Roderick on the Line

Ep. 101: "Where All the Lilypads Are"


  [Music] [TS]

  hello a John Merlin how's it going get [TS]

  are you doing pretty well [TS]

  wow you sound good voice little i have [TS]

  yeah I haven't eaten here using your [TS]

  scott simpson voice oh well that's [TS]

  exciting i'm glad i'm not that we found [TS]

  a way to talk to each other today [TS]

  yes yes i am to you been busy you had [TS]

  your big show [TS]

  I put on a show I hear good things i [TS]

  wish every time I walk out the door [TS]

  jingle stick or now that's right [TS]

  feathered headdress the world is just a [TS]

  big percentage of them that you that you [TS]

  just enter and exit at your leisure [TS]

  yeah I stand out at the front arms arms [TS]

  spread wide in Jesus Christ pose ffi I [TS]

  say I'm a golden God already does that [TS]

  internal much to you [TS]

  mm she had your shot at the at the [TS]

  rendezvous how to go at the rendezvous [TS]

  show [TS]

  well it was a it was a learning [TS]

  experience for me a growing experience [TS]

  learning and growing the you know the [TS]

  what I need to learn [TS]

  here's what I don't know i do not know [TS]

  how to use three-by-five cards and I and [TS]

  I know that might sound strange to you [TS]

  given how well you utilize three-by-five [TS]

  cards i hear them there but I never [TS]

  learned to use them I remember a in what [TS]

  would have been in general maybe fifth [TS]

  grade is where they first say now you're [TS]

  going to make a topic statement and then [TS]

  an outline [TS]

  nope yeah and i add in junior high they [TS]

  really really focused on it and I [TS]

  remember sitting on the floor surrounded [TS]

  by three-by-five cards and I had done [TS]

  everything I could number them in order [TS]

  them and they just always got mixed [TS]

  up you know I'd start flipping through [TS]

  them and pretty soon they're all mixed [TS]

  up in the been crazy order and never [TS]

  made any sense to me my mom was a three [TS]

  by five card user or at least she knew [TS]

  how to do it but three-by-five cards [TS]

  have always baffled me I've never [TS]

  learned how to employ them the things [TS]

  that I end up riding on three-by-five [TS]

  cards are always just random and useless [TS]

  when I'm standing in front of a crowd [TS]

  and look at what you don't know what it [TS]

  means later [TS]

  yeah I look at it it's just like it says [TS]

  ballpoint pen and it's like that's that [TS]

  I i'm not referring to that in my speech [TS]

  i don't know what i'm talking about why [TS]

  don't you write that down and now you're [TS]

  off your game because you're thinking [TS]

  about pens [TS]

  yeah well so so that's the problem i i i [TS]

  i had i needed some notes I wrote some [TS]

  notes and then the notes were a constant [TS]

  distraction to me because i would look [TS]

  at periodically would look over to the [TS]

  lectern at my list of notes and they [TS]

  were and it was just like I couldn't [TS]

  read my own handwriting and also I [TS]

  didn't know what I meant by the things [TS]

  that written down so that's very that's [TS]

  so that's something I need to learn how [TS]

  to do i need to learn how to [TS]

  bullet-point a presentation and then use [TS]

  those bullet points to effectively jog [TS]

  the speech in my mind can we circle back [TS]

  to index cards I i want to hear about [TS]

  your show but I actually i think what [TS]

  you just described a phenomenon that is [TS]

  really damaging to a lot of people who [TS]

  could be very creative and I'd like to [TS]

  circle back to that but I've like [TS]

  because I don't take off the game with [TS]

  your show but I got to say about what [TS]

  you're describing here [TS]

  yeah well I'm hope i see i'm hoping to [TS]

  get your your insight and your wisdom [TS]

  because i know that you do i know that [TS]

  you see this is the thing to get up and [TS]

  give an hour-long presentation where you [TS]

  have no there is no like you're not a [TS]

  guest on somebody else's show you are [TS]

  not hiding behind your guitar [TS]

  you're not be you are not an opener for [TS]

  something you are not there is no [TS]

  context other than i am here during a [TS]

  show i'm walking out onstage America [TS]

  I'm an hour-long show this is something [TS]

  I know you've done and for me I've [TS]

  always had a guitar or have been part of [TS]

  a larger production [TS]

  mhm and to get up and say like I'm going [TS]

  to entertain you with nothing else other [TS]

  than my own thoughts for an hour [TS]

  it requires a little bit of organization [TS]

  but like do you make a set list for the [TS]

  band [TS]

  yes okay i think a set list is a [TS]

  terrific example of I'm gonna I'm gonna [TS]

  rhian circle back because i think this [TS]

  is not talking about and jumping jumping [TS]

  any point with the show okay i so you [TS]

  know right tool for the job is what it [TS]

  comes down to [TS]

  there's a bigger pattern here but the [TS]

  little pattern is that you discover [TS]

  which tools work for you I think so as a [TS]

  set list is has been for years has been [TS]

  a classic for a simple reason I mean [TS]

  it's really everybody understands what [TS]

  it's for you understand what order the [TS]

  songs are in unless you're the drummer [TS]

  you might need some special explanation [TS]

  something that's all you need little [TS]

  stars and numbers by the song [TS]

  hey John these real names of our songs i [TS]

  no see the little number by that that [TS]

  that means you use sticks on this one [TS]

  that's your name dude [TS]

  so I i think that that's a really good [TS]

  example because what do you really need [TS]

  to know like so you know how your songs [TS]

  go you you know how they start an end [TS]

  the thing that you need is the like like [TS]

  my get the job my dad used to having [TS]

  radio is called traffic which is not how [TS]

  cars are moving it was basically how you [TS]

  fill time and so my dad like a lot of [TS]

  people in broadcasting at the very [TS]

  unsexy job sitting there with a [TS]

  stopwatch and figure out exactly how [TS]

  many seconds each thing took and did [TS]

  they read the announcements this time [TS]

  and all that kind of stuff like the [TS]

  David Letterman you speak booth in an [TS]

  announcer at a TV station same job super [TS]

  boring but it's really it's kind of [TS]

  about transitions in some ways and I [TS]

  think in some ways you could think of [TS]

  set list is that yes a list of the songs [TS]

  are going to play that's what people [TS]

  want to take home and put on the dorm [TS]

  wall and stuff but to you it's just it's [TS]

  a queue of what the next thing is and [TS]

  then you don't have to think about it [TS]

  again until that songs are just about [TS]

  over and you look out of the corner of [TS]

  your eye and even have to read full name [TS]

  of the song down because you know how [TS]

  you know if you just wrote down medicine [TS]

  like you know what song that is [TS]

  right bc i'm saying though I can I think [TS]

  you may be a quote-unquote index card [TS]

  person already it's just that you have [TS]

  been probably poisoned by the same [TS]

  system that i was poisoned by which is [TS]

  you know I don't know I think there are [TS]

  some people who think in very different [TS]

  ways there are many books about this and [TS]

  some people are analysts some people are [TS]

  synthesist some people can do both [TS]

  there's some people though who like to [TS]

  see the whole problem finished and know [TS]

  what it looks like and are able to like [TS]

  make a thing without having to analyze [TS]

  it like they know what the whole thing [TS]

  is so I'd I was really embarrassed at [TS]

  the time fifth sixth seventh grade will [TS]

  really just in general but but I was [TS]

  really embarrassed because I i thought i [TS]

  was the only person in the world who [TS]

  wrote the essay first and then made an [TS]

  outline after they wrote an essay and [TS]

  then reverse engineer the index cards [TS]

  from the outline because that's what you [TS]

  had to hand and they want to see you [TS]

  show your work right I think that's [TS]

  really stifling to some people if [TS]

  somebody can write an essay let me write [TS]

  a cot damn essay [TS]

  okay you know you can get so obsessed [TS]

  with teaching that person this one [TS]

  little unit on how to use index cards to [TS]

  write a report that you really end up [TS]

  scratching their their creativity by not [TS]

  letting them make things the way they [TS]

  don't even realize they already know how [TS]

  to make it so now you make them think [TS]

  that they're a dumbass because they [TS]

  don't know how to use index cards i [TS]

  think that happens a whole a lot in [TS]

  schools [TS]

