Femoir the Podcast – Season 3, episode 101: The Grind

Back at it, friends.

Like it or not, another episode is coming at you. So I hope you like it. It’s certainly not my intention for you to not like it. But I promised the’d be a’comin, so here they a’are.

In this episode, I discuss getting down to the work and putting your nose down to the grind.

I mention Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.

I also discuss how I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

I mention another Steven Pressfield concept, Resistance.

I, of course, talk about yoga. (And the magic 108 number yogis love along with sun salutations).

I get a little David Goggins-y for a minute.

I also talk about running (and of course mention my pups).

And I discuss the benefit of having ongoing conversations with yourself.

Check it out on iTunes. Subscribing and rating helps out, but you do you baby boo.

Fake it to Make it

fake tanI’ve learned something this past year. It’s been a difficult lesson, but I’ve learned it daggumit.

It’s simply this: Sometimes you need to pretend that you already are what you want to become in order to convince yourself and others that you are what you believe you can become.

In other words- fake it til you make it.

Yes, it’s simple. Yes, tons of people have already written about it and talked about it. No, I’m not a revolutionary for coming up with it. But if you have any shred of midwestern humility in you, you know how difficult this can actually be.

Because you don’t want to become full of yourself. You don’t want to be ego-centric. You don’t want to lose sight of your foundation and your friends and your groundings and the reality of the situation around you.

But you do want to allow yourself to own and be proud of what you are and what you believe you can accomplish. And that, sometimes, require becoming a person you are not comfortable admitting you are.

It’s scary to push yourself beyond what you believed to be your limits. It’s scary to admit that you’re putting yourself out on the line. It’s scary to throw yourself in front of people and say “This is me! I believe in me!” People will try and tear you down. All the people on the sidelines who are too scared to become themselves will shift their attention from their own fears and put them onto you and try and tell you you’re not good enough or you can’t do what you believe you can.

But they’re wrong. You can do anything you believe you can do. And if you pretend you are something or someone and do everything in your power to convince yourself that you truly are that person, you will become it. It may take a while and will require some intense change and growing pains, but you’ll do it.

So visualize what you want to become and believe that you are that person. Live it. Breathe it. And then strap in because you’re in for a bumpy and wonderful ride.

Femoir The Podcast: Episode 68 – Show Notes

resilienceWe’re back with another Femoir: The Podcast episode- can you believe it friends? All this time! And we’re back! And it feels sooooooo good.

In this episode, I talk about Steven Pressfield and three of his most significant books (at least for me):

1. The War of Art

2. Do the Work

3. Turning Pro

I also mention National Novel Writing Month, Family Guy, Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Puffs and Smart Puffs Wisconsin Cheddar.

We’re back. And it’s very cheesy (aaaaaahhhh- get it!?).

Gym Break

couch_potato_misty_2_by_lardmeister-d4cd9odI had to take a break from the gym. I don’t like it, but it’s the reality.

My schedule for the past week has been so packed, I’ve barely had time to sleep let alone shower or go to the gym.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like when I’m out of balance and can’t get to the gym. This is the longest I’ve gone without any workouts in a long time. And the worst part- I’m also out of control of my diet since I’m running all over the place and don’t have time to get to the grocery store let alone prep food for the week. So it all feels out of control and I get anxious that I’m losing all the progress I’ve made in working out.

Then again, everything has a time and a place. I know (because I’ve been practicing telling myself this stuff for years) that balance is important and it’s ok to sometimes to be a little off balance. It’s a journey not a destination.

But it still feels funky and makes me feel a little off and I wish I could just squeeze in a workout somewhere without sacrificing one of the major projects on the plate right now.

Or… maybe… I just need to not put so many daggum projects on my plate so this doesn’t happen again because it feels funky.

And makes me type nonsensical.

Much like this blog.

Is It Worth It, Y’all?

Missy Elliott would certainly say so…

Tomorrow I’m supposed to put out another Femoir Podcast. I’m behind on the other one… as some of you may have noticed.

I still love creating these podcasts and getting to be on my mic and whatnot. But I can’t decide if it’s worth putting up a “Femoir podcast” that’s just a recording of my novel. It’s not really part of the Femoir world. But right now, nothing is really being produced in Femoir world because I’m concentrating on the novel in my “free” time.

So I can’t decide if it’s worth putting up the podcast, friends. What do you think?

Usually when I have thoughts like this, I call myself out on being lazy and just make myself do it anyway. In this case… I really don’t think it’s worth it.

Maybe we’ll just wait until I have the time and energy to concentrate on what the hell the Femoir: The Podcast is even going to transform into. Once I have time to do that, I’ll happily continue to create them.

But for now, there’s plenty of options to see my face and hear the melodious sounds of my voice on the Cartoon Confessions Vlogs.

Student Films

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I haven’t done a ton of student films. I try not to spread myself too thin. Emphasis on the “try.”

But I did one this weekend. And I have to say, it’s pretty fun. You get professional level equipment. You get to practice being on set. You get to practice a lot of the “hurry up and wait” mentality that permeates showbiz. You get to practice hitting your mark and saying your lines over and over again with the same intention. You get better at your craft, even if it’s just for a student film.

But the bestest part of all? You get to have your hair and makeup done.

Oh and you get food.

Good food.

Woohoo!

Your Sh*t Stinks

Everyone’s does!

