Back in June, I was in a position that I was struggling with motivation to do anything. There was constant nervousness about falling and not able to get up on my own and I was doing very little.
After talking with my doctor, based on online research, I read that it was a common side-effect of Gabapentin. A common reoccurring solution was to also take a mild dose of Sertraline.
Once I started taking the Sertraline, things improved a lot. I started doing more and focusing on my exercises. I also stopped crying myself to sleep every night.
Now fast forward to early this year, I was taken off the Gabapentin. It was causing weight gain and as I learned, most of the remaining pain was a side-effect of it. Which left me with just the Sertraline.
As I soul searched it really wasn’t making me feel any less lonely, or even helping with dating. In fact, it made me less motivated to go out and meet people. I went to a dance for a friend, but couldn’t bring myself to go in. My friend was having a special night and the Arcade Bar, and I struggled with motivations to go. I’ve been really tired a lot. I couldn’t even go to comedy shows that I loved.
I would make it to the parking lot and then give up. Staying in a cloud of loneliness. I haven’t been even able to write these posts. So now my prescription is over and I have stopped taking it.
Today I even waxed my car today that I lacked the motivation to do.
I love comedy and always have. Robin Williams and George Carlin are amungst my favourites. Over the past few years starting with the summer of trying things I have started going to see stand up comedy shows. Not to say I no longer love improv comedy, but there is just so much more stand-up lately in these parts.
One of the recurring shows is the No Jokes Barred put on monthly by Jon Forward at the R Bar. What I love about this show are the new performers. Back when I was rehearsing on A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Ken Bolton, he kept encouraging me to try stand-up. I never did however mainly due to my anxiety.
However this past June, Ken was going to be leaving town, and after the No Jokes Barred show, there was an open mic for the third anniversary post-show. I was considering doing it and was trying to think up some good material all day before the show. All of which I ran out of time to perfect and only used a bit as a preamble to my 2013 Amsterdam Trip story. (Which you will not find on this blog)
All during the show I was debating actually doing it. There was the option to do a Karaoke song, or comedy. They were giving past performers 6 minutes and other people 3 minutes. At this point, I was unsure about the comedy as 3 minutes was not enough time to tell my story. When the sign-up papers were placed on the table I grabbed one right away and wrote “Charles Frees-Melvin… Comedy”. I was still nervous and spoke to a few people and then, what the hell, gave Jon the piece of paper.
After a few others, my name got called and there was no turning back. From my 18 years of TV experience holding and talking into the mic was child’s play. I also love to story-tell as well so that was not an issue. The hard part was I had to make them laugh.
As it turned out my story was either really funny or the crowd was great because they were laughing a lot and in all the right places. Then the dreaded R Bar experience a heckler! That guy said something stupid and wrong and I made fun of him and moved on to finish the story. I don’t know how but the right words just came to me to shoot that guy down.
Obviously thrilled with myself I finished my beer and headed home.
This year I had the privilege of volunteering at the Fundy Fringe Festival for mine and its second year.
I only managed to see 9 of the 15 performances but was very impressed with the variety and quality of the performances.
The experience was incredible not only to meet the other performers and volunteer but the general community that supported the artists.
On the last day of the festival, there was one experience that really stood out. I went to the Queen’s Square Market to get my Sunday morning croissant with chocolate gnash from Le Boulangerie Français prior to my final shift. There was this elderly woman sitting by herself on the bench and asked me what I thought of different shows.
It turned out that this woman was visiting the city specifically for the festival and has lived in Vancouver before no living outside Toronto. She was not a big fan of the comedy shows and was looking for something darker. After suggesting William Ellis’ Dirty Work she said that was exactly the type of show she was looking for. We then continued to chat for a good 20 minutes about her travels and the various theatre she has seen over her years which was an impressive amount.
This weekend I went to see the new Adam Sandler movie, “That’s My Boy”. I really laughed in this one even though the theatre was empty on Saturday afternoon. This is the first Sandler movie in a while that actually has a great story as well as being funny. This is one of the must sees this Spring/Summer season.
First off, a detailed post about my trip to Toronto is coming soon. Including the stuff I learned and would like to add about WordCamp Toronto. In addition I am sorting through the 400 pictures I took over the weekend for a SnapShots album.
I wanted to talk about movies. I have seen several lately although I am way behind this time last year. I have seen a lot of romantic movies and romantic comedies lately. However it seems that the romantic movie industry seems to be making traditional tragedies lately. They are not the happily ever after anymore. Even the Miley Cyrus hit “Last Song” falls into this category, a funeral, seriously. The little weak happy tag ending does not make it better it starts bad in Act One, gets better in act two, then ends badly. That sir is definitely a tragedy in the dramatically sense.
But this a huge trend this year. Valentines Day, When in Rome, Dear John, Chloë, and many others are the same. Is there no hope anymore?