  I completely forgot why they even made [TS]

  us use index cards and now you've just [TS]

  reminded me yes of course they were [TS]

  trying to get us to use index cards to [TS]

  organize our thoughts to write a paper [TS]

  yeah and I was exactly like you of [TS]

  course i know what i want to say i'm [TS]

  just going to write it's not like I just [TS]

  let it sit down and write an essay i [TS]

  didn't have to organize my thoughts on [TS]

  index cards and then I had to like dummy [TS]

  up to gin up these index cards to [TS]

  pretend like i had used them he had to [TS]

  like cook the books [TS]

  yeah but that's actually what so this is [TS]

  what [TS]

  so this is my preparation for my show [TS]

  was i sat down and I wrote 2,500 word [TS]

  humorous SI and then i read it and i [TS]

  don't quite weak and lakes yeah that's [TS]

  exactly right 2500 word universal well [TS]

  begun [TS]

  and that indicate the theme of it was [TS]

  two kinds of people in this world [TS]

  winner's lose just and so then I i read [TS]

  it and i liked it and I honed it as i do [TS]

  until it I until I really liked it and [TS]

  then I read it and I was like oh but I [TS]

  can't memorize this 2,500 work si like [TS]

  if I was doing if I was coming up with [TS]

  the show that I was gonna do like a rock [TS]

  band set list where i was going to do it [TS]

  30 times i was going to take this show [TS]

  on the road now is going to do it 30 [TS]

  times then yeah I would sit and spend [TS]

  three weeks memorizing my my [TS]

  presentation and then i would go out in [TS]

  the first couple of nights would be a [TS]

  little bit rough and I be looking at my [TS]

  my cue cards but then i would get the i [TS]

  would i would get my show and then I [TS]

  would do it 30 times but what I am [TS]

  trying to do is do a show a week and I [TS]

  don't and and memorizing an essay isn't [TS]

  my forte and so then I was like maybe I [TS]

  should just maybe the show should be [TS]

  that I just sit on a stool and read my [TS]

  dramatic SI and I thought about that i [TS]

  read it out loud a couple of times and I [TS]

  was like well no first of all i I'm I'm [TS]

  bad at reading essays aloud like I don't [TS]

  but it's not fun i don't like it and [TS]

  also they don't think that's [TS]

  entertaining sit was watching guys sit [TS]

  on a stool and with it reads SI so the [TS]

  TBS right now so i was like no no what I [TS]

  wrote the essay to get my thoughts going [TS]

  and now i'm just going to get up onstage [TS]

  I'm going to extemporize based on having [TS]

  written this essay I thought about that [TS]

  for another day or two and then I sat [TS]

  down and I wrote a second 2500 word [TS]

  essay because when i read the first one [TS]

  allowed it only took it only lasted 15 [TS]

  minutes I was like oh I guess I need [TS]

  5,000 words [TS]

  so wrote a second essay which I also [TS]

  liked which i also did not intend to [TS]

  memorize and then when I got up on stage [TS]

  I basically got up there and spend an [TS]

  hour tried to recall the two essays I'd [TS]

  written and signed up so I be talking [TS]

  about be like and then blahblah and then [TS]

  in my mind voice would say you had a [TS]

  really really funny way of putting this [TS]

  in your essay and I'm talking I'm still [TS]

  telling the story but half of my [TS]

  attention is devoted to trying to recall [TS]

  the funny way that I had of saying the [TS]

  next thing I'm about to say range of [TS]

  course i could not recall I couldn't lay [TS]

  my hands on the funny turn of phrase so [TS]

  when I got to the place in the story [TS]

  where I where I was trying to recall the [TS]

  funny term friends [TS]

  I you know I I bumbled through it like a [TS]

  guy trying to walk up a muddy road like [TS]

  you know I jump over onto this rock and [TS]

  then I see like oh there's a rock over [TS]

  there and I jump but i miss alright it's [TS]

  not a rock it's a puddle and so the [TS]

  whole show [TS]

  I'm feeling this step I'm doing this [TS]

  state of a of handicap itude where I [TS]

  have on my computer sitting feet away [TS]

  from me in a bag to very humorous essays [TS]

  it's like it's like a headache you're [TS]

  just holding two aspirin against your [TS]

  head nothing's happened it and now I'm [TS]

  trying to basically in part the gist of [TS]

  these two humans essays to a roomful of [TS]

  people who have paid to watch me [TS]

  entertain them and so when I walked off [TS]

  the stage I was like okay good learning [TS]

  experience first lesson you cannot [TS]

  recall your essays when you're onstage [TS]

  and knowing that you've written them and [TS]

  having them in the briefcase next to you [TS]

  there is no as Moses that gets the the [TS]

  funniness of them to you and also [TS]

  they're just a distraction like I'm up [TS]

  there if I had [TS]

  if I'd been standing on the stage [TS]

  totally cold and your voice from the [TS]

  back of the room had said bananas i will [TS]

  I know you could attend three hours [TS]

  yeah I've got a funny story about [TS]

  bananas and then I would have had no [TS]

  there would have been no effort but in [TS]

  it instead I had prepared just enough to [TS]

  to hobble myself because I because part [TS]

  of me part of my brain was tied to the [TS]

  idea that i had already done this better [TS]

  somewhere and that's entertaining to [TS]

  watch [TS]

  well mhm and I don't think the crowd i [TS]

  don't think the audience would have have [TS]

  noticed or I mean you know my mom was [TS]

  like at one point I could see you [TS]

  visibly tried to recall something on [TS]

  stage and I was like now that's [TS]

  entertainment but i I've had a slice of [TS]

  pie one little pie was it let me let me [TS]

  just stand up here and try to recall a [TS]

  funny anecdote was that uncle Morris Oh [TS]

  uncle Wesley Morris don't know I want to [TS]

  get it right and and I feel like you [TS]

  know I feel like after a little bit of a [TS]

  rough start I did a surrender to the [TS]

  idea that I was just get it was just [TS]

  going to try and re i was gonna try and [TS]

  we capture the fun of telling these [TS]

  stories in in real time and I don't [TS]

  think I I don't think I traumatize the [TS]

  audience and in fact you know the great [TS]

  had a great like hack of this show [TS]

  there are a few hacks first attack is [TS]

  that the room has 75 person capacity so [TS]

  it is it's a it's an intimate [TS]

  environment although when I walked out [TS]

  on stage it was not as intimate as I [TS]

  thought it was there how much distance [TS]

  is their first highest stage and how far [TS]

  is it from the first row seats [TS]

  the stage is three feet high and it is [TS]

  one and a half feet from the first seat [TS]

  that's intimate so but there were 80 [TS]

  people in the room rate and so that is [TS]

  just beyond the [TS]

  you know that the people toward the [TS]

  middle of the of the hall start to fade [TS]

  into the mist like there are a lot of [TS]

  there are enough people here that I [TS]

  can't just I can't just look down and [TS]

  address everybody by name but that but [TS]

  the double hack of this was what was a [TS]

  an idea that i cribbed from Hodgman [TS]

  which is at the end of the night I said [TS]

  I'm going to read out the URL i'm going [TS]

  to do a dramatic reading of the URL [TS]

  right now [TS]

  bi t dot ly / and I read out the URL for [TS]

  the ticket link for them it's for the [TS]

  next show and I said for for the next 24 [TS]

  hours [TS]

  this link is only open to people in this [TS]

  room [TS]

  here's the code word here's the piers [TS]

  the password and so for 24 hours only [TS]

  people here have the ability to buy [TS]

  tickets to the next show like your [TS]

  grandfather again that's right so if you [TS]

  were here at the first show and you want [TS]

  to keep going to the next to the show's [TS]

  then you are you know you have first [TS]

  right of refusal on that psychology is [TS]

  that nice it's easy [TS]

  it creates a sense of false scarcity [TS]

  that's so important today it really is [TS]

  people like a little bit of scarcity and [TS]

  sleep all this even if they know it's [TS]

  false but I gotta get going to get it [TS]