I went to an open mic last week where you get a little feedback afterwards. I find feedback can be super helpful. I’m lucky enough to get out in the comedy world enough that now many of my friends are comedians so they’ll give me ideas and feedback offstage even when it’s not considered part of the mic itself. Sometimes just a simple word choice can make a big difference in a joke. But sometimes it’s great to hear from strangers you don’t know at all what ideas they may have for your bits and how they perceived your act. Getting feedback is absolutely necessary in this world. Especially when you’re still hitting up open mics so the feedback you’d normally get of laughter (or not) isn’t as easy to elicit because it’s not a regular show with regular people.

I’m getting off my point.

So I went to this open mic and a person went up with their notes and did their set. I’m deliberately keeping this as neutral as possible because this is not an attack on the person itself. It’s an attack on the idea they represented-fairly or unfairly- in the small interaction we had. And their set was fine. It was pretty well structured, they had clearly taken the time to write their jokes out and put them in an order that fit well within the time limit they were given. It was pretty ok. They had some good ideas and some ok jokes.

I was not totally sold on the performance. The biggest reason being they were so practiced and so rigidly on their notes that it didn’t feel like a conversation. And as a person who has a solo show and who does stand up as well, I have learned to feel the difference as both a performer and an audience. No matter how structured and rigid the jokes may be for the best stand up comedian who has practiced them thousands of times for hours, most of them still deliver them like they’re in a conversation with you. The good ones at least. That’s what differentiates Bill Burr’s one hour stand up special from Jon Leguizamo’s one man solo show. Both are essentially one man talking onstage for a long ass time. But one feels like a conversation where you can jump in and participate at any time, and the other feels like a confession where you need to stay quiet and listen to take it all in. That’s the general difference.

So this person felt like they were performing a crafted jokey solo piece. They weren’t really making eye contact. They were choosing a point in the room to look at when they weren’t looking at their notes. They listened for laughter but seemed to expect it and didn’t enjoy it when it happened. They were present for themselves but not really for the audience.

And- like I said- they’re jokes were ok. But just that. OK.

Then they got feedback. And this is when they lost me. I didn’t say much because I didn’t really know them and I would have to see them a few more times to know their style and voice before I think I could say anything helpful. And there really is no wrong in this world so they could theoretically create a stand up voice that’s more rigid and solo showy. I could buy that. But some other people gave feedback. And the look on this persons face was so… cocky. Like “Yeah. I know. I’m pretty freaking awesome at this. I’m pretty freaking awesome at everything I do.”

Now don’t get me wrong- I love confidence. I’ll buy all day long if you’re selling to me that you’re confident. But I think a major part of being confident is being open to feedback. Or even just being open to the world around you. Not being closed off and so sure of yourself that the mere peasants around you can offer you no help. The King isn’t confident. He’s cocky. The warrior who has to lead the troops in battle- he’s confident. Because he’s present. And practiced. And willing to take risks.

I was ok with this performance until I realized this person thought their shit didn’t stink. Then they lost me. Their shit stinks. Everyone’s shit stinks. That’s the whole point of going and trying is to get out all the shit and let it stink. And then you find the least stinky part and try to make stink a little less. And maybe, eventually, you can get a small bit of shit that doesn’t stink as badly as when you first started shitting. And maybe eventually parts of it don’t stink at all. Until maybe you have a tiny amount of shit that smells like roses. And you go show that to people. And it’s taken lots of hours and work and years. And you’re proud of it. As you should be. It’s very impressive that you somehow shit roses. And roses smell better than shit.

I really got on a poop tangent there.

My point is this- you have to be open to the fact that not everything you do or create is going to be good immediately. As much fun as it is to hear “good job” and as necessary as it is once in a while, it’s much more helpful to hear feedback that actually makes your performance better. You’ll know you did a good job when you feel it. When people are laughing. When you look over your set and see that every word, phrase, and intonation are perfectly in place as a succinct set up or punchline and nothing is lost. If there are any wasted parts or parts that don’t get giant guffaws- you don’t have a perfect set yet. There’s room for improvement. Your shit still stinks.

The greatest of the great in any craft recognize that they have to continue to practice in order to maintain their skill level and get better. And in order to realize you need to practice, you need to be open to the fact that there is plenty of room for improvement.

And if you’re a stand up comedian and you bring up notes, cool, but still make me feel like we’re in a conversation with each other. Make eye contact. Be present in the moment. Enjoy telling your jokes as much as we enjoy hearing them. Enjoy screwing up if it happens.  The audience is always doing you the bigger favor, so treat them with the respect they deserve and be present with them while you’re on the mic.

Enjoy bombing. And get used to it. Maybe at this mic with your friends you felt like you were awesome. Great. Good for you. Those feelings will keep you coming back for more and keep your hope alive when you do a dozen rooms filled with strangers the rest of the week who don’t care about you at all. Come do some of the other rooms in LA and you’ll feel what it is to bomb with material you thought was amazing. You’ll be humbled. You’ll realize you need to work more. You’ll have thicker skin in every aspect of your life. You’ll appreciate your friends and the nights when you’re on so much more. You’ll realize that this is all part of a journey of self discovery to find your voice onstage and off. And you can appreciate the ups and downs equally while on that journey because they both serve you. And you’ll be a better person because of it. 

Your shit stinks. And that’s ok.  Everyone’s does. Recognize it then get to work.