They (dummies) say laughter is the best medicine, yet sometimes comedy feels like hospice work. My jokes ricochet off the recalcitrant audience's skulls: they sit with silent faces, arms crossed, their body language daring me to make them laugh. I feel like Patch Adams dealing with a particularly grumpy cancer kid who is about to logout.
Sometimes comedy can heal, and sometimes it has the opposite effect, particularly on the performer. One of my comedian friends is in the hospital this week. He's in his 40s, which is its own curse: middle-age has already sealed his fate. We all know he is hilarious, but how much is his declining health due to the lifestyle and occupational hazards of a professional comedian?
Many comedians balance their wit against their health. Drug use and abuse, alcoholism, sleeplessness, poor company, unsafe sex, greasy food, lack of exercise, indolence, laziness, extravagance, personality disorders... all of these abound in the comedy club, particularly in the amateur circuit. Like any addiction, though, comedy eventually takes over and pushes away other compulsive behaviors. Or at least, that's what I'm gambling on.
This whole post is preachy and I don't really have a point. I'm trying to learn how to blog, which seems to be like writing essays without worrying about having a theme sentence or conclusion.