  I got to get the fucking ticket but I [TS]

  woke up the next morning and the show [TS]

  had sold out the next shows already sold [TS]

  it sold out before the tickets were went [TS]

  on sale [TS]

  god bless John Hodgman isn't that a nice [TS]

  a good trick [TS]

  it's a very good trick and so that this [TS]

  this this mention of it here on the [TS]

  podcast is the last time all I will ever [TS]

  credit John Hodgman for the idea and [TS]

  going to get a lot of credit for things [TS]

  as it really does and he probably stole [TS]

  it from somebody I don't know maybe he [TS]

  thought into Canada a pretty smart guy [TS]

  but I'm I'm not crediting him anymore [TS]

  end and I hope when the wikipedia entry [TS]

  that written in 2025 reading deadly [TS]

  lakes a lot more dramatic bit ly [TS]

  readings will credit me [TS]

  uh-huh innovation John Roderick's [TS]

  primary contribution to Western culture [TS]

  was this idea that he stole from [TS]

  somebody who's name is lost to history [TS]

  this brilliant innovation [TS]

  notwithstanding John would frequently [TS]

  just repeat one word as the course for a [TS]

  song [TS]

  he's known firm for more than 11 culture [TS]

  culture additive you know we do we get [TS]

  in our own way [TS]

  that's the yes yes I was in my own way [TS]

  yep it was like I was onstage and and I [TS]

  kept standing in front of me and then [TS]

  there was a third me that was trying to [TS]

  move me and the other me around [TS]

  interesting people on stage is let's be [TS]

  honest john hodgman innovation haha he's [TS]

  very good at you can email because you [TS]

  dinged him just now [TS]

  no he doesn't listen to our podcast good [TS]

  no I think he does actually that's [TS]

  alright so good [TS]

  well so so so as I thought about the [TS]

  show I was like the thing is I like [TS]

  writing the 2500 word essay I that I [TS]

  enjoy that and not only do i enjoy but [TS]

  when i'm done i have a 2500 word essay [TS]

  that I wrote [TS]

  yeah which gives me a feeling of [TS]

  accomplishment and so I write it and I [TS]

  enjoy the process of like what that that [TS]

  word isn't quite funny enough like how [TS]

  do i how do I punched that up oh right [TS]

  and then I find the funnier way of like [TS]

  I like that [TS]

  but there's not enough time every week [TS]

  to to memorize all the funny turns of [TS]

  phrase and and having written it out and [TS]

  made it funny i have i have kind of [TS]

  removed it from the realm of like [TS]

  extemporaneous story that I'm just [TS]

  coming up with and you're very colorful [TS]

  speaker just listening to you talking [TS]

  about your experience with united [TS]

  airlines at seatac I've listened to that [TS]

  episode that especially that first [TS]

  episode of thank you for calling i [TS]

  listen to that twice just for how [TS]

  articulate you are at telling this [TS]

  particular miserable story and your [TS]

  turns of phrase are fantastic you didn't [TS]

  write that out what you might have [TS]

  written it out i don't know what but I [TS]

  are awfully you're awfully good at that [TS]

  it's a one reason people i think enjoy [TS]

  this program is is you are a wonderful [TS]

  extemporaneous storyteller and anything [TS]

  that would get between you and getting [TS]

  to the point where speaking comfortably [TS]

  you know I mean I think it's because [TS]

  this is what I want to learn and this is [TS]

  the learning and growing part yeah like [TS]

  I know that I can get up in front of a [TS]

  room of people and say and basically you [TS]

  know say to give me an animal a cat give [TS]

  me a city st. Louis [TS]

  alright let me tell you a story about a [TS]

  cat in st. Louis [TS]

  you know i got i know what you decide [TS]

  which one but yeah exactly how many how [TS]

  many cats stories of from st. Louis time [TS]

  let's see well let's just limited to the [TS]

  eighties but what I want to do is I want [TS]

  to develop my I want to develop into a [TS]

  like the whole point of doing this show [TS]

  is to develop a new skill and what I [TS]

  would what I want that skill to be what [TS]

  my goal is is that i do some preparation [TS]

  period like I do some preparation and I [TS]

  know what I'm doing [TS]

  I go into it with a little bit of [TS]

  preparation and so [TS]

  so do you you want to get your own way a [TS]

  little bit and I grow you have to do [TS]

  something more and it's something that [TS]

  everybody falls into like you know god [TS]

  bless Bob Dylan if he hadn't started [TS]

  annoying Pete sticker with electric [TS]

  music we would have a real different [TS]

  idea yeah and that morning meal we're [TS]

  good see except ring is hilarious and [TS]

  what you're working your way just enough [TS]

  to be able to you you're trying to put a [TS]

  little sand into generate a little pearl [TS]

  write something new [TS]

  exactly well a couple years ago paul f [TS]

  tompkins I saw a couple of politicking [TS]

  shows we may have talked about this [TS]

  before i saw a couple of politicking [TS]

  shows where he had evolved he was [TS]

  evolving his act away from straight [TS]

  stand up and he was going into this [TS]

  long-form storytelling where he started [TS]

  out any he did an hour-long show and the [TS]

  entire show was basically the story of [TS]

  his his job history before he became a [TS]

  comic like all of the shit jobs that he [TS]

  had when he was a teenager in his early [TS]

  place and so that is like basically any [TS]

  rock on the line episode and any night [TS]

  at a cocktail party with either you or [TS]

  me [TS]

  right like oh you wanted you want two [TS]

  hour-long like disquisition you might [TS]

  want to get a couple drinks and graphs [TS]

  eat it because let me tell you about my [TS]

  first five jobs or whatever but what [TS]

  somebody say busboy [TS]

  hello I know I'm busboy [TS]

  yeah how many people in the room ever [TS]

  worked at a glance real quick um but [TS]

  watching Paul do his show it was evident [TS]

  that his 20 years of stand-up comedy had [TS]

  at was greatly informing his [TS]

  storytelling his his comic time in was [TS]

  you know not just impeccable but also [TS]

  the laugh lines of the stories [TS]

  were not what you that it wasn't built [TS]

  around like here comes the story here [TS]

  comes the story and it's coming up to [TS]

  the end and the end is going to be funny [TS]

  and then there's the blue the end haha [TS]

  it was much more like he's telling the [TS]

  story and then there would be a little [TS]

  detail and it would be that it would be [TS]

  the biggest laugh line of the night but [TS]

  it wasn't the laugh lines were all kind [TS]

  of like these polyps and the threat of [TS]

  the story continued underneath and you [TS]

  know the end of the story and like you [TS]

  were saying the transitions between this [TS]

  story and the next story work were these [TS]

  seamless kind of you know he didn't it [TS]

  wasn't a case where he just said well [TS]

  then two years later I got another job [TS]

  like it it all it all wove together it's [TS]

  so much harder to do than it looks [TS]

  incredibly hard to do and so I'm sitting [TS]

  in the audience of these shows i'm [TS]

  watching him work and I'm like okay he [TS]

  has gone full circle from years and [TS]

  years of standing up and saying you know [TS]

  what's the deal with rutabagas and like [TS]

  doing stand-up he's evolved and found [TS]

  this long-form storytelling that is [TS]

  that's really like a thing that I that I [TS]

  do and have been doing my whole life [TS]

  long form humorous storytelling taking [TS]

  over a corner of a of a party and you [TS]

  know and going on these sort of long [TS]

  humorous digressions but he has but all [TS]

  of the work he's done in comedy and all [TS]

  his stage time and obviously the [TS]

  preparation that's gone into making this [TS]

  one show like it gives it allows him to [TS]

  have the appearance of just [TS]

  extemporaneously telling a story but he [TS]

  knows every note of it and you know and [TS]

  so he still allows for the opportunity [TS]

  of chance right he can still he can [TS]

  still respond to somebody in the crowd [TS]

  he can still go off on a tangent but he [TS]

  knows where all the lily pads are [TS]

  and so watching it I was more than [TS]

  anything I was like that is so outside [TS]

  of my skill that here that is so above [TS]

  my skill level what he's doing but I [TS]

  recognize the framework and I mean this [TS]

  is the danger that people have when they [TS]

  watch a stand-up comic they're like I [TS]

  could do that but like I could see the [TS]

  architecture of it and I saw how much [TS]

  how far I had to go how much I had to [TS]

  learn and so for the last year I've [TS]

  tried I've had multiple opportunities to [TS]

  get up and do extemporaneous [TS]

  storytelling and I've i have probably [TS]

  done it now a dozen times where I've [TS]

  gotten up and told a half-hour story [TS]

  that I was making up off the top of my [TS]

  head not the not the stories of course [TS]

  they're all one hundred percent true [TS]

  yes but the storytelling and now i [TS]

  wanted i wanted to switch gears Merlin I [TS]

  want to I want to I want to get better [TS]

  at a thing where I am where I'm from [TS]

  crafting a thing but I don't know how I [TS]

  don't know what to do next and when you [TS]

  try to ask paul f tompkins about it it's [TS]

  like you know it's like asking a [TS]

  magician to show you how to cut a lady [TS]

  in half [TS]

  he's like haha yes storytelling is funny [TS]

  anyway I think it's something well first [TS]

  of all I mean it's I i think it's high [TS]

  time you did this [TS]

