Thursday, December 14, 2017

Why Half Of My Family Being Dead Is A Feminist Issue

Growing up my mom prepared warm, home cooked meals for us every night. She was a stay-at-home-mom until the three of us were old enough to babysit ourselves and then she worked part time, but even then, she was always home before we got home from school, to cook for us, mind us, and make sure we didn't watch TV past six pm. My mom's existence was dedicated to raising us, her children. 

But that's not all she did, after all, she was a 90's mom so she wore many hats. My mom tended to all of the household business. The finances. The banking. The bills. She went to all of the student teacher meetings. Social outings or birthday parties were her jurisdiction. A good Catholic farm girl, she made us go to church every weekend, and not every night, but often enough, she made all five us crouch around the couch and say our prayers. She cleaned the house, did the laundry and the dishes and kissed us goodnight. Looking back on it, and this is just my flawed memory, the only time that was ever truly her own was when she'd disappear into the bathroom and steam floated out from under the crack of the door as she took a bath. I remember she always took really long baths. 

My father, my dad, my heart, was and is a truly delightful person. Growing up, he was my soccer coach, the fun parent, the one who let us watch R rated movies. Dad let me get away with saying shit as longs as it was said in the moment or for a laugh and always encouraged me to do accents and try out for school plays. My dad was extremely present in mine and my brothers lives, not as a supervisor, but as a participant and a friend. He played with us, joked with us and often times, got in trouble with us. My dad was a big kid, which is why, through no fault of his own, when my Mom died he was just as stunted by her death as we were.

They died in a car accident. My mom and my brother, forty two and thirteen respectively, were gone just like that. After the funeral, we were tasked with laughably impossible idea of moving on with out them.  In those early days, my dad went back to work, and my older brother and I went back to high school, but every thing was bleak and disturbed and life felt generally maligned. The thing I remember the most was the quiet that fell over the house.

On top of the shock, pain and grief, we had to go on living but it wasn't easy for obvious reasons and for less obvious ones too. When my mom died all her responsibilities suddenly fell on my dad and he had no idea how to do what she did because he never had to know. My mom's daily errands, from the mundane to the complicated, were foreign to my dad but now suddenly were delegated to him. Because dad never had to learn the things my mom did, because they did not share duties but rather compartmentalized their roles as parents, when this tragedy struck, my dad didn't know what to do. None of us did. 

In the early days, we went from home cooked meals around the table to Subway dinners in front of the TV. From church every weekend to maybe God exists but if he does he is no friend of ours. I went from not being allowed to have a boyfriend to dating whom ever I wanted. My mom was gone, and so were the rules, order and any semblance of routine. Mom held the family together. She wasn't just the fabric of the family, she was the needle, the thread and the seamstress. We needed her. Sometimes, in my guilty moments, I wonder if all we asked of her was too much, that maybe we pushed her to exhaustion, caused her to slip, to over correct, to literally and figuratively crash. But that's going to far. Can I really blame traditional gender roles for the death of my mother and brother? 

I'm going to try.

When my mom died suddenly my dad was unequipped to do the myriad of things she did and was seemingly unable to manage the new shape of our family.
 In those early days after the accident, dad made gross, raw uncooked beans or damp, tasteless salmon. But after years of trial and error he  finally learned how to cook. He improved. He worked a full time job and also committed himself to all the domestic duties of the house. He learned how to do the bills, the taxes, cleaning, laundry and eventually, he even learned how to say I love you to me without me saying it to him first, (although it took him a bit longer to learn that one, but that's ok, there are cook books to help people cook but no manuals to teach one how open your heart after it's been decimated. I would write that book, but I'm still learning myself)

Now, 17 years later, my dad is fun, sweet and gregarious- just like he was when I was growing up. But he is also pragmatic, organized, adapt in the kitchen and a more calm and understanding person.  Some men never have their entire identities challenged, imploded in one moment, in one night, where everything you are is flipped on it's head, when God doesn't just suggest you change, but demands it. But this what was asked of my dad and he rose to the challenge. He didn't remarry and find a woman to do these things for him. He didn't find a replacement mom for us. I am forever grateful that he did not turn his back away from us when we needed him. He stepped up. He changed.

