I've always been a kind closet comedian. Since I was a kid I entertained myself and my family with impersonations, animals impressions, silly walks, and other fun weird behaviours. I found it was a great stress release like opening the pressure value. It decreased the serious shit happening around me and my family. We could always have a real good laugh, and it made me feel good to get a laugh.
I could never get enough of this stuff, until finally in my mid-twenties, I met two clowns on Prince Edward Island. Seriously they were clowns, and we'd hang out doing' clown work, where I learned to juggle. It didn't take me long to figure out that I really wanted pursue the basis of theatre, and how to entertain.
So away I went back to Toronto where I'd spent a good portion of my childhood, to study Commedia dell'arte ("Comedy of Art" or "Comedy of the profession"), meaning improvised drama.
If I'd known about Second City I would have auditioned. At this Mime school I attended, I learned that I wasn't cut out for solo performance, but worked better in groups. Drama wasn't my thing but comedy, especially improvisation, that was what I was crazy about. I still am, but I don't think I could ever perform solo, because I have too much anxiety, and stage fright.
Pretty early in life, I think I inherently understood why I was drawn to comedy, but later I began to be able to articulate for myself the reasons why. I so admire comedians that have the passion, drive, and the courage to get up on stage. In the meantime, I'll stay in the closet and entertain my friends.
Here is a new documentary film, the official trailer, to Misery Loves Comedy, written by Kevin Pollak and John Vorbaus. It looks like they've done one hell of a great job at explaining the whole miserable comedic mess. I can't wait to see the it!
You can listen to the interview that Shad had on CBC Q, with the director of the film, comedian Kevin Pollak.