Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

Announcements for my standup comedy gigs are here at gregtito.com.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Yes, I know...

I have been lax with posting lately. I was working very hard on those articles for Next generation last week, spending two or three hours a day on them while trying to pretend that I was working at my real job. That was time usually spent blogging being spent on potentially money-earning writing. So you can sue me for that $250 I may or may not receive from that crazy online magazine.

Writing the articles was extremely enjoyable. I don't know, maybe I'm a journalist. The Civ 4 one was pretty easy, the base of it was written in a couple of hours. I left holes in it where I thought I would insert quotes and I contacted Soren Johnson, the lead designer on Civ 4. It took a week or so but I finally got my questions answered, which was really cool to see. I wish I could post the article here but I don't own it anymore (heh, rules). I will link it though as soon as it goes live, which the editor said was June 20th. He had his fingers crossed so I'll believe when I see it.

The modding article was a little bit harder. I had to capture the entire history of modding in less than 800 words, which is difficult when you are as verbose as I am. Most of my time was spent coming up with more concise ways to say something. It was a real exercise in cutting unimportant words or paragraphs. I threw away topic sentences, concluding sentences and anything that was repeated. I eventually turned in an article that was 870 words, knowing that they would edit it down to whatever they wanted anyway.

And you know what? I don't think anything prepared me better for writing these articles than blogging. Doing this blog thing totally honed my skills of getting ideas across with the written word. I've concentrated on writing scripts and such for the last few years, it was good to write prose again. And as Mephistopholes told me last night, maybe I should go back to writing stories. I think she's trying to tell me that the various plays, movies, and standup comedy I've written aren't very good. Thanks, honey.

This leads me to my story of last night. I went to two open mics. I sucked. Awful. I didn't write anything new until right before the first one (at the Village Lantern) and it was stupid. I tried to tell jokes about the goddamn subway voice guy. It didn't go over at all. Maybe it's because I was reading from a notepad, or maybe it's because I'm a god damned idiot. Then I go to this other one and it was a sausagefest. Tons of guy's guys. Gangbangers and tit jokes were abound. My friend, Superjew, was the only girl there and she was constantly harassed for having a huge rack. I can berate these assholes all I want, but the truth is, they are all funnier than me. They may be chauvinist pricks, but they made me laugh. I go up there and bomb from the first thing that exits my mouth. "Any Yankees fans in the house?" Silence. A room of ten to twenty guys and none of them are Yankees fans? Or did they just not like me? I think it was the latter. I stumbled through my material, not even bothering to try anything new for fear of being murdered. I get off as soon as the light goes on. Fucking discouraging.

Ian (i don't know why I'm linking him, he hasn't blogged in a while) was there, he wanted to see what these open mics were all about. He got an earful of comedy. And he didn't fail to give me pointers on my totally nonrepresentative set. Thanks for the constructive criticism, Savblog, but seriously, I just wanted to shoot myself rather than be told that I put my hand in pocket. I KNOW I PUT MY FUCKING HAND IN MY POCKET ON STAGE. I do it real fucking life, why wouldn't I do it onstage? It's who the fuck I am. But I digress all over your face.

I feeling pretty dejected. I was arguing with Mephistopholes yeasterday, too. She got it in her head to tell me to quit smoking after I told her that I hadn't smoked in like 10 days. She kept saying how unhealthy it was. No shit, i never heard that before. So I told her to stop talking about it. Don't jinx it. Don't tell me to not do something that I haven't done in 10 days. Don't blow the streak. Don't talk about it. I don't want to quit because she's yelling at me to stop, you know? But did she listen? No. She kept bitching. So I hung up on her. Twice.

There I was, a failure. Walking to the L train to go home and talk to my wife who hates me right now. All i wanted to do was go to sleep and never wake up. Just one little subway ride away. But guess what? The fucking L train isn't running past midnight this week. What time is it when I get there? 12:15am. Great. I didn't want to spend the last 15 bucks I had on a cab. And I was feeling like a huge piece of shit.

So I decided to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge. It took me about 90 minutes to walk from 6th ave. and 14th street to my house. It was a hot night, still over 80 at midnight. Plus I had a jacket on from doing comedy, which was promptly taken off after it got soaked through. Overall, the walk was nice. I had gone to the gym earlier so I was already sore in the legs. It really started to burn once I got to the middle of the bridge. I had only walked over the bridge once before, during the blackout. Back then, Mephistopholes and I walked on the car traffic lanes with hundreds of other people walking home. This time, it was the foot path which hovers over the car traffic.

Whatever. I thought that if I did something crazy, it would clear my brain of doubts and low self-esteem. It didn't. I thought I would get some crazy inspiration and write an awesome stand up act in the middle of the bridge. I didn't. I thought Mephistopholes would be more forgiving when I got home. She wasn't.

I have no confidence in myself. I immediately think everything I do is awful and will be criticized by my peers. The only supportive thing my wife has told me is to write more stories, which of course I interpret as meaning that I'm not good at all this other stuff I do. I am a hack. A talentless fuck with delusions of grandeur. And not even walking across the bridge will make me feel any better.

9 comments:

Rain Delay said...

I feel you man. I feel you when you think that your life is not working out the way you want it to be and how no matter what you do, you can't shake the feeling that everything you do is not helping your progress. Maybe we need to hold a summit and get our collective shit together.

MostlyModest said...

I hear you. There are few worse feelings than stinking up a performance. I thought I was bombing on the Morning Show for months until I realized that there wasn't a studio audience.

It can also cloud your thinking. So I'm here to remind you of everything you've done:
* You've written plays that have been produced.
* You play a decent game of bball for a whitey
* You made a film
* You got married before all of us
* Before that, you had a respectable amount of sex
* And with some good looking chicks

Most of all, you're following your passion. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. The tortoise beats the hare. Etcetera. Just keep on keeping on.

Bob Jingle said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, fellas. I had a long conversation about this with Mephistopholes yesterday. Why did we pick this life (the struggling actor/writer, starving artist deal)? It seems like everyone knows exactly how to succeed at their chosen profession much more than I do. This prompts many a discussion of, "Let's move out of NYC. Let's start a family, blah blah." That's all something I want to do, but not right now. It would feel like failing, like I've given up. I don't know. I just want to be a success at something so I keep trying different things. And that just gives more chances for failure.

Dr. Trite said...

You can't leave the city. It's the perfect place to sample all the things that interest you--plays, stand up, writing, urinating on homeless people. Try getting all that in Groton!

You've got buckets of talent. And the bucket is going to overflow and spill out into the right gaping hole. Maybe it's already started with the online magazine gig, or the stand up, or the Cofounder stuff.

Whatever it is, it'll beat working in a cubicle next to some summer intern who won't sleep with you because she knows it won't get her anywhere. Do you want to be that guy?

Rain Delay said...

I am that guy. Now I cry..

Bob Jingle said...

There is an attractive intern in the cubicle next to me in fact. She's 19 and she's a journalism major with a minor in creative writing. And she has no desire to sleep with me either, not just because I can't do anything for her.

See, I don't have to be in Groton to feel like a piece of shit.

ps. She was born in 1985. She's never heard of Say Anything.

Anonymous said...

the bridge. sigh. just walk the bridge again.
"Why can't you decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood?"

no more winging it...
plans/research/practice are no longer options but requirements

Bob Jingle said...

Yes, you are right. Plans research and plans and practice are of course, requirements. The truth is, I got too cocky. I thought I could say anything (heh) and make people laugh. It's just as much work as anything else.

Ian Savage said...

P.S. You don't actually put your hands in your pocket that often, except when your nervous on stage. So I disagree, it's not who you are.