My dad today is a more remarkable, powerful, sensitive, and capable man then he was before this nightmare. He is equipped. He is not defined by any role, he is not playing a part, because he is not just one thing, but many.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Comedic Voice Is So 1995

I've been doing comedy for ten years and the entire time I've been slinging jokes I've also been simultaneously chasing my so called "comedic voice". My forbearers insist that the comedic voice is real, that it's the light at the end of the tunnel: Keep going, Hannah. Time and painful bombing will breed your voice, just wait, it's coming. But It's not coming. I think that maybe years ago the artist's voice was attainable but originality died with dial up Internet.

I've reached the disappointing conclusion that finding my comedic voice in 2017 is untenable. How can I separate my thoughts and opinions from the schizophrenic manic environment I live in? I go on Twitter and I am bombarded with people telling me what things REALLY ARE and I think: Yes! I agree with this! And I agree with it SO much that I take this stranger's opinion and I integrate into my own catalogue of arguments, then I purport it as my own opinion and perhaps even use this exact anecdote in real life conversations and proceed to not even admit that I stole this thought from an avatar online. And then eventually I'll use their point so often in my daily existence that I forget that it's just something I read on the Internet and before I know it I'm running around with entire world view that isn't even my own but rather the gospel of some adopted hive mind. What I'm trying to say is, I want to be a feminist but I don't know how. 

Feminism messes with me because I love it so much. I've switched my need for validation from men to seeking the approval of righteous, progressive woman. My neediness is a shape shifter. 

I want to be a feminist but more than that I want feminists to like me. I want to be a part of this cool new party that has taken over comedy, cities, bars, relationships, blogs and t shirts. Let me in. I want feminists to accept me and validate me as someone who is contributing to the cause and not some Betty Crocker abomination, some sad Lauren Southern mole laying waste, trapped and in denial in some dark enabling, sexist abyss. That's not me! I'm one of you but I'm scared I'm not good enough. There are so many bad ass woman out there, on the Internet at least, that yell and scream and joke and are poignant that I'm insecure in my voice as a woman too. I've read the books. I've lived the life. I was blind once but now I see- intersectionally! Is that a cool thought? Should I tweet that? If I don't get three likes in five minutes I will delete it. 

I agree with mostly everything the modern feminist perspective is pushing yet every time I want to tweet something from a feminist reach I hold back, I'm unsure, I doubt my veracity, my worth.  Is my feminist perspective even relevant if I'm not willing to voice it when every new news story breaks? I'm intimidated by feminist comedians because I admire their intelligence, boldness and strength but then in turn deem myself not strong enough or equipped enough to add to the cause. I never get in fights on the internet. The confidence it takes to reply to trolls astounds me. HOW CAN I BE A FEMINIST IF I'M AFRAID OF CONFRONTATION? I hate myself. I'm not worthy to even read Reductress.

I wish I never had a teacher in my life. It would be better for me if I was illiterate. I wish I never admired another stand up comedian. I wish the Internet didn't exist and I all I had was some shitty life as a mom and I'd hit the club on the weekends and all my opinions were my own and I never concisely or subconsciously tried to appease the cool feminist comedians, or the cute headliners or old audience members or club owners or my own dead moms ghost. I wish I could be a blank slate and think for myself. But I can't. I'm weak.  Fill me up. Tell me which new man to hate, what new comedy special is the second coming. I don't have my own opinions. My entire personality is a retweet.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The House That Men Built

Men built civilization. From the first spark of fire to towering skyscrapers, men have willed themselves to create this kingdom we all call home. Of course, woman have always been here too, but we've been more of the fuel to their fire, more a casualty or an obstacle or an idol for men to be energized by then a contributing force to the systems of world today. That sounds insulting to woman, but that's what the patriarchy is, right? A world created, dictated by and controlled by men, a system of domination, the oppressed and the oppressor, David and Goliath, except in Earth's case, David has yet to win. I put my money on Goliath.

This is a man's world. That's what I've always been told, and given how angry everyone is at men right now, I hearken to believe it's true. The world is crazy and we need someone to blame, and a lot of woman, myself included, are angry. We blame men, and I don't think we are wrong. But I'm also not surprised. The violent drive to create, to dominate, to control that is evidenced in men and mankind, while harmful, toxic and brutal, are the same qualities that have lifted humanity from the stone ages, through to the the dark ages, then to the industrial revolution and now into the present day technological revolution. Toxic masculinity built civilization and it's a remarkable civilization. It's a grand world fraught with many problems and flaws, but brimming with sophistication, opportunity, invention, poetry and potential.  This world never stops building, because I don't think it really knows how to stop- men/the patriarchy/western culture- doesn't know how to stop. It just keeps dominating. It wants more.  Always. And if it weren't for this tireless, albeit scary hunger, we wouldn't be where we are right now: richer than we've ever been, healthier than we've ever been, more educated than we've ever been, and perhaps because of all this, also more psychically fucked up than we've ever been. 

