- Category: Paul Rodenburg
- Published on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:29
- Written by Paul Rodenburg
- Hits: 5717
Some days I hate being an entertainer. Ok, that's a lie. Some days I hate that part of being an entertainer means being a broke ass motherfucker. Ok, that's a partial lie. I've never fucked my mother, but I have fucked other mothers, perhaps even your's. Tell her I said hi. ;)
Well meaning people try to encourage me about being an entertainer. Saying that I should have pride in all of my so called "accomplishments." But here's the thing about pride, you can't eat pride. Trust me, I've tried. It's bitter and empty. Like my soul, or my ex's cooking. If you work in entertainment as a living, it is how you feed, clothe and house yourself. You can't pay rent with a feeling of "accomplishment."
Try taking that to the landlord. "I know I'm supposed to pay you $750 this month, but instead take this feeling of joy in my work!!!" Yeah, that's going to go over well... and you can't trade in the laughter of an audience for a new pair of jeans. "How would you like to pay for this sir?" "In laughs, let me reach into my pocket and pull them out." :) Sure the salesperson may laugh at that at first, and though (if you're bold) you'll try to use the salesperson's very laughs to pay for the jeans, odds are you're going home pantless. Which I find myself doing more and more when I drink...
Entertainment is a weird business. If you're a brick layer and you're out of work, you're considered "unemployed." If you're an actor and you're out of work, you're still considered an "actor." The same goes for writers and musicians. Sure, it's been five damn years since you had a gig, but when people ask you what you do, you're still an "actor."
I'd like to pretend that it has some deeper meaning. That being a "writer" (muscian, actor, blah, blah, fucking, blah) isn't what you do, it's who you are. But that's rather condescending and demeaning to people who are brick layers or do other work. I used to be a janitor long ago. And though I'd never say that deep in my soul I burn with the soul of a "janitor," I'd certainly not want to make out that being a janitor is a lesser place in life.
All work is noble. My Dad only ever imparted three life lessons on me.
1: All work is noble.
2: If you fight, fight to win.
3: You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.
I'd say he was right about all three. Though honestly I have yet to try number 3. Society wouldn't function without the bricklayers, janitors and a million other jobs that may not be glamorous, but are incredibly important to life. Any man or woman, even the artistically inclined, who instead chose a more "mundane" job to support their family has done something great. That being said, don't expect any awards shows anytime soon for "Janitor of the Year."
Big Awards shows are such bullshit anyways. Look at the Academy Awards. It's a bunch of rich people giving little gold statues to other rich people in honor of who was the best at playing pretend. Because that is what acting really is, pretending to be someone you aren't. Remember that game you played as a kid, pretending you were playing house, or cowboys and indians, or what ever TV show you liked. If only you'd realized then, that old people give each other awards for stuff like that.
There are no big Awards shows for the jobs and people that really deserve it. There's no award show for firefighter of the year. Even though they are usually the first on the scene for most emergencies. There are no awards shows for "Single Parent of the Year." You gave up your hopes and dreams to take care of your kids after your significant other left? Tough shit, that's life. No awards show for you.
If there were award shows for firefighters, they would never run over on time. Because virtually all their speeches would be short. The same speech in fact, "I was just doing my job." If there were award shows for single parents, you'd see more joy in their acceptance speeches than most Oscar winners, "I don't care that I won! I'm just glad to be out of the house!"
But instead our culture makes gods not out of the decent and humane, but indiscriminately of those who give us our favorite drug, escapism. Trust me, I know the hypocrisy of even mentioning that when I too am a dealer of said drug. But next time you're doing anything, think, "Is this really what I want to be doing most with my life right now?" It's so easy for any drug to be a crutch.
Sure it is a nice way to relax after a long day with a bit of TV, or a movie, or a stupid ass blog on this site... but those hours add up so fast. Soon you're gone and dead, and never wrote that book, painted that painting, acted in something, learned an instrument, or took that trip you always wanted to.
Are you watching that show, movie, Youtube video, or reading this blog cause it's enriching you; or cause it's just easy and distracting from reality? Yeah I know, smooth move Paul. Encourage all 3 of your readers to stop reading your blog... but the thing is, I don't want to addict people to escapism. Be it here, or with my videos. We all need some escapism in our life at times, but it's a drug that will waste your life if you let it. I can't approve of such things... now to go drink the world away... ;)
Oh... and yeah, I'm a comedian because it's who I am, not just what I do. So I am a condescending asshole. That's what your mom said too, after I got off of her...