Claiming Your Space

16 01 2017


I have been running for over 20 years but won’t call myself a runner.

I’ve been playing piano since I was 7 but wouldn’t call myself a pianist.

I’ve been writing for 30 years but still hesitate to call myself a writer.

And yet with all of these things, I probably have reason to be more confident in those pursuits than I do with comedy, which I have been performing for much less time. Still, I am proud to call myself a comedian, if only reluctantly. It makes me happy.

The truth is, I am a working comedian. I am not working to where it can be my full time job and I’m not sure it ever will be but I get hired to do shows as if others comedians would and it goes well. As I mentioned to another comedian friend, I am at a place where even if it doesn’t go as well as I would have hoped, I feel like I have earned a right to take the stage and I can hold my own. This isn’t an ego thing. It’s just a hard work thing.

I don’t think that unless you have been part of this mind-game that is stand-up comedy you could really understand what that means. It’s like my daughter learning a new dance step. The whole step may take seconds but it can take weeks or months to even get to the point where it’s “in the ballpark.” It’s the same with comedy.

This may be the first positive comedy revelation I have had about myself and though I have no idea if things will progress or not, it really is ok. I am enjoying myself and meeting some really wonderful people and learning to be more confident based on what I know and not what others might think they know about me.

It reminds me a little of losing weight or “getting in shape.” The advice is to not focus on the scale so much (what the scale “thinks” it may know about your health) and focus more on how you feel and even may look (what you, yourself, know). I don’t know – I’m rambling. I just watched “Primal Fear” with my kids (saw it 20 years ago – what a great movie) and my mind is still sort of blown so this is what you get.

I guess the purpose of this blog is to say that we all have a right to claim to be who we are and not just what we do but why we do it. I am an artist, a songwriter, a writer and yes, even a runner, and all of these things funnel up to the dad, brother, son and friend I am. It sort of works that way. Don’t limit yourself. Claim your space. It’s yours. You own it.

Until next time,



Jack Tripper, Three’s Company & Finding My Inner Voice

7 12 2015

Image: Suzanne Somers

Please feel free to read but don’t come and knock on my door.

Spoiler alert #1: No, my inner voice is not Mr. Furley. Though my outer wardrobe sometimes looks like Mr. Roper.

Spoiler alert #2: Yes, this may have no meaning to anyone born after 1980 or opposed to re-runs on TV.

I remember the most useless things ever. If you need a partner for Trivial Pursuit and the trivial is truly that, I’m your man. If you need a lifeline for stuff that has no meaning whatsoever, again – I’m your guy.

It is funny (read: scary) the things we remember (and more so, the things we don’t) and I have a special propensity for burying deep in the folds of my cerebellum those moments and useless facts that will never, ever help get me out of a prison or a deep forrest or even a bad conversation.

One of these has to do with an episode of “Three’s Company” starring John Ritter as Jack Tripper, the “not really but pretending to be gay” roommate who lives with two beauties so their wacky landlord (first Mr. Roper and then Mr. Furley) will let them all live together.

As an aside, I cannot even imagine this concept at a TV pitch meeting today. The execs would be wholly underwhelmed. Maybe if Jack Tripper happened to also be someone who had to pretend to use a cell phone but due to a mental injury as a kid could only use rotary phones – maybe then it would get some attention.

But I digress.

In one of these episodes, Jack was being given a talk on confidence (or something like that) and he was told to remember the word “BARK”. And here’s where it gets whacky – I actually remember what it stood for (and I’m sure it’s somewhere on YouTube if you need to check). Here it goes:

B – Be somebody!

A – Act like somebody!

R – React like somebody!

K – “Kollect” your rewards.

(Yes, I know – hilarious that they spell “collect” with a “k”- that’s top notch prime time comedy right there!)

If this thing stuck in my head for all these decades and I can’t even make sense of it really, why not come up with one for ourselves? Something customized for us. I need something to remind me that even in the low times, there is a lot to be thankful for and the future is wonderfully unknown. 

Here’s what I got:

R – Remind yourself if what you have to be thankful for

I – Imagine what your future holds if you don’t give up

P – Pick one thing that day to move you toward a goal, any goal.

RIP – there you have it. A whole new meaning to “let ‘er rip”. Now I just need someone to hire me to write a sitcom.

Until next time, Marc

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