While many people are writing think pieces about the devastating actions of several men, we know, we all know, that this shadow side of men is and always has been ever present. The ubiquity of it is is not an excuse for deviancy, but deviancy is part and parcel of being human, there is no good with out bad, there is no light with out dark, there is so consent with out rape. I am troubled by all the things coming out in the news now, but I am not surprised. Humans are flawed, messed up, terrible, hurtful, selfish, corrupt, and it's hard to believe, but yes even famous people who create amazing art, are not perfect, in fact are very bad, even when they pretend to not be, or perhaps especially when they pretend not to be.

I am not surprised that the manly seed, that thing in a man that is locked in his psyche, that began millions of years ago, that catalyzing push that terrorized aboriginals, that created and destroyed, created and destroyed their own societies and empires, is still poking it's repulsive but impressive head in 2017. Of course it is. If the grossness in men had been done away with before now, we may not be here at all, we may have all stopped trying, given up, let some bird flu Ebola type disease take us all over. Of course Louis CK jerked off in front of woman who did not want him to, I'm amazed that's all he did. I'm amazed he was able to stifle his schizo male demons enough to not jerk off in front of all of us at his comedy shows every single time he stepped on stage.

That we think we can destroy the qualities of men we don't like by creating spectacles on social media about men being monsters and then erase millions of years of evolution is naive at best. We cannot cut out the violent qualities inherent in all men like an unsightly a mole, like it's a bad hair cut we just have to grow out of. The violent impulse that we so loath and want to shake out of our men today is the same impulse that built the world, and while it needs to be checked and put in balance, I don't believe it's possible to re program the male psyche all at once. Men have been rewarded for centuries for being murderous and psychotic, domineering and apathetic, and just because society is shining a light on it now, just because we are now starting to diagnose the problem, does not mean we have a solution, or that there is one. How do we undo human nature? I find it hard enough to quit coffee.

People are calling this Weinstein stuff a watershed moment, but just because you say it is, doesn't mean anything will change. America is lied to by catchy headlines, by a hypocritical,  manipulative media and public personalities that espouse any trendy platform if it benefits them personally. Just because people say change is happening, doesn't mean it is. Change is a catch phrase. Just words, like Just do it or I'm loving it. It doesn't mean anything until I see results. 

Men take over things, kill things, build things, create things, grow things, but they have never really learned how to stop. The violent instinct doesn't quiet just because the work is done, so it finds more things to dominate, more worlds to inhabit, countries to invade, industries to conquer, people to own. If we as a society can find a cure for the human desire for greed, then we will find peace, but perhaps we should consider the possibility that humans are not meant to be peaceful, that we are perhaps not inherently good, that being altruistic is an outlier quality, set against our real nature: a foundation which is gruesome, power thirsty and selfish. Maybe we aren't so good, maybe we aren't supposed to be. If we work from that premise, perhaps we can imagine a different way to live, a new way to accept and deal ourselves.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tortured Actresses Are The Elixir Of My Soul

It's three in the morning and I'm watching Lindsay Lohan on YouTube again. I will regret this tomorrow when my eyes feel like they've been dropped kicked from starring at my iPhone for too long, but right now, watching Lindsay rattle on about her refugee work while simultaneously looking like a puffy-faced crack whore, satiates my soul. This is the third night in a row I've binge watched clips of troubled actresses and I've never felt more connected to the universe. In the way that people watch Oprah for inspiration, I rely on interviews of crazy actresses for a better understanding of myself.

Lindsay is an awful role model and that's why I love her so much. She is the perfect antidote to a world that tries to force feed me yoga retreats and ah ha moments. I'm sick of shiny botoxed actresses selling me their daily skin care routines and inspirational journeys. Show me a liar, an addict, an entitled child star who blew all her money on coke and designer clothes and I'll show you someone who's Ted Talk I would listen to. In a culture that champions personal growth and teaching moments, Lindsay Lohan dares to be an abject, perpetual fuck up. She's not an empowered, strong woman and that's why I like her.

In my life, I've indulged in several self pity and booze fueled benders but I've never had enough courage to really fall apart. It takes a lot of guts to be an addict and I am too much of a control freak to have that much fun. I wish I could let go, abandon my ambition, and for once in my life be brave enough to ruin my life. But I won't do that, I like staying hydrated. I am a coward and it takes a bold woman to be a mess.

