My Past as an Eccentric

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Salvador DaliMost people would agree that Salvador Dali was “eccentric“. Webster’s dictionary defines eccentric as deviating from an established pattern. It can also mean something or someone who varies from what society refers to as normal. Certainly artists like the one pictured above, fit into that category. I find the weird and wacky fascinating and always have. I guess I too was once eccentric.

In the 1980’s I met a boat load of guys who did “Stand Up Comedy“. Some of these guys were funny, some were not. All of them had one thing in common, they were quirky and eccentric. They would do crazy stuff to make me laugh. I think a sense of humor is necessary to have a normal life. However, I met a few guys who did Comedy, kind of “creepy” because they NEVER got off the stage. They could never act normal. Everything was a gag or a set-up for a gag. One guy, lets cal him John, (NOT HIS REAL NAME), he was always sarcastic. He pretended he hated every one and everything, and at first it was funny. However, he soon became annoying, and eventually a pain in the A*#. These darling guys eventually got on my nerves. Others, were charming.

The most “NORMAL” of the comics, had regular jobs, and would do stand-up with me at “The Comedy Store“, “Comedy & Magic Club“, “The Improv” and “Magic Castle” late at night when no one important was watching. I was one of the females that had the guts to stick it out with the boys. Comedy is a cruel mistress and I eventually went back to my 9 to 5   job, a place that actually gave me a steady income. Maybe I just really wasn’t funny, or perhaps I got lost in the crowd, or I just was not neurotic enough to stick with it. Whatever the reason, stand-up was NOT my forte. After studying drama for nearly 3 years, I just wanted to get up on stage and do something. I was able to get a booking or two and some real dives for no pay, and I did some Television. I became “infamous”,  but never famous. These days, if you have a large butt, and a rich daddy, you too can become famous as a Reality TV star. Back then, you actually had to have a glimmer of talent to get somewhere. Ahhhh, those were the days!

I remember being on a cruise ship once, and sitting with a comedian named Fred, (HIS REAL NAME). There was a group of five or six entertainers at the table. He crossed his eyes and asked: “Anyone want water?” Then he proceeded to pour water all over the table, I think a bit of water may have spilled into our glasses. We laughed because it was funny and crazy. I love comedians because they give themselves permission to act bizarre and make no apologies when they do. When I think about it now, being eccentric, is allowing yourself to be wild and crazy, without caring what others make think about you. That my friends, is true freedom.

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2 thoughts on “My Past as an Eccentric

  1. Well a pre-requisite to Stand up is being crazy. Once you have conquered that,you have to be able to take care of hecklers. The “peeps” who are drunk can get rough. You have to yell shit at them like : “Hey buddy, I remember when I had my first beer!” Or if it’s a woman: “Mom, what are you doing here? I thought you were home watching my kids!” It is very ANNOYING when people talk through your act. Being able to ad lib lines is helpful. (I think you could do it, hanging around other comics always helps.) The best way to learn is to take “Improvization classes”.
    I remember late one night at the Comedy Store, this really INSANE guy was just talking smack that made no sense. He was really scary and probably high, and kept talking about his “FRIEND” Larry. A friend of mine turned to me and said: “I think he has “Larry” tied up in the trunk of his car ! ” (That was years ago & I still think it’s funny.)

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