I bombed my standup set for the first time last week. It was in front of about 20 strangers. I was so embarrassed that I thought about putting the mic down and running off stage. But, I didn’t and finished my set strong – even though by then I’m sure my awkward stage presence had already stifled any genuine laughs I was going to get.
While I felt like I was sitting in a fat L, I still knew I won something too. I have a better understanding now, that every comedian fails because it’s just part of the job. And there is a “right” way to fail too. Instead of giving up and running away, I faced the crickets and distant chuckles as if I was addressing my entourage of fans on TMZ. I learned that without failure, you simply cannot succeed at standup. Because in comedy, failure is as inherent to standup as death is to life. Just like you can’t escape dying, you can’t avoid bombing (forever). I reminded myself of the comedians I’ve seen at the highest levels get boo’d off stage and yet here I was, getting a big head – thinking I might be a natural and so proud of myself for excelling at something I said I wanted to try for the first time. Bombing gave me a much needed humbled respect for the craft – and I think everyone could use it in their lives, because I’ve heard countless people suggest that they should or could do standup after I mention it’s one of my latest hobbies…(Nike, just do it y’all).
This shit ain’t for everybody and it certainly ain’t easy. That means even if your first, second, or third sets go extremely well – 1. Keep going, and 2. Your fourth might be the one. I always question why I put myself through this when I walk up on stage. I’m not trying to make it big, prove anything (other than being able to say I’m funny), or adding it to my resume. In truth, it’s the feeling I get when I hear those first chuckles, almost like they didn’t expect me to say the things I had to say. I love making people laugh…friends, co-workers, strangers – It doesn’t matter. I have yet to come across anything more empowering than getting under a spotlight and commanding an entire room to react the way I want them to react – with joy. If bombing is part of the journey towards getting to those priceless moments, I welcome it with open arms.
My mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease while I was in high school – We lost her when I was 24 years old, on August 18, 2016. Those were the most devastating years of my life.
She used to bake and decorate cakes professionally for all occasions – mostly weddings. But she even made up a boob cake in a blue bikini top for a Bachelor party that she thought was so hilarious. Pineapple upside down cake with Brandy was a classic she’d make for us at home. So I’m going to make it on Sunday. A cake every year for tradition.
Knowing I’ve survived 3 years now, in a world that no longer includes my amazing mother introduces a lot of complex feelings. Sometimes I still feel guilty for embracing so much joy. But I realize that my happiness has a lot to do with the lessons she instilled in me – so though gone in body she is still here. She is present in the way I let go of the small things or make efforts to be a better listener to my friends, in the way I want to give more hugs, and love as freely as she did.
August 18th is the day that death touched my life and changed me forever. There’s so much I wish I could tell her now. But mostly how much I love and miss her. And that I think of her…every. single. day.
Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay because not everyone has good taste. What? Should I have gone somewhere different with that?
I occasionally do some reflecting on previous versions of myself compared to the person I am today. How some people in my life came and went during the c#nt-iest phases of my 20s. How those people might think of me now and say “What a cu*&!”
How people I have met recently or within the last couple of years still think I’m unbearable even though I feel like I’m the best version of myself yet. I’m human. It can bother me sometimes when people don’t like me for the simple fact that my person doesn’t sit well with them. Who doesn’t want to be liked?
But if everyone liked me..or you..it would take away from the connections I have with those who do like me when no one else has to. Not everyone is going to know how to receive my energy, and I’m at peace with that. So, if you like me, you have good taste.
If you don’t…well, I don’t like you either 🙂
Being single this summer has forced me to spend some time looking inward. I started asking myself why I’ve spent so much time in and out of relationships, and I rarely stay single for more than six months at a time (if that). It’s strange because people who know me tend to describe me as this free spirit, the girl who does what she wants and can’t be controlled. I’m not the kind of person who depends on a relationship for safety or security – yet I find myself always in one? Why?
Because I’m fucking high demand that’s why. Grade A, bomb ass P………..KIDDING.