Judy Garland is perhaps my favorite horrifying example of the perils of being a child star. Like beauty, addiction is in the eye of the beholder and in every interview I've ever watched of her, Judy denies being an addict. She always insisted that if she was as messed as everyone claimed she was, she never would have been able to sing at all. Indeed, until her dying day her voice never showed any signs of corruption, but her frail face and emaciated body screamed a different, more twisted story. Her incredible talent never fell victim to her substance abuse- she could always wow an audience- but after only forty seven years, her body expired, exhausted from a life time of pain and the medication that failed to quell it.

If I was a genius I'd totally be an addict, but I can't party all the time and still be productive so unfortunately, I am doomed to a life of inner peace. Although I'm bummed that I can't rage and be successful, I am glad that I understand my talent has limits. I am only as good as the amount of sleep I get and this is a point where Lindsay Lohan and I connect.

Lindsay pranced around Hollywood thinking her talent was immune to life in the fast lane but she miscalculated and her career paid the price for it. Unlike Judy, Lindsay's gifts were not indestructible and as Lindsay's substance abuse continued, her once bright eyed, compelling screen presence morphed into one-dimensional, unremarkable performances. Lindsay Lohan was not talented enough to be an addict and not lucky enough to realize that her that gifts were finite. Lindsay should be an example of why not to romanticize drug addled famous people, but her stubborn pursuit of bliss in the face of her tanking career is the antithesis to self awareness, and so I relish her all the more, for her ignorance, her naivety, and most of all, her arrogance.

Pondering Judy and Lindsay's unfortunate lives is a respite for me; a happy place where I protect myself from positive vibes and strong woman. Judy and Lindsay are examples of weakness, people who were and are incapable of over coming their flaws. There's are not motivational stories, but real stories, human stories that remind me that sometimes whatever doesn't kill you, still kills you. I turn to these woman because they crumbled under pressure, and for that reason, they give me strength.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Pitch Of Love: A story about family, betrayal, and indoor soccer

The TV was so loud that I could only see, not hear, the phone call that changed my family forever. My dad stood still in the middle of the kitchen, clasping the phone between his chin and shoulder, but as the news sank in, his head began to move back and forth, twisting in such an over-the-top, directionless chaos, that I didn't even notice the phone drop; I blinked, and the chord was just swinging beside him, like deranged pendulum. My dad collapsed to the ground and I ran into the room, meeting him on the cold, hardwood floor. He broke the news to me fast: Hannah, I'm so sorry. You didn't make the soccer team.

My life would never be the same.

I actually did make the soccer team, just not the starting line up, but to my dad, being benched was an even greater sin than being cut. That a Hogan, a family respected for generations as supreme baseball, hockey and rugby players, would be condemned to the bench, was not only an embarrassment, but an egregious insult; an attack on our entire family too terrifying for my dad to accept. So he didn't, and, instead, declined the offer and immediately began plotting his revenge.

Invigorated by spite, my dad did something that had never been done before in the history of Peterborough sports. He formed another all star soccer team; a second, alternative squad, that was in the same league as, and would compete against, the team who had just rejected us. Like Hitler, my dad attempted a coup on the Under 13 Girls Indoor Soccer League, declaring himself the new coach in town and his daughter its captain. His bold seizure of power was poorly received by the original all star team- they were furious-and what should have been a fun loving season of soccer, a way for kids and parents to get through the long winter months, turned into a hellish nightmare of divided loyalties and tween in-fighting. Parent turned against child, child turned against parent. Friendships burned under a fire of bruised egos and Seventeen Magazines.

My team, unaffectionately referred to as the B Team, was comprised of several out of shape, flat footed, and athletically challenged thirteen year old girls. My dad, however, ignored these glaring deficiencies and began every practise with a melodramatic filibuster about being underdogs. I didn't buy into his propaganda because I had a talent for seeing through hubris, since, as a pre-teen, most of the time, I was creating it. In the beginning, I oppressed my disdain for my dad and the spectacle he called coaching, but as the season progressed, we digressed, losing every game. The harder our team fell, the more determined to win my dad became, and his competitive focus was always directly proportional to my rising levels of irritation. We began to argue. The shame of failure weighed on me. The stigma of being related to the man who instigated this civil war taunted me. I sucked, my team sucked, my dad was delusional, and I was in love with Leonardo DiCaprio. There were too many things going.

