Monday, May 22, 2006
I'm reading Phyllis Diller's autobiography. Like a lot of successful people she went through a lot of tough times and made a lot of sacrifices before she eventually "made it." This seems to be pretty much the standard success story for entertainers. They pay a lot of dues, have a lot of bad luck and then their big break happens. I think this is why in America we still like to pretend that if we work hard enough we can accomplish anything. All these" rags to riches" stories give us all a sense of entitlement. We like to think the poor girl eventually gets to be a princess. It's not all a bad thing. Hope is one of the things that makes this a good country to live in. It's not all a good thing either. Maybe poor girls should stop dreaming about castles and start thinking about going to college. Maybe we need a few more "rags to middle class" stories. Not everyone deserves to be famous. Nobody probably deserves to be famous. Of course thanks to reality T.V. you don't even have to have a talent to be famous now. Artists who struggle and never become anything don't write books and make movies. Who wants to watch a movie about a struggling musician who eventually gets married, has a few kids, quits playing guitar and becomes assistant manager at an auto parts store. I was in a band for 10 years and we had enough bad gigs, drug abuse, and band personality bullshit to make at least 3 entertaining "Behind the Music" episodes. The only problem is we released one album on an independent label and sold around 600 copies I think. I don't think you have to be rich or famous to consider yourself a success, but I still struggle with it. It's hard not to dream rich dreams when you're fucking broke and have been for a long time. It's hard not to dream famous dreams when you do stand up comedy for a living and you get to see your friends on TV all the time. There's nothing wrong with striving for more. That's called drive I think. I have a family to provide for and I need all the drive I can get. Maybe I'll never get on Comedy Central. Maybe I will. I think it was either on Oprah or in a fortune cookie at Panda Express that I heard "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity." It's true I think. I'll tell you this though. Even if I'm working at an auto parts store in a few years I still will be married to an amazing woman and I still will be raising an amazing son. That's success too. I really hope I don't work at an auto parts store though. One because I love stand up comedy, and two because I don't know shit about cars.
Posted by gabriel rutledge