  I'm glad you're doing this it's you know [TS]

  i-i've been an advocate for a long time [TS]

  for you realizing how talented new and [TS]

  potentially gifted as horrible as a [TS]

  human being is your that you are really [TS]

  so awfully talented these things it's [TS]

  nice to see you giving yourself the [TS]

  chance to do that as nice to see we [TS]

  appear onstage by yourself certain you [TS]

  know if you're up there with a band and [TS]

  rocking out if one is up there with the [TS]

  band and rocking out that's one thing [TS]

  and you know you could modulate your [TS]

  performance for like how the sound in [TS]

  the room is but you're not really i [TS]

  don't know i feel like when I've done [TS]

  music performances [TS]

  I'm not changing that much based on like [TS]

  how people's faces look on how they're [TS]

  responding is not that much that I can't [TS]

  even can change that much [TS]

  it's so much changes when you're looking [TS]

  at that audience we did our show we're [TS]

  talking about this with these two shows [TS]

  and just the chance to do this with you [TS]

  in front of people I immediately [TS]

  realized stuff we had to change the [TS]

  second night not you know it's like a [TS]

  bad way but like oh duh [TS]

  there's a bunch of people in the [TS]

  audience right and and like they're part [TS]

  of the their part of the bit [TS]

  yeah and we pretending they're not there [TS]

  we can't now [TS]

  no they won't go away they're still here [TS]

  but that's I mean that's so silly but it [TS]

  takes a certain amount of empathy and [TS]

  the ability to open yourself up and [TS]

  eventually I guess you open yourself up [TS]

  in very selective ways when you get [TS]

  really good once you get good at crafts [TS]

  but it's it does take it certainly a [TS]

  very different skill to call it just the [TS]

  same kind of performing is was really [TS]

  missing the point [TS]

  it's a very different kind of much more [TS]

  personal thing to be up there by [TS]

  yourself having to carry the whole room [TS]

  well and and and what was funny is about [TS]

  halfway through the show I recognized [TS]

  that I was adopting a kind of Todd Barry [TS]

  like deadpan that that just to take Todd [TS]

  Barry and paul f tompkins two examples [TS]

  like Todd uses this this super low a [TS]

  fact as a as a great sort of comedic [TS]

  wedge and he becomes I i think i think [TS]

  what i was seeing is that every comedian [TS]

  I know every performer that gets up and [TS]

  does a one-person show like they they [TS]

  find a way to make their character [TS]

  sympathetic make their make the person [TS]

  onstage a person that everyone in the [TS]

  audience can empathize with and so [TS]

  somehow Todd Barry makes this like [TS]

  really low a fact disagreeable uh you [TS]

  know [TS]

  a status conscious character that he [TS]

  presents like you your ear on his side [TS]

  right and and polished Tompkins is very [TS]

  animated and friendly he appears to be a [TS]

  guy that you would want to know and be [TS]

  friends with who you're onstage want to [TS]

  put them on a keychain you so cute he's [TS]

  cute [TS]

  you're onstage thing when you give your [TS]

  presentations at a you know I hear your [TS]

  inbox zero presentations around in your [TS]

  yeah when you get up on stage and do [TS]

  your thing you know you [TS]

  your character is like the guy that [TS]

  everybody in the room who you know [TS]

  wishes would come into their office and [TS]

  and be there with them for an hour you [TS]

  know like you are the one you're the guy [TS]

  that they all want to be right and my [TS]

  thing standing onstage with the rock [TS]

  band like I the guitar and the song was [TS]

  was so active and so there was so much [TS]

  life in the music that then I could be [TS]

  this kind of rye voice in between songs [TS]

  where I would just you know I kind of [TS]

  talk to the audience like this and this [TS]

  voice just say oh you think that was [TS]

  good [TS]

  we'll look you don't you fucking shut up [TS]

  for a second but and then go back into [TS]

  the song was like yeah i am and the and [TS]

  the attention and the contrast was was [TS]

  exciting and it's part of why that [TS]

  character worked but as I was doing this [TS]

  our like I heard myself and and and was [TS]

  conscious of this this persona where I'm [TS]

  you know I'm kind of talking to the [TS]

  audience like this for an hour and and [TS]

  and it raised all these questions of [TS]

  like well who is this guy like this [TS]

  isn't this isn't how I'm this isn't how [TS]

  I talk to my three-year-old [TS]

  and this isn't you know and if I'm if [TS]

  I'm standing somewhere and trying to get [TS]

  a bunch of people's attention like I can [TS]

  tell a very animated story but because I [TS]

  have everyone's attention already in [TS]

  this room and it's quiet room and [TS]

  nobody's talking about me I'm you know [TS]

  I'm all the way down here at this sort [TS]

  of like and then so that anywhere then i [TS]

  said this and then I said that and I was [TS]

  like how do i need to divide it to turn [TS]

  them turn the energy up a little bit on [TS]

  me like be a little bit more excited [TS]

  about my own story [TS]

  I don't know that's another thing i need [TS]

  two things I cannot bear to listen or [TS]

  watch myself perform i should i should [TS]

  be reviewing gameday tapes [TS]

  yeah I should be watching these shows [TS]

  and saying like oh that's that's the one [TS]

  thing in mind I i really i can listen to [TS]

  podcasts I've been on i can listen to [TS]

  music I've done but I don't like [TS]

  watching myself alone on stage doing a [TS]

  thing and it's not embarrassing to me [TS]

  but it does it makes me self-conscious [TS]

  in a way that I'm not sure is good and I [TS]

  mean it's I to me is how it feels in the [TS]

  room you know it needs to feel a certain [TS]

  way in the room and which means yes it [TS]

  means that I need to feel a certain way [TS]

  in the room but i think especially in [TS]

  comedy quote-unquote comedy one of the [TS]

  problems is that I don't know how to [TS]

  describe this it's almost like people [TS]

  think that they can win the room over by [TS]

  controlling the temperature of the room [TS]

  and making it hotter and colder right [TS]

  she kind of also have to have these much [TS]

  more subtle and ineffable qualities of [TS]

  controlling the humidity and barometric [TS]

  pressure there's this ability to like [TS]

  it's like kegeling or something you [TS]

  discover this mostly didn't even know [TS]

  you [TS]

  you had I tried killing and i discovered [TS]

  i didn't have that most I think you have [TS]

  to act like you're stopping or you can [TS]

  get a little bar belt [TS]

  I do that all the time i got like [TS]

  stopping people just act like I'm [TS]

  stopping [TS]

  I keep eating sure you're not a Buddhist [TS]

  haha what I can join the humidity there [TS]

  what I what I do is I go into men's [TS]

  rooms and I act like I'm stopping peeing [TS]

  all of all the guys who have been [TS]

  carrying a ladder and a bell and just [TS]

  stand in the back and I'm like but it's [TS]

  it's super interesting to me how you [TS]

  know it's it's what makes me want to do [TS]

  lots more live stuff because i know i [TS]

  think i know what you're saying is that [TS]

  you discover this this person emerging [TS]

  through these little my new trial and [TS]

  error things and I can only imagine how [TS]

  much more I would learn if I did that [TS]

  every week or every two weeks or [TS]

  whatever you know where I feel like by [TS]

  the time I'm ready to get off stage at [TS]

  some kind of a live performance i think [TS]

  im just barely starting to understand [TS]