The playoffs arrived and since the universe enjoyed tormenting me, we were up against the A Team. We came out hard, but at the end of the first half, our team was down by five. According to my dad, we still had a shot, but I disagreed. Just as I had predicted, we were losing, and I wanted the game, the season, and this humiliating chapter of my life to be over. The second half began, but I was going through the motions, so I asked my dad to take me off the field- to bench me- but he refused. Hustle up, Hogan! Push, it Hogan! I don't know what bothered me more, the fact that I wasn't allowed to rest, or that my dad called me by my last name like I was his slave, or worse, his bro.

Annoyed, I did what I always do when things aren't going my way, I played dirty. I tripped, shoved, pushed, and sadistically chopped at the A Teams legs like I was a sous chef on Adderall. I cut a girl off from behind, and was given a yellow card, but despite my reckless behavior, my dad still wouldn't take me out of the game. This enraged me, so I faked a heat stroke, and the game stopped for five minutes. I pretended I couldn't breath, but my dad called my bluff, and hollered at me to keep playing. I should have channeled my anger into the soccer game, but I didn't, and instead, I snapped. In the middle of a play, I stopped running, quit chasing the ball, quite literally, I just gave up. I completely disengaged from the game, ignoring and avoiding the action, and soon my teammates instructed each other to not pass me, their captain, the ball.

When clock ran out, and we officially lost the game, I was satisfied in the way that only an unruly pre-teen can be satisfied, with a mixture of glowing contempt and stubborn resolve. In the car ride home, my dad declared that he would never coach a girls team again, he said that was too hard, that you can't push girls the same way you can push boys. I took things a step further, and banned him from ever attending any of my future soccer games. I exiled him from my athletic life forever and he never participated in the Peterborough Girls Indoor Soccer League again. I'm not sure if it's connected to me being a female, but I agree with my dad, I don't like to be pushed. After all, I am a Hogan- even if I lose, I find a way to win.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

It's Not An Apology He Wants

My ex said our relationship was toxic.

He took me out for coffee, two years after we broke up, to tell me that. Well, I paid for my own coffee, but it's the thought that counts. I was surprised he reached out to me, because other than when I emailed him to tell him that he might have HPV, we hadn't spoken since we broke up.

We met up, and it was awkward, but I'm a good conversationalist, so it was fine. There was some small talk, but we mostly reminisced on our tumultuous relationship. Always an opportunist, I apologized to him to for being a difficult girlfriend. I was reading a lot of self help books, so I was confident I had the right vernacular to trick him into thinking I'd changed. He assured me not to worry about it, that it was all in the past. He was always a really nice guy, so, not my type.

One time, when we were dating, I told him I was going home for the weekend, but I didn't go home, I locked myself in my apartment and smoked pot for three days. It was a self induced, really weird, super dark, weed coma- I do that sometimes- and since, like I said, it was weird, I didn't invite him. Instead, I lied to him. Thinking I was gone, and wanting to do something sweet for me, he showed up to my apartment. He was dropping off some candies for when I got back into the city, but smelling the weed through the door, he knew I was home and I was officially caught red-handed, or pipe-handed. I let him in, and even though I was high, he was the one who looked messed up. 

We continued to date.

Eventually, we did break up and he politely asked me to not do any stand up jokes about him. I did any way. He immediately deleted me from Facebook and we didn't talk for a long time. Then, one day, as exes tend to do, he suggested we catch up, and I obliged, because I needed some new stand up material.

I found out that he always suspected that I cheated on him, which is not true, I never cheated on him. I thought, wow, this guy thinks I'm a monster, so I put on my best, fake Hannah, and sincerely apologized to him. I'm so sorry. I was terrible to you. You didn't deserve it. Bla bla bla. After two hours, thank God, it was over. We parted ways and he added me back on Facebook. 

I thought it was over. Closure. I was wrong. Two weeks later, he asked me out for coffee again and we had the exact same conversation. Again. I thought we covered everything at the first reunion, but he wasn't done yet. I was running out of things to say to him, so I just kept apologizing. I didn't know what else he wanted from me.

The conversation started to lull, and then out of no where, he said, You were always mean to your dad. You should be nicer to your dad. This gave me pause. I definitely should be nicer to my dad, but I didn't know that he knew that. It hurt. I still think about it. I can't believe I dated someone so heartless.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Growing Pains: The Story of a Young Female Comedian

The comedy community means two things to me, comedy and boys. Over the years, I have entangled myself in both pursuits, with varying amounts of success on each account. I have suffered great pains and great joys as a comedian, or as the rest of the world calls me, a female comedian, but I am still alive tell the tale, and I regard my mistakes as battle scars and my victories as flukes.

