I have no excuses for not keeping my own website updated. I have treated my baby like an unwanted stepchild, or more accurately like a forgotten Myspace page. Let me jump right into it and tell you the happenings. Last year, I took a 3 month leave of absence from my job in Syracuse and traveled around the country to perform and just live, except for the Confederate states (too scary) and the West coast (too far and I think there is a weight limit). I did it with very little money and I survived off the kindness of friends and strangers. Then I foolishly thought I could just go back to work and my regular life, but something in me had changed forever. There was no going back to the old me, even if I wanted to.
I do not want to put all the blame on comedy. I had been working overnights almost my entire adult life and I literally saw the light at the end of the graveyard shift. I was finally amongst the day walkers and it was not half as bad as I thought it would be. Living like an out-of-shape vampire for more than a decade made me look and feel like an extra on The Walking Dead (not a main character, or special guest, or even a speaking role). So, after my leave of absence I decided I was going to leave my job permanently within the next year. I was leaning towards the Midwest because LA is too pretty and NYC is too dirty. You can take that to mean whatever you want it to mean; it's not fact-based at all. Really, Chicago seemed like an affordable and reasonable compromise. All I knew was that Syracuse was beginning to feel like a small pond. So, this past summer, I worked my last day at a job in Syracuse with a decent income, consistent booked comedy gigs, and low cost of living (a 3 bedroom for $700/month. Say What!?), and took the leap. No more small pond for me. Now I am a guppy in a contaminated sea.
Maybe I should have waited, did more research, saved more money, etc. but it is too late now to go back. I traveled again this summer and fall and spent some time in the Midwest and East coast. My favorite time was spent in Chicago for a month. The people were nicer than I imagined they would be. Granted, half the comedians I knew had moved to the East or West coasts. One of my best friends lives in a fancy condo in downtown Chicago but she was in Europe the whole time while I 'Talented Mr. Ripley'd' her life. ("I always thought it would be better to be a fake somebody, than a real nobody.")
Then I came back to Baltimore. I am not exactly sure why. I know the reason I told people. Personal and family stuff. But those issues could have resolved themselves without me moving back. No one begged me to save them. I think, especially before I visited Chicago-my intended destination, I wanted someone to need me. I had given up so much in Syracuse and I was afraid of failing in a city I barely knew anyone.
In all honesty, Baltimore is my ground zero.
The reason I left Baltimore and did not return to live here for several years is the same reason I don't date light-skinned dudes; it reminds me of oppression. Not you, Jesse Williams. You. Can. Get. It. A lot of traumatic events happened to me here and I'm supposed to focus on writing jokes? The cherry on top is although I may be slowly disintegrating into a pile of insanity, the rest of the country seems to be losing its mind too. And you know, misery LOVES company. So, I guess, we are in this... together? My favorite quote of all time, which I use far too often, is from Assata Shakur: "The strong go crazy. The weak just go along." That means I am Hercules. Hercules! HERCULES! Fabulous.