  I'm I'm loosening up that warming up and [TS]

  I'm getting out of my own way and I'm [TS]

  letting silence float when it needs to [TS]

  float I'm knowing when to run out and do [TS]

  something goofy but I but suddenly it [TS]

  takes awhile for me because I don't do [TS]

  it all the time where somebody like [TS]

  politics or whomever can just walk out [TS]

  and you know immediately they the energy [TS]

  in the room changes when they come out [TS]

  because there are presents they know [TS]

  they are empathetic I don't have another [TS]

  better word than that empathetic and [TS]

  they can see themselves in the audience [TS]

  watching it and knowing what they should [TS]

  be doing and you know part of it is [TS]

  probably that you can explain that to [TS]

  somebody just got to go and do it a lot [TS]

  it's like that one Saturday morning when [TS]

  you wake up and can suddenly play bar [TS]

  chords you can tell somebody put your [TS]

  fingers here and then they can do a [TS]

  whole bunch and eventually gets less [TS]

  heart but honestly one day I could do a [TS]

  barre chord the day before I couldn't i [TS]

  don't know why but it was just I don't [TS]

  know why was that Saturday rather than [TS]

  the one before the one after but that [TS]

  was the difference because you know what [TS]

  was the Grays out the the guys with the [TS]

  alien guys have a great came into your [TS]

  room [TS]

  they said he's ready and they said let's [TS]

  see let's upload the the matrix program [TS]

  for our cords [TS]

  well apart though right well and so so [TS]

  like a kurt braunohler do you know this [TS]

  comedian he's a very funny comedian i [TS]

  did a couple of shows with him in the [TS]

  fall where he got up in like cold in [TS]

  front of a room that was it was one of [TS]

  these shows like that is 10 [TS]

  sighs it was the wesley space the [TS]

  cabinet of Wonders right it's like all [TS]

  right [TS]

  a british guys gonna get up and play to [TS]

  folk songs and then there's going to be [TS]

  a you know a guy who's playing wine [TS]

  glasses and then there's gonna be an [TS]

  emoji then the juggler and Men the [TS]

  comedian gets five minutes and he walks [TS]

  out and he you know ease in this [TS]

  incredible position of trying to present [TS]

  to the room like this casual comedian [TS]

  effect where right away you're gonna [TS]

  you're gonna be on board listening to [TS]

  him tell his story and he also was doing [TS]

  this what i can only think is like a new [TS]

  movement in comedy which is like a funny [TS]

  thing happened to me on the way over [TS]

  here and told the story you know 10 [TS]

  minute long story that was that again [TS]

  had all these elements of of joke making [TS]

  that that was ever that showed 10 years [TS]

  in the comedy trenches or longer of kind [TS]

  of nowhere jokes and annoying how jokes [TS]

  live but the framework of it was just [TS]

  the anecdotal story telling and so [TS]

  there's all this there's all this work [TS]

  that's ever that's obviously gone into [TS]

  this art form that they done the work so [TS]

  now they can forget it and I have done a [TS]

  lot of that work but it's it's a [TS]

  patchwork quilt and so these shows the [TS]

  this last show that I did and then my [TS]

  goal for the shows for the next six [TS]

  months is to is to get up there and and [TS]

  really you know like I a lot of people [TS]

  congratulating me after the show [TS]

  everybody was very happy obviously [TS]

  everybody that was there bought a ticket [TS]

  to the next one or more they they call [TS]

  their friends and said I can't go but [TS]

  you should or whatever like it's like [TS]

  selling tickets isn't isn't something [TS]

  I'm worried about at least for now [TS]

  so I have the opportunity to get up [TS]

  there and failed but my god getting up [TS]

  and failing is not fun even if you know [TS]

  everybody in the room is like doesn't [TS]

  matter to us go for it and that was that [TS]

  was just good let me get that you get [TS]

  that well [TS]

  oh yeah that was good that was good i [TS]

  mean you know there were a couple like [TS]

  yeah that that story went a little long [TS]

  but you know it was really good like [TS]

  fuck you [TS]

  but-but-but I expected it you know and [TS]

  even even the guy from the guy from the [TS]

  robber who runs the AV the dude up [TS]

  I mean there's one microphone right so [TS]

  he's up there is just got his hand on [TS]

  the fader through the whole show one [TS]

  fader but like he came back right [TS]

  afterwards i'm sitting in the backstage [TS]

  area he came back to sharpen his pencil [TS]

  or something and and i'm looking at this [TS]

  guy for some kind of validation like [TS]

  well well you know I don't know your [TS]

  name but tell me how i did and he's just [TS]

  he's just one around back there like me [TS]

  anything right and it needed anything [TS]

  and I'm like no I'm going to me is like [TS]

  okay and he walks out I'm like fuck the [TS]

  thumbs-up no nothing [TS]

  fuck i didn't win that guy like I [TS]

  changed my life over funny to me that [TS]

  you would feel that way that's so funny [TS]

  you know it's terrible but but but also [TS]

  i'm also i'm also monitoring myself a [TS]

  through the whole process run like okay [TS]

  calm calm down now Richard Pryor like [TS]

  you just did one show rate and the AV [TS]

  guy didn't put a Hawaiian lei around [TS]

  your neck you're fine just [TS]

  I got upset and so philosophical of [TS]

  about this i mean you did your daughter [TS]

  walks right she walk around [TS]

  oh she likes to walk so yeah it's [TS]

  actually see if Walker goes from here to [TS]

  there but you know the first time that a [TS]

  child this is the ultimate obvious [TS]

  on-the-nose analogy because that's not [TS]

  even an analogy but the first time you [TS]

  know kid tries to walk for a really long [TS]

  time and falls down and you applaud them [TS]

  for for trying to walk and eventually [TS]

  one day another good-looking get up your [TS]

  week [TS]

  get up look at this chart but you know [TS]

  where you don't want to live buddy 48 [TS]

  percentile that is no place to live [TS]

  my mom wrote down the the day that I [TS]

  first walked and you are two percent [TS]

  behind already [TS]

  but you know eventually one day the kid [TS]

  the kid walks for a while and you free [TS]

  cuz you're like oh my god this is great [TS]

  it's great it's great and then for a [TS]

  long time [TS]

  the kid doesn't walk very well but the [TS]

  kid walks and then eventually the kid [TS]

  walks and so on and so forth and I I [TS]

  that's kind of how i feel about a lot of [TS]

  performance where I used to really I [TS]

  don't know it's not even superstition I [TS]

  kind of don't like talking to people [TS]

  about what i just did it feels it feels [TS]

  undignified I i like it when people [TS]

  complicated like it makes me feel good [TS]

  but I don't want to parse it I don't [TS]

  it's just it's done it's done now and [TS]

  like for me it's just a matter of doing [TS]

  that over and over and over and I got to [TS]

  a point where like you know I didn't [TS]

  worry about what the sound guy thought [TS]

  and when doing like you know talks and [TS]

  stuff and it made me it made me a [TS]

  happier person I would it also made me I [TS]

  think a little bit better at kind of the [TS]

  trend that I mean obviously you're way [TS]

  more performant I'll ever be [TS]

  but at the same time like there's [TS]

  something nice about getting the point [TS]

  where you go thanks I'm glad you enjoyed [TS]

  it and then you you know going to the [TS]

  next thing but for me like I kind of [TS]

  felt like that person who can I can walk [TS]

  and I can walk pretty well and make it [TS]

  can walk a little bit fancy sometimes [TS]

  but it's just a matter of doing the [TS]

  walking every day just doing that every [TS]

  every every every day and eventually [TS]

  like I'll know what I'm good it won't [TS]

  matter i'm glad you liked it but what [TS]

  matters is whether i think it's good and [TS]

  when I know it's good it won't matter if [TS]

  you didn't like it [TS]

  that's to me that's kind of that's the [TS]

  the good place to be not to be arrogant [TS]

  but you know same thing again just we're [TS]

  back the whole check your privilege [TS]

  thing like if you actually are good at [TS]

  something it's it's it's like Harrison [TS]