A cool skater girl in college always told me how funny and talented I was, so, naturally, we became best friends. I liked hanging out with her because when we'd go out together she would pull me out of my shell, talk to anyone, and through proximity to her, people, or as I call them, idiots, thought I was fun too. I was interested in comedy, and she wanted to have a good time, so I asked her if she wanted to start a sketch troupe with me.  She said yes, and my first sketch comedy troupe was born; conceived in the womb of my insecurity and born into the world I was desperate to please.

I looked up sketch comedy troupes in the city and I stumbled upon a popular sketch comedy show that happened every weekend. I went by myself, watched their show, and it was packed and awesome and I was impressed. I sat quietly by myself in the corner, watching the show in awe and hoping the guy comedians would talk to me, but they didn't, and I didn't talk to them either. I don't think of myself this way anymore, but at the time, I was shy.

This is where my college best friend flirts her way into the story. Determined to befriend the guys in the sketch troupe, the next weekend, I took her to the sketch show with me, and my entire experience changed. She and I drank lots of beer, and after the show, without hesitation, she ran up to all the performers and introduced herself to them. She talked to all the cool people, like she was allowed to, and I followed her lead. We closed down the bar with the cool guy comedians, and it was the most exciting time I'd ever had in Toronto.

After that night, we were hooked. I dragged her to every show, and she enjoyed it, because it involved lots of beer, boys and often times, late night karaoke. We went to almost every show for 6 months, but slowly, our relationship with the guys in the sketch troupe began to change. At first, we were the cute, new girls, but soon, too soon, we became the drunk, annoying girls. Some of the guys, to be clear, were nice to us, but most of them were aloof and ignored us. I totally noticed the dynamic change, but we kept going to their shows, telling ourselves that, eventually, they will like us.

One night, or a couple, I slept with one of the guys in the sketch troupe. That marked the end of any hope I had of the guys in the sketch troupe respecting me as a person, let alone a comedian. It didn't matter that I was passionate about comedy, I slept with one of the guys, so I was a slut. I was officially, and this is hard for me to admit, a comedy groupie.

But we kept going to their shows even though I knew they didn't like us anymore, and I suspected that they made fun of us behind our backs. Who knows, maybe they never thought about us, but we thought about them, all the time. We wanted them to like us. I wanted them to think I was funny. But the harder I tried to win their friendship, the meaner they got.  Every week, they got a little crueler to us, but we kept going, kept getting wasted, kept trying and failing to impress them.

Finally, I accepted that they didn't like us and I stopped going to their shows. I tried to comfort myself  with the notion that maybe the cool guy comedians hated all young, female comics- that they just didn't like woman in comedy, that sexism was the root of the problem, not me personally. But my theory was blown wide open when, just after I stopped hanging out with them, two new, young, female comedians stormed the Toronto comedy scene, and became beloved by them and everyone else in the city.

I licked my wounds and watched the new female comedians steal my thunder, the thunder that I never had which is what made it hurt even more. The girls were just like my friend and I, best friend, female comedians, only they were way more popular and funny.  It turns out the sketch guys didn't hate young, funny girls, they just hated us. I didn't understand why these girls were welcomed into the scene, and not me. Of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that I was drunk for half a year, but in my defense, I was really good at Irish accents, so they were missing out.

I saw the new girls take everything I wanted, all the stage time and all the respect. They got on all the best shows, were considered professionals, meanwhile everyone just kept telling me that I had a lot of potential. I'd see pictures blow up on Facebook of the new girls at parties with the cool sketch guys, all of them getting along, seemingly patting each other on the back for how funny and cool they all were. I wasn't invited to the parties and no one was asking me to be on shows.

I smoked cigarettes on my back porch re-playing all the cold shoulders that had been thrown my way that year. I felt misunderstood and alone, but I wasn't. My best friend was there with me, going through the same rejection. We had no shows, no friends, but we had each other. It was the lowest point, socially, I've ever felt as a comedian, and eventually, I got over it, but I never forgot it. Since all this went down, ten years ago, whenever I've run into some of the sketch guys, they are still unfriendly. I guess they'll always see me as an annoying groupie, which is fine, because I'll always see them as assholes.