Comedians love giving advice, most of the time when they’re not even asked for it! Unsolicited Advice is WitOut’s chance to give Philly comics the opportunity to do just that, without looking like a know-it-all so-and-so.
If you are thinking of making a career in comedy, don’t start a family. However, if you are an immature, reckless, simpleton who has no qualms about shunning the lifestyle of a well-adjusted adult in order to pursue your dream of becoming an entertainer, then continue reading as I will gladly show you how I’ve done it. It’s of utmost importance to decide early on in life if one would like to pursue dreams or start a family and spiral into the abyss. Thirty two years into my life, I’ve decided I’d like to have a career in comedy, but I also enjoy providing for my family so I have to teeter somewhere in the middle.
I began my career in comedy over eight years ago. Around that same time, I found out my girlfriend and I were expecting a baby. I fuckin’ love babies so I was pretty excited about the whole deal. Fortunately, once the baby came, my lovely fiance Jaime handled the brunt of the responsibilities while I caroused from open mic to open mic and performed roughly one show per weekend. This continued for about three years until my second daughter came along. I had to contribute a bit more at home, so comedy had to take a backseat now. I would wander into the occasional open mic and only do about 15-20 shows a year for the next three years. Then, Jaime and I found out we were expecting our final offspring, my son. When it comes to safe sex, Jaime and I have the planning skills of middle school rave organizers. If Jaime and I ever started a White Stripes-type band, we’d call ourselves Reckless Fuckers. So, logically, once our family starting rolling five deep, I decided it’s time to dedicate myself to comedy.
Honestly, being a comedian with a family is an absolute trainwreck. I can’t sit at the computer to write without breaking up a fight, cleaning up a mess, commenting on whether an outfit looks alright or not, changing goddam batteries on toys, answering why I’m on the computer, answering when I’m going to be off the computer, figuring out why the fuck one of the other four people or two cats in the house is crying, or just simply having someone stand over my shoulder as I type. Also, when I announce that I have to leave to do a show, the responses from the ladies of my home range from tears to anger. All in all, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. But please, if you have a dream to be a comedian and you do not have a wife or children, run with that dream. For the love of God, run like the wind! Or don’t. The world is always in need of fresh roustabouts.
Mike Rainey is a Philadelphia comedian and host of The Donkey Show, a weekly comedy show on voltaradio.com. He is also one of the organizers of Comedians for a Cause.
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