Is This Thing On? with Mike Carrozza : Narrowing Focus and Times of Difficult Scheduling (or: I haven’t had time lately and it pisses me off.)

or It’s Been a While Because I’ve Been Busy, So Deal With It

Mike Carrozza drinks milk Mike Carrozza. Photo Sarah Cotton.

Being a comedian is great when you’ve got regular gigs, the time to write, and decent turn-outs. When you’re still working a day job or busting ass in school (or in my case, both), you go through periods where there simply isn’t enough time to dedicate to the craft.

For the past few weeks, I’ve had to substantially cut down on my creative output and stagetime.

It almost feels like I should be stripped of my title of comedian.

I hear it all the time: Real comedians hit the stage at least a few times a week if not a few times a night.

But fuuuuuuuuuuuuck sometimes it’s just impossible. I’ve been fortunate enough to squeeze at least a public appearance once a week in the past month, but it’s been tough. The longest I’ve gone without doing stand-up comedy is 11 days and that’s because I couldn’t book anything that worked with my schedule. Luckily, Walter J. Lyng had me do a character on his show Night Fight so I got my fix to hold me over.

Now I’m getting back in the swing of it all. However, in my time away from regular stagetime, I’ve made some realizations.

  1. Revisit old material. Holy fuck. Not only do you rediscover bits that worked, but you also get to uncover bits that you never fleshed out or premises you never had the right faculties to tackle. I had no time to dedicate to writing new stuff, so for the few shows I had lined up, I spent my prep time going through some old bits and premises to repackage along with some tried and true stuff that’s doing well. I’m happy to say that some of the old stuff is here to stay.
  2. I totally want to write a book. Right now, I’m not even close to have put in my Gladwellian 10,000 hours of being a comedic writer, but I still want to write a collection of essays/short stories/general silliness. I’ve already written some fun stuff I’m proud of. I can definitely say that at some point down the line, I’ll have to reread these essays and all the others I’ve written to send over to a publisher (hopefully I won’t get shut down).
  3. I’m in the right field. With the little amount of stagetime I’ve found, I realize that there is absolutely nothing else I want to do with my life. I want to be in the business of comedy. Stand-up, sketch, improv, bit parts on sitcoms (hopefully recurring), other stuff, whatever. LET ME MAKE YOU LAUGH. After being part of most of the Night Fights with Walter J. Lyng (and Leighland Beckman) doing some walk-on character parts and having an arc within the series, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and I feel most at home when I am performing.

So yeah, let’s party, you guys.

Come see me do comedy. I have more time to dedicate soon.

Be well,

Mike “This Too Shall Pass” Carrozza

Famous comedian

Kurt Braunohler

Oh, man. This guy. I don’t even know where to begin. Kurt Braunohler is a breath of fresh air every time. This man’s mission statement (mentioned on his amazing album How Do I Land?) is to insert absurdity in everyday life. He brings that spirit to his stand-up and all projects he touches. His podcast the K-Ohle is a multi-format show whose description makes me laugh every time. Check it on the website. Please please please buy his album and watch his Half Hour. I’ve written about Kurt Braunohler many times and he’s become my favourite comedian to bring up in conversations about alternative comedy especially for the title track on his album. He’s an inspiration and a huge influence on me and my comedic styling. Though my mission statement for comedy is in essence the same, I knew that before hearing his album. So once I heard him say that in the first ten minutes of his record, I felt like I found a brother.

Local comedian

Jacob Greco

Jacob Greco is a comedian from Ontario who’s made Montreal his home for the past year or so. I admire this man so much. His mind works in such beautiful ways. I foresee wonderful things for his future and I honestly feel he’s going to be a big part in bringing about the next wave of alternative comedy. Jacob is hilarious and I urge anybody and everybody to see him live. Follow him on Twitter, find out where he’s going to perform and go. Go.