  Bergeron you know like nobody's allowed [TS]

  to be good at anything [TS]

  Walker you certainly aren't aware you [TS]

  sure are a lot to be aware if you're [TS]

  good but if you get to a point where you [TS]

  like don't need to glance across [TS]

  everybody in the room to find out [TS]

  whether you're happy with how you did [TS]

  what you did because it's what you do [TS]

  and you just keep going out and doing it [TS]

  it's you know it makes me really want to [TS]

  do that stuff more to get to where I it [TS]

  really is about you know the crafters [TS]

  and there's always going to be another [TS]

  one that's the thing you're always going [TS]

  to do more of these right well and this [TS]

  was the thing that I mean watching Paul [TS]

  Tompkins tell them tell his do is show a [TS]

  couple years ago I was very very [TS]

  conscious that the the apparent ease and [TS]

  effortlessness of his work [TS]

  surely every night invites 5 to 10 [TS]

  people to come up to him in the bar [TS]

  afterwards and talk to him about their [TS]

  storytelling talents you know I mean [TS]

  like it seems so easy and so so people [TS]

  are duped into thinking it's easy and so [TS]

  I was very careful not to [TS]

  and the problem was it's impossible [TS]

  because I'm standing there with Paul [TS]

  afterwards and I want to tell him about [TS]

  how i like to tell stories and how the [TS]

  how inspirational this was I recognize [TS]

  that that that he hears it all the time [TS]

  and unlike guitar playing and rock [TS]

  banding like you get off the stage at a [TS]

  at a rock concert yeah they're going to [TS]

  be five or six guys that come up and [TS]

  talk to you about their band but there [TS]

  are so many things you have to do before [TS]

  your band is headlining a show that you [TS]

  can listen to a guy talk about his band [TS]

  his guitar playing and all the things [TS]

  that all his aspirations and then at the [TS]

  end you can kind of just you know pat [TS]

  him on the shoulder and go well good [TS]

  luck buddy i hope good things happen to [TS]

  your band but with storytelling that [TS]

  Eugene Mirman anecdote about you know [TS]

  that was really good now good for 10 [TS]

  years exactly go do it for 10 years and [TS]

  the other thing about it is the [TS]

  of entry to get up in front of a crowd [TS]

  and hold the microphone in your hand [TS]

  there is none like anybody can do it [TS]

  anybody can stand take that first step [TS]

  onto the stage holding a microphone and [TS]

  the question is do does the audience [TS]

  leave an hour later entertained so so [TS]

  when I walked off the stage at the other [TS]

  night and people wanted to talk to me [TS]

  about it as much as I as much as I in a [TS]

  wanted feedback I didn't need any ever [TS]

  and what I kept playing in my own head [TS]

  what other what I kept going back to [TS]

  because you know i wanted i want to [TS]

  criticize my own show and turn it into a [TS]

  pile of what wet ashes [TS]

  that's my instinct like to go through [TS]

  each moment of the show and be like when [TS]

  ashes or wet ashes who went ashes what [TS]

  you know what I kept saying to myself as [TS]

  I'm sitting backstage was a year ago you [TS]

  were superior like massively depressed [TS]

  you were 40 pounds overweight and the [TS]

  prospect of actually getting up onstage [TS]

  actually booking a show and following [TS]

  through on it was like an insurmountable [TS]

  obstacle you couldn't imagine doing it [TS]

  and four months ago you said you set [TS]

  some some goal and in a way like the [TS]

  first time I ever first time in a very [TS]

  long time actually wrote a goal down on [TS]

  a piece of paper and it was a little [TS]

  handful of of goals that all that all [TS]

  dovetailed with each other like find an [TS]

  assistant renting office space book a [TS]

  weekly show and in the in the tension [TS]

  and the anxiety leading up to this first [TS]

  show it was very difficult to to take [TS]

  pride in having taken any of those steps [TS]

  because it seemed like oh sure you got [TS]

  an office but the but they put some [TS]

  chemical sealant on the floor and you [TS]

  can't be in there because it gives you [TS]

  allergies and you know yeah you said [TS]

  about trying to find an assistant but [TS]

  now now you have for assistance and it's [TS]

  and and like three times the anxiety and [TS]

  oh you book to show sure but but between [TS]

  now and when the show starts [TS]

  maybe your pants are going to catch on [TS]

  fire or maybe the world is going to come [TS]

  to an end and sitting backstage what I [TS]

  was a lot what I was allowing myself was [TS]

  in fact you have you have accomplished [TS]

  the goals that you set out to do [TS]

  well you have to give yourself that you [TS]

  allow yourself in that moment I was like [TS]

  do not do not turn the show that you [TS]

  just did it too wet ashes now is the [TS]

  time to reflect on the fact that you [TS]

  have an office you have you have an [TS]

  assistant in fact you have two [TS]

  assistants and maybe about two [TS]

  assistants maybe maybe more i'm a [TS]

  manager or two of the assistants I [TS]

  haven't met yet [TS]

  I've definitely met two of my assistant [TS]

  and most importantly you have you have [TS]

  you booked a weekly show and you have [TS]

  now done the first one so no matter what [TS]

  happened if I it if you know and and the [TS]

  fact is like not only did the show but [TS]

  like succeeded at it if I'd gotten up [TS]

  there and just stuttered for an hour I [TS]

  could be proud of having taken all those [TS]

  steps and in fact I got up and I [TS]

  entertained the crowd and everybody [TS]

  laughed and sold out the next one [TS]

  well and so that was before I knew that [TS]

  right and so I was sitting there and I [TS]

  was like listen maybe you're gonna sell [TS]

  20 tickets to the next show in advance [TS]

  and then you're going to have to promote [TS]

  it and get you know put 50 more people [TS]

  in there but that's not going to be hard [TS]

  to do and over time this will build and [TS]

  maybe [TS]

  at some point there will be a long five [TS]

  months from now and you'll only see and [TS]

  nobody will come but you just keep doing [TS]

  this [TS]

  this is the this is the trail and a year [TS]

  from now you will know a year from now [TS]

  something will have revealed itself and [TS]

  so I allowed myself that and and and [TS]

  everytime everytime the voice came into [TS]

  my head that was like you know that you [TS]

  butchered the show last night and [TS]

  everyone in the room that used to be a [TS]

  fan of yours now realizes that you are [TS]

  charlatans every time that happened that [TS]

  voice speaks with a lot of battery am at [TS]

  my house every day it's very hard for me [TS]

  to to to describe that that character [TS]

  because he speaks Welsh but yea right [TS]

  that is the that every time that voice [TS]

  came into my head I just repeated that [TS]

  little like I a year ago we had hoped [TS]

