Cafe Bathrooms and the limits of change.
Ohhhhhhhh boy! It’s this thing again.
Update from my last newsletter: I am looking at my phone less. I took no action to make this happen. But I guess being aware of your problems is a big part of fixing them. Especially if your problem is a very small one as most of mine seem to be.
I’m writing this in a cafe. I think nice cafes are my main vice. I don’t smoke I don’t drink much but I will happily sink time and money into just chilling in a nice cafe.
Something I’ve noticed: Melbourne has lots of extremely nice cafes. Cafes where thought has gone in to every detail, the food, the layout, the cutlery, the art on the wall, everything is clean, beautiful and deliberate. The same goes for the bathrooms IF the bathrooms are in the same physical building as the cafe, if it’s a situation where you have to go outside and around a corner to get to the bathroom, the rules instantly go out the fucking window. You ask how to get to the toilet, and the the waitress hands you a ring of five rusty old fashion keys that belong on a haunted ship, and say’s ‘Ok to get to the toilet, you have to walk past 6 stinking bins, turn left at the dead dog, then thats the door the the bathroom, there will be a man there, he’ll tell you that you can’t go in, don’t listen to him! Push him over if you have to, once your in, it might be a bit of wait because we share the one toilet with a Judo school and 3 Hospitals. Once you get to the bathroom ignore the bathtub full of trash. they’re will be some graffiti on the wall it’s written in blood and it says ‘Big John will kill again.’ Don’t worry about that because Big John actually died in that bathroom earlier today… so theres nothing to worry about’.
You take the key, go have the worst experience of your life, then walk back to a perfect cafe and finish your burrito like nothing happened.
My friend is teaching a class about stand up comedy today. This morning we talked about what she should say to them, It’s tricky. A lot of people in comedy make fun of teaching stand up, say that it’s a waste of time, and you only learn from doing it for years and years and getting your ass kicked by it but you keep doing it anyway because you feel like you need to.
I think this is true for stuff like writing jokes and stage presence but I think there are lots of things about being in comedy that can be taught, and I wish I learned earlier on. Here are some:
- If you have a bad gig (or lots of bad gigs) It’s not a reflection on your value as a human being.
- You can’t be upset when you don’t get opportunities you want. Otherwise you will only be upset.
- Don’t be to obsessive about it. Do other cool stuff with your life, not because it helps writing comedy, but because it’s much more important than comedy.
- Theres no such thing as a real comedian. Comedians are very insecure so they act like people aren’t really comedians if they do lots of other stuff as well as stand up. Like you’re not ligament If you also do acting, youtube, improv, musical comedy, drawing, writing, hosting, whatever. I think if you make something that you intend to be funny then you are a comedian, there's no other condition of entry.
- People who are happy with the things they are making don’t usually go out of their way to tell you how you should be doing it. Unsolicited advice on your act is always suspect.
I was thinking about how much of me is actually changeable. It’s nice to imagine I am play-dough if I try hard enough I can become anything, but there are parts of me that are locked in at this point. Things that happened when my brain was figuring out what it was, that can’t now be undone.
For example: I did grow up in a small town. That will never change. I grew up in a small town in Canada, then when I was nine we moved to a small town in Australia, I’m from two small towns. My parents wanted me to see the world but never try sushi. The Australian small town was slightly bigger than the Canadian one, so there was a while where it seemed big. ‘Whoa you mean the post office and the newsagent are in separate buildings? I don’t think I’m ready for this big city lifestyle.’
I think any new change has to happen around certain thing which are already locked in eg:
- I have two parents.
- I have one brother.
- I hated my time at school.
- I have always been shy.
- I like the outdoors.
- I never had a pet.
- I wasn’t born in the country I live.
- I am nice.
These are the lines that the Mr Squiggle drawing of my life must be drawn around.
I only put in ‘I am nice’ because my friend suggested it. I said it shouldn’t be on the list because it could change, like if I went to prison maybe I would come out tough and mean, but the more we thought about it I don’t think that would happen because if I went to prison I could get out by tapping on the door and explaining to the guard to that there had clearly been some mistake. He’d look at me and try to return me to the school group I obviously wandered away from. I think I could be the first person to break out of prison by asking nicely.
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