On Being Funny…

The tiny rural town I grew up in had a grand total of 5, (yes FIVE), redheads while I was in school. I learned from an early age to deflect the kids’ silliness (it wasn’t really cruel, just stupid) and names with humor. Was I the class clown? Sometimes, but unintentionally. I was just quick-witted and well-read. I’m not sure this still applies but back then, a fast comeback could shut someone down more effectively at that age than anything else.

I am a child of the late 70’s that came of age during the 80’s so books, MTV and magazines were the only windows onto the world that lay beyond my little New England town. I was fortunate in that I had the ability to retain an incredible amount of the information I encountered each day; regardless the subject. Little did I know that would be one of the biggest reasons I’d find success later on as an adult. At the time, however, everyone around me just thought I was a freak.

I didn’t mind, though. I liked being a freak.

I could bridge the gap between the metal heads, the academic/smart kids, athletes/jocks, losers and drama geeks and nerds. I had friends that spanned the entire spectrum. To this day, my circle of friends still aren’t sure how I was able to cross so many of those lines; but I did.

My real passion in HS was music and acting. I was thrown into the gifted and talented program for both as a sophomore. I was also gifted with a sense of humor and an impeccable sense of timing. We entered drama contests, many of which I was part of and left with individual awards. I made friends for life being part of those competitions. I think people assumed that when I left to go to college, I was leaving to go to LA and make my attempt at acting. SO much so, that there were crazy rumors flying around for a couple of years. Some said that I had gone to LA and was successful, but not so successful that I’d landed a role that anyone would recognize yet. The rest of the rumors basically had me as a failed actress making porn in the San Fernando Valley. [HA! Honestly, I couldn’t even be upset. I was so impressed that these small town people knew the San Fernando Valley was Porn Central, I couldn’t even frown!]

Neither happened, of course. But looking back, I do wish I had attempted something in entertainment. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained; right?

I’ve met so many people that are amazing stand up comedians, entertainers, vocalists, musicians and actors over the years. Doing what I do can be so much fun. I occasionally get to spend time with very talented people that tell me I have talent, too. I just smile and nod, thank them and continue to listen to what they have to say. I’d rather listen to them than throw up lines and attempt to impress successful people. It’s not my style, nor do I think it’s my place to waste their time with my musings. If I can make someone laugh, smile or forget about the shitty day that they’re having, even for five minutes; that’s good enough for me.

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