not the ones you might think. Yes there has been some money and a small amount of fame but the success I'm talking about is the kind where you see something through from inception to finish. Where you answer the voice in your head and risk looking stupid to accomplish something that lives in you. And you do it despite what the rest of the world thinks. In two weeks time my band The Reigning Monarchs will have brand new music out, the merchandise wing of the band and the Walking The Room podcast (informally called Reigning Monarch Surf and Formal) will have 7 different designs in our "store"Mike Eisenstein and I wore the pants I designed at our last gig and hopefully by next summer we will be selling them, and finally in August Dave Anthony and I will take our podcast on the road. None of these enterprises make any of the participants money and yet they are my life blood. And they are hard. Shirts don't turn out the way we'd imagined, listenership is down, I can play the part live but it sounds like shit in the studio, we don't have enough money to get a better screen printer, the bass player moved back to Austin and the thing I do to support all this, my standup career, seems to be dying on the vine. There have been many ripe opportunities to quit.  But I can't. I get up, put on a Monarch's T and head to the garage. Because I love the work. Because in two weeks there will be new music. Because in a month or so we'll be in Austin Texas. Because despite the lack of financial reward this shit makes me happy! I don't know if I've ever been this creatively fulfilled. I am not special. I'm really not. But I will not sit by and watch others have all the fun because they simply decided to try. You shouldn't either. When the shit gets hard remember to push through! I promise you there is good stuff on the other side... and always Outdress The Enemy!


  1. Alllwwwways an inspiration in the most straight-forward, non-bullshit form. Thanks, GB.

  2. you inspire me to comment w/o sarcasm, which is hard for me to do.

  3. Super inspiring! Thank you! And I can't wait to see all that you're up to.