Guess what? Today, I turn the ripe old age of 34! I was just starting to get the hang of 33. "The Jesus year."
Now, it might be hard to believe... but I wasn't always the comedy rock goddess you see before you today. It's hard to admit that some things have been tough for me - except when I'm on stage... then I apparently love to admit it. But we all want to look good, myself included, and to be respected and to make a good impression. But by doing so, we essentially lie. And my job as a comedian has always been to tell the truth. So here it is.
Yes, I've spent a over decade performing comedy, but it was largely unpaid and for give minutes at a time. It was easy to sleep in until 10am every day. Working day jobs that I didn't really feel passionate about. Since I was little, I had always felt like there was something different, something wrong with me, some way I didn't fit in.
I struggled for many years with an eating disorder, with a love and relationship addiction. It was easier to fall in love with men who had some quality that I wanted to possess, rather than actually developing my own self. Continually disappointed that true love was not forthcoming, I'd eat myself into a fog. And it's hard to pursue your life's purpose and make a real living when you're suffering from a love hangover and a food coma. The emotional vicissitudes were so intense--nothing felt stable or lasting or fulfilling, and I never really managed to create the kind of sustainability or impact or sheer good quality work I longed for, and was afraid I could never have.
Seven years ago, I hit bottom. Not human bottoms. Ok, I did hit human bottoms. But I also hit low points. And I went into recovery for these various addictions. I've now done volumes of spiritual and growth work, from learning swing dance to doing a series of shamanic medicine journeys, to 12-step recovery programs.
And the most amazing thing happened four years ago. I became ready to cut the crap, and get serious about my comedy career. But this time, I had to walk my own path. And I had to let go of all my ideas and concepts about what "real comedians" do... real comedians perform at dark and drunken comedy clubs where you can literally smell the bitterness and competition... "real comedians" aren't spiritual. "Real comedians" eat ramen and live with 6 roommates. Well, my path, it turned out, was to take what I had learned through 10 years of standup and years of acting classes, and start telling the stories of my life in my own way, injecting humor into the pain and healing with laughter. And, often, inspiring others to take themselves less seriously.
Last Wednesday, I put on my show "Eat, Pray, Laugh!" at my friend Jim's house. It was one of the best shows I've ever done… and one of the most fun. At the end, they brought out a cake and sang happy birthday. What a gift. That night, I realized: I have worked my ass off to to find my own comedic voice, one that is truer to my spirit than ever. Wow, it's okay to be funny AND earnest AND vulnerable! And I found my true audience--not in comedy clubs, but in alternative venues, theaters, yoga studios, and the houses of friends. God, it feels good to speak the truth and make people laugh like this. It's taken over 20 years to figure out how to embody this kind of truth and humor on stage, but it was worth working for.
And it's amazing to have it pay off. This past Saturday, I played my highest paying gig ever at the Iowa City Yoga Festival, plus all those expenses paid (!! - flight, hotel, etc.) and they brought my boyfriend out to teach a workshop as well. That, and winning awards like "Best Local Comedian", "Best of the Fringe" and "Best Storyteller" confirms that I actually have found my path, and I'm walking it. But what's most exciting is that I know that, even with all the years I've spent working at it, it's just the beginning.
I recently met Julia Butterfly Hill, who has a totally amazing life story and a powerful impact on the world, and she confirmed for me something I'd been thinking. That we don't have to stop being who we are. Those of us who are different, who don't fit in, we are gifted. We are can be sensitive, intense, frustrated, angry, sad, and we sometimes overflow with passion and desire. And we don't have to change who we are--we just have to learn how to focus our energy in the right place.
This has become a passion of mine to now share with others. I've developed a new coaching technique that allows you to accurately tap into your higher self, your soul’s deepest source of wisdom. and show you how to integrate it into your life - powerfully, compassionately, & effortlessly. I'm currently calling it Higher Self Coaching - which is designed for people who are tired of going to others for answers, and who just want to be able to access the real answers they know are locked somewhere deep inside, and move forward with clarity certainty. Some of my specialties include life purpose, relationships, and recovery.
If you're interested learning how to focus your energy in the right place, to find your own path, your own voice, your own gifts, let's chat - we'll set up a "Get Your Own Answers! Session." Email me, or you can schedule a time online here.
Finally... I have several projects in the works that I'm excited to share with you soon. For now, enjoy a little feel-good music, on the house. This is a song I recorded, and it's dedicated to you.
No matter how well we do or don't know each other, you've been an important part of my path. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I look forward to walking on the road of life with you.
Sending blessings for a year filled with laughter and light!