  Bob Hope and steve jobs and johnny cash [TS]

  and now we have up we have up a [TS]

  basically a group of assistance unusable [TS]

  office space but you have done this show [TS]

  will you use the gold first of all [TS]

  congratulations i don't make it about my [TS]

  congratulations and but also that the [TS]

  thing about a goal is and three girls [TS]

  are stupid is that most times people let [TS]

  the goal becomes the goal the goal is [TS]

  this thing that they basically carven [TS]

  stone sometimes having absolutely no [TS]

  reason and no credibility to make that [TS]

  goal that I probably most people i think [TS]

  is people are all into these goals and I [TS]

  think the real productive if they got a [TS]

  goal my goal is to corner of the solar [TS]

  market [TS]

  yeah yeah within three months but it's [TS]

  the same but like I'm just biting my lip [TS]

  to not going to put on my merlin hat [TS]

  because there's so much about this that [TS]

  is why people beat up on themselves and [TS]

  end up not not not even not succeeding [TS]

  that even trying like thinking it's easy [TS]

  well yeah it's just the only people who [TS]

  think something is easy or people who [TS]

  haven't done it yet [TS]

  anybody who's actually done anything [TS]

  knows that nothing is easy it's only [TS]

  easy after it stopped being hard and [TS]

  it's not you know you and the thing is [TS]

  nobody there is a new thing that's hard [TS]

  absolutely there will be five new things [TS]

  that are hard that's called growth and [TS]

  the thing is sitting in a bar and [TS]

  talking about this thing that's easy we [TS]

  do you been doing that for 15 years [TS]

  not you but I'm [TS]

  like somebody's they're all this is easy [TS]

  ok then why you sit around a bar talking [TS]

  about how easy it is like what have you [TS]

  done and that's and so the problem with [TS]

  all those things this horrible [TS]

  disconnect between where you think it [TS]

  should be where you actually are and [TS]

  where you can reasonably expect to be in [TS]

  some amount of time so having a goal is [TS]

  is so I think it's so valuable if it's a [TS]

  goal that you're also allowing to have a [TS]

  little air to it so I mean first of all [TS]

  congratulations that you got this [TS]

  bizarre that's pretty locked feat given [TS]

  where you have been that's pretty [TS]

  amazing with you in the troll that you [TS]

  can get that far but also it's important [TS]

  just always remember that a goal is [TS]

  useful in as much as it keeps you moving [TS]

  forward if the goal ever stops making [TS]

  you move forward [TS]

  you've missed the point of the goal the [TS]

  goal is to make you show up every day [TS]

  and to work really hard into the right [TS]

  thing it doesn't mean now you become [TS]

  some dumbass you stop taking a new [TS]

  information or stops realizing that [TS]

  you're trying to corner a non-existent [TS]

  silver market [TS]

  yeah that's the beauty part it's [TS]

  whatever if that's the thing about a [TS]

  hack that's the thing that gets you off [TS]

  your ass and make sure you go out there [TS]

  and do it every day until you understand [TS]

  that enough to have a reasonable goal [TS]

  that's why people don't get anywhere [TS]

  right is they sit there they sit there [TS]

  in their little pile of shit and talk [TS]

  about how easy this should be and never [TS]

  do anything to try and reconcile all [TS]

  these possibilities they've introduced [TS]

  into their life and they think the way [TS]

  out of that is to come up with more [TS]

  possibilities and then beam and [TS]

  everybody because they didn't work out [TS]

  quite well and and and and reflecting [TS]

  back on how difficult it was like my [TS]

  process since since we started talking [TS]

  about this [TS]

  not very many months ago I don't [TS]

  remember what where when the debut of [TS]

  the idea that i needed an assistant was [TS]

  but it wasn't that blog now problem [TS]

  could be much earlier than like holidays [TS]

  fight last four months right [TS]

  and the idea of asking for help was a [TS]

  was an incredible obstacle to overcome [TS]

  like I didn't know even who to ask for [TS]

  help I didn't know how to ask for help [TS]

  and having asked for it and then getting [TS]

  a response from people and in and in [TS]

  fact you know i don't know if i told you [TS]

  that the the the way the assistant sign [TS]

  now I heard about your [TS]

  had like a medical assistant for a while [TS]

  right well what happened was [TS]

  that's why i said i have phrased that [TS]

  poorly but you had an assistant manager [TS]

  meaning you had someone who wanted to be [TS]

  a manager of people who might be your [TS]

  assistant right well so so so I I the [TS]

  first thing i did was i called a my and [TS]

  your good friend Adam practica who has [TS]

  been working at he's a model of of a [TS]

  task completion he's been working on the [TS]

  long winters documentary for 15 years [TS]

  hiya that said Adam like you know a lot [TS]

  of people who are who are you know fans [TS]

  of the long winters and sort of enemies [TS]

  he is one dimension kind of away [TS]

  he's one dimension away from me because [TS]

  he's not me and he knows a lot of people [TS]

  and I said who you know I need some help [TS]

  finding an assistant can you think of [TS]

  anybody and he recommended a couple of [TS]

  people and I was thinking about like how [TS]

  do I don't like all these people that i [TS]

  know not very well and ask if they want [TS]

  to work for me it's like you can't find [TS]

  the number to call the optometrist [TS]

  because you don't have glasses exactly [TS]

  and so I called another friend of of [TS]

  mine and of atoms Victoria Victoria van [TS]

  bruna see who is an office manager for a [TS]

  non-profit a very very capable like a [TS]

  active sort of person and a and a [TS]

  go-getter like a like get things done [TS]

  kind of person she's the one who took [TS]

  she's a photographer but she also kind [TS]

  of put together how show that i played [TS]

  here that that Adam film that's online [TS]

  you a victorious somebody when she gets [TS]

  an idea that sweet a little story and [TS]

  sing the song exactly i was really good [TS]

  yeah and that was victorious kind of [TS]

  brain child and it happened at her house [TS]

  and so I called Victoria and I was like [TS]

  Adam gave me the names of a couple of [TS]

  people that I think should be my [TS]

  assistant [TS]

  what do you think of these people and [TS]

  Victoria said well I that girl would be [TS]

  good except she's really busy and that [TS]

  other person I don't think that they [TS]

  would be very good because of some [TS]

  reason [TS]

  I was like oh ok she said that she's [TS]

  gonna dick cheney you she said said I'll [TS]

  find your vice president 05 you a vice [TS]

  president is what she said and so she [TS]

  started to do the thing that I that I [TS]

  always desperately need the thing that [TS]

  my dad's executive secretary used to do [TS]

  which is she would call me or send me an [TS]

  email or text me and say well why don't [TS]

  you just tell me the five things that [TS]

  you need and so I would kind of i would [TS]

  reply and it took me sometimes two weeks [TS]

  to reply but she never got impatient you [TS]

  know she just said yeah justjust you [TS]

  know i'm just reminding you you need to [TS]

  tell me the five things that you need [TS]

  and through this process she came up [TS]

  with an ad i talked about it on the [TS]

  podcast a dozen or more people applied [TS]

  for the job of my assistant Victoria [TS]

  vetted all the applications she cheap [TS]

  hopefully communicated with all dozen [TS]

  people may be multiple times and then [TS]

  after a two-month long process [TS]

  she said I think the best candidate is [TS]

  me she literally dick cheney that and I [TS]

  said oh alright uh you have a office job [TS]

  you are all you already have too much to [TS]

  do and she said well this is the thing I [TS]

  think the best candidate is me to find [TS]

  you a better candidate one day or maybe [TS]

  to evolve this job into a job that [TS]

  enables me to one day do this job so [TS]

  what she is saying is i am your [TS]

  assistant until I am either your [TS]

  assistant or until i have grown an [TS]

  assistant from mud that I take from the [TS]

  beach of life or until I am your I don't [TS]

  know I and it's and the thing is at [TS]

  every step of the way my instinct to [TS]

  micromanage the process I resisted it [TS]

  are you that's the whole point that's [TS]

  the idea what that is step one step [TS]

  you're moving up the Buddhist assistant [TS]

  ladder because Victoria was doing a lot [TS]

  of great stuff and so I was just like I [TS]

  am going to be quiet now and i am not [TS]

  going to i'm not going to jump in here [TS]

  i'm not going to tell Victoria that she [TS]

  can't do the thing that she's trying to [TS]

  do I'm going to allow her to find her [TS]

  own course here and so she found sochi [TS]

  of all the assistance that she had [TS]

  interviewed there was one who lived in [TS]

  denver whose name was Bailey McCann and [TS]

  then we can manage the chain of coffee [TS]

  shops in Denver but did not want to do [TS]

  that anymore and wanted to live in [TS]

  Seattle and she and Victoria struck up a [TS]

  friendship online and I was like this is [TS]

  an unusual interview process because it [TS]

  seems like you guys are staying up all [TS]

  night talking on the phone and giggling [TS]

  but again I am stepping out I'm stepping [TS]

  away not out just stepping back now [TS]

  bailey has moved to Seattle she has quit [TS]

  her job jobs in denver has moved here [TS]

  and is sleeping on Victorious couch and [TS]

  the two of them [TS]

  this sounds like something something on [TS]

  on cable TV [TS]

  this well as I said the other day worst [TS]

  porn ever it is it's called it's called [TS]

  a little assistance [TS]

  yeah assistant search that org but let [TS]

  me just say this show that I did last [TS]

  week I could not have done without [TS]

  victoria and then the Bailey hit the [TS]

  ground running [TS]

  she's here in and she was like seriously [TS]

  taking care of business [TS]

