I recently decided to take a comedy holiday. I just wanted to have a few weeks in my life where I wasn't trying to find the funny in everything. Where I could read some books, listen to music and just relax. I wanted to think less intensely for a while, not to dwell on things, a head holiday. But you can never truly take a break from comedy. Your eyes, ears and brain are your tools for writing jokes so unless you get rid of those, a thought I deeply considered, you can never truly take a breather. Sleep helps but you can't fall asleep until you switch off and this is a huge problem for comedians. In my case, sleep rarely happens without the help of prescription sleeping tablets also known as The Only Thing I Would Save from a Burning Building.
So it's quite torturous, when you think about it. Before I went to write this, I was lying on the floor of my living room relaxing watching a moth on the wall. If you were to look at this scene you would think "Oh there is buck toothed Carol with her flat ass, a grown woman lying on the floor staring intensely at a moth on the wall, how delightful." But nothing is how it seems; it wasn't as calming as I had hoped and resulted in a bad bout of binge thinking.
I started thinking about the moth and how I'm not afraid of moths. Then I remembered how I put a live one in my mouth years ago trying to entertain my nephew Stevie. It worked, as that memory evoked a memory of him being entertained. I then recalled how I collected dead ones for a brief period as a child. I then wondered how all those dead ones died. And why was I collecting moths and who emptied my moth box when I was asleep one night. These thoughts led to thoughts about the film, The Silence of The Lambs, which led to me thinking about doorbells and how the one in this house doesn't work. Then I thought about a funny story about an old house I used to live in and its doorbell and the hilarity surrounding this doorbell and then I got up from the floor, ran to my comedy notebook and wrote down the words "Write about the Doorbell" and then in brackets (House With Dave).
Drinking doesn't stop me trying to make jokes. Sometimes my drinking even helps other people make jokes about me. I was tempted to start smoking weed to calm my mind but the comedy world doesn't need another stoned comedian making jokes about couches and underpants. Sex doesn't help me switch off. In fact I've written some of my best jokes during sex.
Spending so much time in your head can be dangerous; it's a breeding ground for anxieties especially if you're insecure and negative like me. I read recently that you have to have five positive thoughts to counteract one negative. So you can imagine all the positive thoughts I would need to have, when you think of all the extra insomnia induced hours I had lying in bed, hating myself. I'd have to live much longer than I had hoped to experience any positivity.
One place in particular I would like my brain to behave is before I go on stage. But the following thoughts always occur. Did I eat too much? Did I eat too little? Is my dress on backwards? Are my shoes on the right feet? Do I have enough jokes? Do I have any jokes? I need a drink. I hate myself. But that's good yeah? That's why you're doing this. Because you hate yourself and you need validation from strangers. You desire to be laughed and clapped at. You're crazy. Why would you do this? You're painfully insecure and this is just going to add to that pile of negative memories that you try to find humour in. But that pile is piling up and the funny is getting smothered at the bottom. It's handy that you look like you're laughing when you're crying. This is a really tough way to get attention, maybe just tattoo your face? Nobody loves you. Why didn't you get a proper job? After this horrendous gig you should just run off stage, keep running and don't stop until you find a man that you can trap with a baby. Slip off quietly and blame your biological clock for "early retirement from little success". You have no new jokes for this crowd. But don't flatter yourself they won't remember you anyway. Although your teeth might set off memories of your distinct lack of talent. Punch the air. Take a deep breath. Look at your watch. Only a few seconds......And next up is Carol Tobin.