Zan's Blog

Kids taught me how.

It’s August 17th, and I’ve got one more show at McCurdy’s. A family show, and I’m thinking I’m the Emcee. Hard to warm up a room of kids, as they are untrained in knowing what to do in a comedy theatre, or anywhere else for that matter…save the playground at McDonalds. Anyway, I had kind of a bad attitude because my last family show there was pretty wonky, none of my material was working and I was dying…or at least suffocating with hypothermia.

So I’m on the way there and on the phone with a veteran comic who is GREAT with kids. I’m like “Dude, gimme some advice.” He says “Oh, just stay positive, make big facial gestures and silly voices.” – Are you kidding me? That’s what I’ve been doing since I was a kid. It’s how I pass the time. Don’t judge.

I put on a positive attitude like a suit of armor. Sounds strange I know, but go with me, it worked. Then I found out that I didn’t have to Emcee, but was going to get paid to do just 15 minutes! The good news is that I didn’t have to warm up the crowd, the bad news was I had to stress for a few over what 15 min set to compile. No biggie.

Maybe it was because kids were there that I felt freer to play. They didn’t care about perfection in performance; they didn’t know what an artist stresses about. Because they were there, I became a mirror of them. Free, open, silly, and I soared on that stage like a bird…a funny bird…ok, like Big Bird. And I had a blast!

To help me with my nervousness, a famous comedian told me “think of the audience as a bunch of your friends.” And I’ve done that, but now, I’m going to think of the audience as a bunch of kids, because they are, you are. You love riding a bike, even if you haven’t in years. You love ice cream, a good pillow fight, puppies, and splashing in puddles…even if you haven’t in years.

During that last family show, I felt just like I did when I was a little kid and would hold up a screw driver as a microphone and say some crazy stuff that I thought was fun to do and say and my family would just look at me with total amusement. They’d get red faced and wonder what the heck I was doing. I’d go from being quiet as a church mouse, to doing all these ridiculous impressions and getting their attention. Decades later, I haven’t changed a bit. I’m living my passion y’all. And if I could have one dream come true right now, one wish for the world, it would be that everyone found and lived their passion. Maybe go back to what made you happy as a kid, what was unique that you did, and find a way to express that as an adult. No matter how unrealistic it seems. I mean, who’d have thought that when I was 9 yrs old, and performing with a make believe microphone in my Dad’s apartment, doing a silly imitation of Tattoo from Fantasy Island, that decades later,(I just NOW realized this) I’m still doing an impression of Tattoo on stage today.

Thank you kids, for reminding me that I am one of you. I was lost, but now am found!