I think it’s because I’m such an extrovert and I’m always meeting new people and having an amazing time (PG answer 😊). Then I connect with someone, we like each other, and over time it becomes the next step that just makes the most sense despite the red flags. So far that obviously hasn’t worked out for me – my longest relationship has been with my cat (6 years strong baby).
So instead, I’m consciously choosing to enjoy this me (and cat) time. My old skool aunt would tell you that at 27, I’m being “too picky”, and she asked me to point her to the mystical land of Mr Perfects when I find it. I’m not searching for perfect. I’m searching for myself (what a millennial line). There are things that I thought I wanted out of life, but by being with myself this summer alone, I realized that I don’t want those things. I don’t want to have kids, I don’t want to move back home to settle down anymore. I don’t want to settle down at all, until my joints hurt and I can’t walk. This isn’t to say I’m opposed to fully sharing my life with someone else again, it just can’t be because it’s the “next step” to stay in each other’s lives.
Working on that…that’s the next step in my relationship with me.
It’s not my birthday. It just feels like it, except better.
I’m seeing my favorite artist close out a tour they started in 2017 this weekend. It’ll be my 11th time. They have 2 show dates for people who couldn’t make the 1st date – I’m going to both.
I have traveled across the country for them, changed my move to California from my hometown date because I heard they were coming, I’ve spontaneously driven 6+ hours to see them in San Francisco for NYE and had to drive back in less than 24 hours…I’ve sat in 4+ hours of traffic to see them in Vegas, I’ve been sick with the flu in San Diego and laid on the grass at a festival feeling like death for hours waiting for their set, and when it started it was like I wasn’t sick at all anymore (I paid dearly when it ended)… and now I’m going up to Los Angeles two days in a row to see the same show twice.
I know a lot of people think I’m ridiculous (I prefer passionate) for my uncanny obsession with ODESZA – but all I have to say to that is I am so happy I found something in life that makes me THIS HAPPY. To have an experience make me feel like nothing else does (that’s right, better than sex), DESPITE all the shittiness and voids there are in life?? Something as simple as a show temporarily erases all of that for me; Anyone mad at that is just bitter. The memories of 20 year old Jade falling in love with a sound as I learned to navigate some harsh realities on my own are part of what make it so special, and I think everyone can relate to something like that.
I plan to cry my eyes out this weekend (I’m not a crier and it won’t be because of any drug influence either)…They say your wedding is supposed to be THE best day of your life….I mean unless ODESZAis DJ’ing the damn thing there’s no way it’ll be mine. 😉
I come from a multi-cultural background– with a Puerto Rican mother and a bi-racial father…so interactions between my family and community were seen from a somewhat unique perspective, in that nothing has ever been absolute in terms of race acceptance and understanding. A few months ago, I was at a comedy show and this black chick went up there and started ragging on mixed people (kind of unique comedic topic in my opinion). I thought it was funny until she said something that I still tread on daily – Mixed people need to recognize their privilege too. This was one of the first times I heard this idea outside of my own head, because I have always had a vague understanding of where I fall on the “black struggle” spectrum. My natural hair is constantly showered with compliments from almost every race, where black women often feel that their natural hair is not beautiful – nor so readily accepted. Just because my curls can be a lot of work (it requires 12 bottles of weekly conditioning and daily foot massages), it doesn’t mean I should cry louder than the women who have an almost subconscious belief via our cultural norms that their natural coils are “ugly”. I think people want so badly to be a part of things they aren’t really a part of a little too often. I mean, I get it- adversity breeds admirable characters with strength and wisdom, so we want people to hear about what we have “been through” and then correlate those experiences to issues that just aren’t quite in our bucket. I try my best to recognize my privilege, for being mixed and also a U.S. citizen. Without undermining the issue, I want to focus more on how my life has been favored and fortunate despite my perceived battles in the world. I am grateful for a place in society where I can only empathize deeply with those who struggle in ways I do not. I believe it is gratitude, not adversity or “struggle points” that turns what we have into enough after all.