  I had a at not just taking care of like [TS]

  all the business where i was like i need [TS]

  a paperclip boom there's a paperclip [TS]

  might need a three by five card I don't [TS]

  know how to use she was like boom here's [TS]

  a three by five card and here's the [TS]

  thing i downloaded from the internet [TS]

  about how to use them [TS]

  I was like huh not only that but like [TS]

  she showed up to a meeting I had with [TS]

  the old [TS]

  of the rendezvous and she brought two [TS]

  coffees one for me and one for her I was [TS]

  like what's yes that's a French service [TS]

  like know what you need before you know [TS]

  you need it right so so I'm standing [TS]

  backstage and I'm also saying at a lot [TS]

  of different ways along the path to hear [TS]

  i could have jumped into this Victoria [TS]

  Bailey love triangle I could have made [TS]

  myself the third pode but instead I did [TS]

  what I basically was asking them to [TS]

  allow me to do which is just think about [TS]

  what i'm trying to do and in fact they [TS]

  both did all of the stuff that I [TS]

  everything I could have asked for and [TS]

  more and they and so I was like this is [TS]

  working [TS]

  this is the Jonathan Club [TS]

  this is the Jonathan Club [TS]

  Alton come foo of just not not getting [TS]

  another not stepping on other people's [TS]

  toes not getting in the way of people [TS]

  who are trying to help you and so that [TS]

  was a that that is an ongoing mystery [TS]

  and lesson to me that that the best [TS]

  thing I can do is shut up and accept [TS]

  other people's work neck once again not [TS]

  as easy as it sounds so hard for me [TS]

  because you know I want to send [TS]

  especially three o'clock in the morning [TS]

  i want to send everybody a five-page [TS]

  email 2500 word essay had taught him all [TS]

  what's wrong with that what they're [TS]

  doing and and it and in this case just [TS]

  letting it letting it go letting it be a [TS]

  press produced tremendous results so [TS]

  that is the story of my assistant search [TS]

  and it has you know where we're in a we [TS]

  basically like we have a little [TS]

  professional organization now Victoria [TS]

  and Bailey are calling themselves the [TS]

  Roderick group [TS]

  come on Wow get out of here right is [TS]

  that cute [TS]

  I all I feel like making business cards [TS]

  for everybody it's it this this is [TS]

  amazing [TS]

  yeah so now I just have to do it again [TS]

  and again and this is so also when when [TS]

  the shows when we heard the following [TS]

  day that the show sold out the upcoming [TS]

  show sold out you would be amazed at how [TS]

  quickly my think tank and i don't mean [TS]

  Victoria Bailey but like my mom my [TS]

  friend Ben London like I've got a little [TS]

  constellation of of people who are all [TS]

  you get a blue ribbon panel a [TS]

  blue-ribbon panel and everybody was [TS]

  everybody's instinct and my own instinct [TS]

  to was like well we need to find a [TS]

  bigger venue [TS]

  weddings are charging more for tickets [TS]

  yeah we need to get ready to scale this [TS]

  up to the I disagree we need to take we [TS]

  need to start to remember that video [TS]

  where share is on an aircraft carrier [TS]

  that's what we need to be thinking you [TS]

  think chaps how do we get your you in [TS]

  assless pants and then they're crushing [TS]

  the bunny don't want to crush the bunny [TS]

  well that's the thing and I don't think [TS]

  they don't think any of them work we're [TS]

  pushing that too hard it was just the [TS]

  first instinct and it was my own first [TS]

  question of course it is is that this I [TS]

  i somehow managed to stand up without [TS]

  falling down i guess it's time to pull [TS]

  the halt [TS]

  yeah exactly it's time it's time now to [TS]

  a to launch a rocket into space [TS]

  now is the time to six months at that [TS]

  plump side some career advice just six [TS]

  months at that place gets fucking [TS]

  awesome at it and then think about that [TS]

  think about adding another show maybe a [TS]

  different show where you can grow some [TS]

  more but you you know you're building [TS]

  your platform [TS]

  yep so it only time I think I think [TS]

  credit to everybody in this organization [TS]

  like it only took 20 minutes for [TS]

  everybody to come to that understanding [TS]

  themselves like wait a minute wait a [TS]

  minute where maybe maybe instead of six [TS]

  dollars we charged seven but that is [TS]

  fixed [TS]

  that's the extent of how much we should [TS]

  push this this is a this is an incubator [TS]

  it is a yeah it's just it's a little [TS]

  world the real you know the real benefit [TS]

  of this is going to be in a year when I [TS]

  understand when I understand what I'm [TS]

  trying to make the benefit of it is not [TS]

  that not that I made four hundred [TS]

  dollars right and I need to make seven [TS]

  hundred dollars but and so like I saw [TS]

  anyway I believe in this little team of [TS]

  people and I believe in this little [TS]

  operation and I believe that I can well [TS]

  that i can try again next week and try [TS]

  and do it better [TS]

  my biggest fear right now is that you're [TS]

  becoming saying and I don't want you to [TS]

  fuck up the show [TS]

  don't get too okay stay inej a little [TS]

  bit off-balance [TS]

  oh I want to become too like well that [TS]

  seems like a question with a very simple [TS]

  history early years [TS]

  three-point plan 2,500 words how well I [TS]

  think what will keep me crazy is that [TS]

  you and I'd start doing live rhetoric on [TS]

  the lines that will be completely [TS]

  unpredictable on scriptable unscheduled [TS]

  below what if we do it in a five-person [TS]

  venue and charged $5,000 let's do it in [TS]

  a van [TS]

  mm and is anything but the band was so [TS]

  we fly to Italy fly to a different city [TS]

  in America and we do with a land in the [TS]

  back we do a live right on the line in a [TS]

  van and only five people can attend but [TS]

  tickets are $500 5,000 5,000 articulate [TS]

  making text and techniques you know what [TS]

  to use some of you will get like three [TS]

  fans from square and we don't work for [TS]

  20 years [TS]

  see now who's who thought of that who [TS]

  thought of that Paula Tompkins yeah yeah [TS]

  in your face mustache boy that's right [TS]

  all you comedians are going to be like [TS]

  you know my whole life was transformed [TS]

  after John and Marlena pioneered the you [TS]

  stop when you think she'd make a shirt [TS]

  when in fact you charge 650 oh you know [TS]

  what here's an idea [TS]

  charge five thousand dollars two medians [TS]

  in vans getting coffee but then I what [TS]

  it was what it was like a really nice [TS]

  van or maybe even like a limo [TS]

  what if we got like a like a like a [TS]

  white kids going to the prom limo [TS]

  we got five or six people with a catered [TS]

  meal escalade limo [TS]

  yeah like super complicated maybe walk [TS]

  around maybe have about the chemical [TS]

  toilet in it like a nice one and then we [TS]

  go around we do our show we drive around [TS]

  somewhere that's not too interesting [TS]

  where they would be distracted but drive [TS]

  them maybe around the park a few times [TS]

  go around the park ya go to the park [TS]

  again geez you give them some give me a [TS]

  gyro and and maybe some some lemonade or [TS]

  something and H give us five thousand [TS]

  dollars [TS]

  yeah everybody gets a bell at the end of [TS]

  the show everybody gets a bell it get to [TS]

  take their belt sign your bail [TS]

  that's right so we begin the van first [TS]

  thing that get isabelle we make it seem [TS]

  like they just get to hold the bell [TS]

  oh it's a line yeah it's a little [TS]

  something extra the end exactly say like [TS]

  if the bell and yeah like listen don't [TS]

  bring in a bunch but you're welcome to [TS]

  ring it if you feel like it was it's an [TS]

  occasion that the bell should ring you [TS]

  get Val you get about [TS]

  get out of my fucking number and we're [TS]

  done [TS]

  that's great [TS]