Finding connections between drumming, art, getting things done (GTD), creativity and generally life.
24 January 2011
So this entry is a late entry but for good reason. I won't say much because it's almost 2am and I should be fast asleep already but I just wanted to say you know how sometimes you hear or see something that just clicks in your head and you feel like you've been shown the light? After watching the extremely funny and very humble Butch Bradley, he gave an advanced comedy workshop today. Not only did the things he say make sense and shed so much light towards my comedy career but his passion to share his experiences really inspired me because it matched one thing I believe in.
In comedy, and in life, it's not so much the accomplishments but the things that happen along the journey that really build up your vault of personal experiences and stories you can tell. As I've said before, to me, it's more important for me to be able to sit and share something with someone than to, say, buy them dinner and go "so, good weather eh?"
I was at the MAD 2011 forum on Saturday and I was talking to some of the participants in the afternoon and it was a lot of fun hearing their questions and sharing my experiences in the last few years and how it's shaped my views on my future and hopefully inspiring them. Had I not gone through all the pains and things I'd been through, I'd be like any other boring person and give very text-book answers that everyone knows like "well, you know, no pain no gain! So keep working at it". I mean, everyone knows that, but tell me a story where the idea of no pain no gain really paid off and proved to be the right way of thinking!
Ahh, well this coming week is going to test my endurance as a performer because I have 3 big gigs back to back to back starting with Legend 4, then hosting the Chinese show at TakeOut comedy, and then 2 shows in a day for New Life Mental Health Association. Then I get the Sunday to recover and more work on Monday! I love it!
One thing that Butch said tonight that really touched me was "sometimes I just stand there and absorb the world when I'm in a strange place and nervous and remind myself 'comedy got me here'...". Just that idea, knowing that I'm given the challenges and opportunities in my life now because of the decisions I made and challenges I embraced before, has got me fired up to tackle this crazy week. I was seriously feeling mentally drained thinking about how much I have to get done this week but you know what, I'm glad life is pushing me to my limits and with everything I've done, and heard so far, all these things combined...
...I am....seriously inspired.
There's no better way to be happy than to just smile
First of all. Stop everything you're doing and listen to Benny Greb's Grebfruit below:
Awesome? I am freaking hooked onto this song right now. I was watching Benny Greb's Language of Drumming DVD (and thanks to my recent drum lessons, I finally understand what he is talking about :P it makes sense but annoys me because his concept is so basic...). So even sitting in the middle of the MTR station, typing away here during rush hour, this song still puts a smile on my face.
And if that song didn't make you want to at least tap your foot, then check out his big band:
Awesome eh? Man, I'd love to see his band live! It's actually been a while since I've listened to big band music, I've been enjoying my Art Blakey and Bossa Nova mixes so much lately, but I've found myself knowing them a bit too well, to the point if I don't put my music on random, I literally know which track follows which ahaha.
Well today marks Day #10 of 2011 and I must say the year has gotten off to a fantastic start, things have started going crazy as usual but I must say I am loving it so far. So far not even 1 day has seen me sleeping 8 hours, I still find myself going to bed past 4am (ahah can you say new years resolution and bye bye?) but the phrase that I left 2010 with from Bruce Lee about how Defeat isn't defeat until you accept it as defeat has kept me going. When I used to find myself frustrated at 3am because I really aimed to sleep at 1am and it didn't matter, if I slept at 4am or 5am, now I find myself reminding myself that I can either get annoyed that I should have been asleep at 1am or I can sleep at 3am and don't let myself feel defeated. Which has kind of propelled me further than usual because now even when things don't go as planned I don't find myself frustrated like I may have been before, it's more a matter of convincing myself I'm not defeated, the game's rules changed and so it's not a matter of winning or losing now.
Interesting. Also, so far my little experiment of Don't Break the Chain has been quite good. At least for the times when I actually broke the chain, I've had a truly valid reason to do so, but it does suck to see a break in a long streak (I had a streak of 7 consecutive days where I properly practiced drums and in comes day 8 and I find myself outdoors the whole day which means bye bye formal drum practice. Man, I wish everything I did was portable, then I could be practicing everywhere ahaha).
Tonight also marks the beginning of madness in January for me, my schedule is literally packed completely, I have days where I wake up and have meeting after meeting after meeting. Which is interesting because I have no one except myself to blame. But at the same time, some of them are experiences that I didn't want to forgo. Like today, Another comedian and myself went to an elderly home to do some stand up comedy in the afternoon. Which was quite an experience because I'd never played to such an audience before, so it really challenged me as a comedian. I had to slow down, articulate and also make sure my wording was suitable for them. Things like digital cameras don't fly because they're not going to think of "take a photo and look at the screen to check", the concept on tagging someone in a photo or even twitter is totally out of their scope. So I went with some good ol' material and even went a little bizarre with my interaction, asking one of the more talkative ones "You ever have trouble dating?" :P It was interesting to see them laugh at that question, and when she said "who am I going to date?" I responded "well I might be single". One thing I learnt about this audience is the duration of concentration. When your audience is relatively low energy, you have to make up for that energy gap by being extra high energy, I tried to over-exaggerate a lot of my stuff. I wouldn't say I killed (although that's not the best of terms to use in this case either heh), but I'd say I definitely made their day :)
And on that note, it's time for me to continue making my day. One of my earlier meetings finished way before than I expected so I have a little extra time before I have to rush to my next appointment, which feels good because I haven't had a chance to just...sit down for a second today. Since the moment I woke up I've been trying to cram in whatever I can in the little bit of time I have today.
So enjoy the next 10 days, I have a feeling in 20 days' time I'm going to be a zombie! Woah in 20 days' time, January will come to an end!! Aiya! :)