Monday, October 31, 2011

Intention: The Key to Comedy Success

Every stand-up comic wants a chance to perform on Leno or Letterman, just like every writer wants to be number one on the New York Times Bestseller List. The key to being successful as a comic is to decide very early on what you really want from your comedy career.

In the beginning, I wanted to cover myself in caramel and jump all over Jay Leno. This had nothing to do with being successful. In the beginning, I just wanted to be famous. Now, not so much. These days, I want to book 100 performances or speeches at churches, colleges, conferences, and nursing homes. I want to use my voice to uplift people.

Since moving to Oklahoma, I’ve had a chance to do comedy in a variety of places. I’ve won the semi-final round of Funniest Comic in Tulsa. I’ve produced my own shows at alternative comedy venues. I’ve been writing this blog. I’ve spoken and performed at conferences big and small. I have been featured in a national magazine and in the Tulsa World newspaper. I am, according to my own definition, successful.

Years ago, when I trained under Judy Carter, the legendary expert on building a successful comedy career, she said something in my class that has stuck with me to this day, “Decide if you want to be successful or famous. There are hundreds of successful comedians who work every day, and there are thousands who will struggle forever because they want to be famous.” It took almost ten years for this sage advice to really hit home with me. I will be eternally grateful to Judy for her wisdom and guidance.

The key to being successful at comedy, at work, in our relationship is simple: Decide what your intentions are, and work diligently towards fulfilling your goals. I intend to make people laugh and think. I intend to build a successful business that uses my strengths to make my little corner of the world a better place. I don’t intend to get on a stage and belittle myself, my race, or others in general. I intend to make a living without having to drive 500 miles just to make $100 a night. Hell, I can go back to scrubbing toilets and make more money! I intend to be happy doing what I love, and maintaining my integrity.

It took me a long time to be honest about what I wanted. It has taken almost ten years to see glimmers of success. I feel blessed to have the support of my husband and my friends who cheer for me, when I have a little thing go right. I am happy. I am walking on my path. I am living my dreams.

In case you’re wondering, I still keep a jar of caramel in my car, in case I decide to run off to LA and meet up with “The Chin!”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

HOMEGIRL ON THE RANGE: Little Lessons on the Prairie

HOMEGIRL ON THE RANGE: Little Lessons on the Prairie: The move to Owasso has been tough. Back home in Alabama I was in the middle of everything. It’s kinda hard for a social butterfly to be wit...

Little Lessons on the Prairie

The move to Owasso has been tough. Back home in Alabama I was in the middle of everything. It’s kinda hard for a social butterfly to be without places to land, light, and spread a little pollen. Here, I am pretty much unknown. I say that like I’m Angelina Jolie, huh? Well, I wasn’t famous enough to hire some nanny to take care of the McBrothas, but I was famous enough to have my own seat at the bar.

While the changes over the last 12 months have been hard, I can definitively say that they haven’t been all bad. I’ve grown in ways I never imagined. I am free of most distractions… them young ‘uns and that husband of mine still keep me away from the navel gazing and lint picking I miss.

I’ve learned some pretty valuable lessons while being frozen stiff, whipped around like a chubby tumbleweed, and dry roasted:

I will not die, if I cannot plant my big butt on a bar stool in Old Cloverdale. (I did pout about not having any fun people to hang out with for 9 months. I have abandoned the entire idea of going to nursing homes to meet new friends and calling them the names of old friends, just to make myself feel better. I get a sense that that is frowned upon…)

Hot glue is all that. How did I live without it?

Walking to the library is really more fun than listening to some lying ass politician/ lobbyist/ legislative aide tell you about his glory days as second-string quarterback at the University of Alabama.

A guy who bought 2,000 copies of his own book is not really a writer. Oh, and another thing, just because some dude works for a bookstore doesn’t mean he’s a writer, either. Oh, yeah, one more thing, I have just as much right to publish my crappy books as you do. I can’t believe it took me 10 years and 750 miles to finally get my drawers pressed enough to accept this fact!

Drama free living is as refreshing as lemonade spiked with a little vodka at a church potluck. I’ve done both, now.

The same guy that irked the cow crap out of me in Alabama irks the cow crap me on Facebook and Twitter. Some things never change.

MCBrotha Navel Gazing Expo:

Life as a comedian isn’t any easier here. There are just more comedy venues. That just means there are more people who are funnier than me. Not that I care. I’ve learned how to hot glue stuff. I can always make a living working for NASA.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where There Are Two Or More Gathered...I'll put on a show

I love to speak and perform! As things evolve and I grow more comfortable with the new, improved me, I'm finding that I get far more satisfaction out of giving funny and inspiring speeches. It blends everything I do well: comedy, happiness, teaching, PR, and horrible keyboarding skills into one TANGE-TASTIC experience. I'll never give up doing stand-up...heck, I just walked into this bookstore to browse and buy a coffee, next thing you know I pull a PA system out of my fanny pack, lock the doors, and customers are trapped at my show. I love to ambush the gun-toting people of Oklahoma with my jokes. Back in Montgomery I was a nobody, but here in Owasso they say my name with all due awe, y'all... They call me, "Did you see her hair?!?"

Monday, October 24, 2011

They say you have to post on your blog twice a week. I don't know who they are. Why do they get to make the rules? They are really getting on my nerves. I posted this picture to remind me that winter is coming, and one day I will spend my winters where the sand is white as snow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Toddler or Swiffer: Dusting Blinds

Dusting.Blinds.Sucks. But you have to do it. The best way is start at the top and work your way down. Use a dry microfiber cloth. I do not, repeat, DO NOT suggest you wet the blind unless they are all nasty. I'm talking GAGAZOLA. Spraying them with some wet cleaning solution will just make extra work if your blinds are just plain if you have been frying more chicken than the Colonel, then you may have to whip out an all purpose cleaner or degreaser...I PITY THA FOOL! You can also use the following to dry dust your blinds: Your Toddler ----because they will think it's fun!!! to inhale 3 year old dust mites...think of it as family game time, and as a bonus you may get a nap after you chug a little antihistamine to stop the sneezing, just be sure to lock all doors to keep the kid from wandering off while you snooze. Feather Duster---because you're old school. Swiffer Duster-- because you are new school. Used Fabric Softer Sheet---because you're broke/cheap/frugal/broke...or if you are a rich show off, use a new off! The holidays are coming up, and you don't want you brother's nosy wife to be rubbing all up on your blinds calling you a Flilthy Fool. Ok, that wouldn't bother me one iota, but if it bothers you that much, just go buy new blinds. Happy Scrubbing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Who's That Lady

Back in Montgomery, the hubby and I cleaned out houses after people died, moved, or were evicted. One of the many cool treasures I found was this charcoal image of a beautiful black woman. The owner of the house was almost 100 when he died. He wasn't a real artist, but he did dabble in drawings. I always wonder who this lady was to him. What was her story?

I asked the family if they wanted this portrait, and the daughters...each one of them fine, Southern ladies (who were pushing if not smushing 70) said an emphatic "NO!"

Makes me wonder even more... was she a lover, a friend, an enemy, or all of the above?

The Obvious

My Mom passed away on September 10, 2011. I miss her so much. August and September were a blur, and as temps cool down out here on the prairie, I am reminded that this will be the first time I won't talk to my Mom on a holiday. It sucks.

Thank you for reading. I am doing all I can to get back to happy posts. I think the blog may take on a new direction and life starting this fall! Looking forward to climbing new do realize I have never climbed a real mountain...