I’ve been in a funk lately; I just haven’t had or couldn’t find anything to write about that has been worthwhile to you my dear readers So, I am really pushing myself with this post, and I thought I would tell you about my childhood dreams.
When I was a little kid I heard about Steve Martin (who is still my all time favorite comedian, despite his terrible movies as of late),I am not sure where I discovered him it might have been Saturday Night Live or where I got his records, but that’s not important. What is important was that I discovered him and he forever changed my life.
I would listen to his records religiously front to back over and over, memorize it and then “perform” it in the mirror or standing up in front of my empty bed and sometimes to my friends. This is where I discovered the gift of making people laugh and immediately fell in love with this art.
Then I started discovering other comedians like Bill Cosby, Gallagher, Howie Mandel, George Carlin, Robin Williams & Louie Anderson to give you an idea. I started studying these acts…comedy was very important to me.
I was never the typical “Class clown” but I did have my moments, but they were usually with my group of friends that I could make laugh. In the 80’s when I got cable I discovered A&E’s An Evening At The Improve this damn show seemed to be on 24/7 and my ass watched it religiously as well learning the craft, finding out what worked and what didn’t. An old friend of mine’s mom used to watch it too and we would compare notes and she brought up something that I’ve never forgot she said that comedians are sad people and they turn their pain into pleasure for others and it helps them when they make people laugh, I guess it was like therapy to them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was right…now I’m not saying ALL comedians are this narcissistic, but there are some depressed comedians that ended up taking their own life.
Those are to name a few, most of these were “accidental overdoses” but my point is I wasn’t depressed hell I was a pretty good go lucky guy, I was kind of an outsider in HS because of my heavy metal music and long hair at a christian school, but I did have friends…..mostly the freaks & geeks lol.
I got a big break in HS, I was at a school dance that was being held at a small club and I was talking to the DJ who happened to be a big time local radio DJ here in town, he was DJ-ing because he was an alumni from the school. Anyway him and I started talking about comedy and he said the he does some stand up at a club downtown and offered me 5-10 min spot, I took his card and never called him……..I didn’t have the guts or courage….I still don’t, see I never wrote my own material, I just mimicked everyone elses stuff and you can’t do that. I don’t regret it and I still love and study comedy, but that was definitely not my calling.
My other childhood dream was to be a stuntman, now this fantasy may have came before the comedian idea I believe, because it was in the 70’s when I discovered EVEL KNEVIL the baddest mofo on the planet as far as i was concerned, here was something I could definitely do, ride a bike and jumps things……SOLD! He used to do these elaborate stunts and they were televised oh you can bet your ass I was watching, I believe the 1st one I seen him do was at a monster truck show or demolition derby or something and he had on this amazing stars & stripes jumpsuit with a CAPE!!!! How badass is that for 6 or 7 year old eh? He was MY superhero before I discovered Batman. He jumped over like 10-15 semi trailers and made it!
He was a cultural icon as well there were t-shirts, belt buckles, lunchboxes and toys of this badass, and I had them all!
You get the idea, I was his #1 fan…….hell even my grandma knew of my fascination with this man that when she met him she got me his autograph….I wish I still had it….Miss you granny!
Ok so I started doing stunts around the neighborhood, I would jump ramps, fall off my bike in the street on purpose and roll and I’m talking at booking speed for a kid…so what maybe 3-5 mph? I dunno, but it was fast to me and that pavement hurt, but I didn’t feel it I was a STUNTMAN! I would climb the highest branch on the tree and tell my friends to shoot me and I was would fall straight down. I would run my bike into other bikes or into garage doors or fences. On day I lined up 10 kids and ran and jumped them, I landed on the 10th kid….my brother, he was pissed sorry bro I misjudged my jump. I would even get on the roof jump off backwards and land on my back…never broke a bone…..until.
This went on for years, at least until I was a freshman in HS I was helping my step dad help his step dad move one cold Saturday morning and there were these steps with an iron bannister outside….I looked at the steps and thought I could jump this (see I was always practicing) but I didn’t want to jump the stairs, no I wanted to jump off the top and down to the ground….there wasn’t another set of stairs, just cement….this is the best example I could find.
I was at the top on the rails, I believe there were 3 rails total and I was on the top one for more height and jumped up and out and down.
On the way down my right arm stuck the iron bannister and I heard a *SNAP* I knew something was not right, but I helped them move anyway. Turns out that my arm was broke, but my mom didn’t take me to the Dr. for several weeks even though I told her my arm was broke she wouldn’t believe me….HELLO? The damn thing was purple and bloated…oh well. One day I was at my aunts (she used to watch me and my brother when we got off school until my mom got off work to pick us up) and she asked me what was wrong my my arm, I said it’s broke (she has 4 kids, she knew the signs and symptoms for all) she said it sure is….well she calls my mom and asks her if she knew my arm was broke and she said that I had told her, but she didn’t think it was true, so my aunt informed her it was true.
We went to the Dr. and mom said for me not to tell the Doc that I had told her about this since she didn’t want to seem like she was a neg-lector…which she isn’t she probably just didn’t have to cash to take me there…hell I was in the emergency room nightly, I was on a one named basis with the staff…no joke, I was something else.
Fast forward to college, I had gotten into skateboarding, I had the banana boards when I was kid, but I had a sweet METALLICA deck in college, but couldn’t ride for shit….never could. One night in the dorm me and my buds have a brilliant idea and thought we would ride the skateboards in the hallway and land on mattresses….this was pre-Jackass people…we were were risk takers! I ended up breaking my left leg that night.
After the cast was removed I got back on my deck went outside the dorm door and immediately fell and broke my left leg….SEIOUSLY???? Mom was pissed boy, that was the end of my Stuntman career, even though I had only broke 3 bones in my body, nothing like my hero Evel….he broke EVERY bone in his body more than once….I still love that man, him and Burt Reynolds…hey he was the Bandit & Hooper.