"STANDING LIKE A TREE."
By Josh kosh
A Blog Page by Comedian Josh Kosh.
Everyone on this earth has been given a special gift or gifts by our creator. Many go their entire lives without recognizing these gifts. Some become aware of their gifts and quite simply fail to harness and use them properly. Or at all. Others do find their gift and make it their passion. They train their gift and nurture it until it is perfected. They polish their gift until it is so shiny that other people begin to receive and benefit from the gift. These are usually the people we see, admire, and want to be. Some of us just need a little push to go and be that person.
In my mid twenties, I found out that one of my gifts was communicating to people through words. Having spent my teens and early twenties in prison, I had not been in touch with this gift because of the setting I was in. The "talky" guys just seemed to have more problems. Upon reentering society, one of my first jobs was at a restaurant where I bucked the trend and worked in the front of the house. Needless to say, that is where you do the most talking to people who are not likely to stab you. In this restaurant is where I had the conversation with a guest that sent me on the journey I've been on for the last 11 years. I was told that the way I talked, I sounded like a was a Comedian and that I should try it out. The guy couldn't have known that trying Comedy had been a recurring thought of mine that I had never acted on.
I wrote some things down that I thought were funny. I went to the comedy club the guy told me about. I got drunk. I don't remember what happened. Okay, I bombed. But I loved it! I loved the possibility of coming up with things to say to people that would make them laugh. Every so often I would get lucky and get a laugh. The way I talked...Write some things down. Go to the comedy club. Get drunk. Bomb, maybe. I repeated that process weekly for almost two years before I gained the next piece to the puzzle.
Looking back on it, I realize that in those almost two years, I had found another gift and began to polish it. Stage presence. Hey, when you don't have much to say, that can be the thing that saves you! I had spent all that time learning to physically embellish the bullshit words I was passing off as comedy. Unbeknownst to me, I had a fan within the walls of the club. The bartender apparently recognized the thing that I was missing and surprised me on my 27th birthday with a book that changed my entire approach to stand up comedy. With this new information and approach, in time I began to see more opportunities in comedy. And with the bartender. Who happens to be my wife now!
"The Comedy Bible" by Judy Carter. There's probably other books too. I found this one very helpful to me in defining the structure of a joke. This book addresses the way that comedy has evolved from the era of the 'punchline' to the current era of the 'act-out' where the comedian gets to take of advantage of skills like stage presence. It gave me the ability to take the funny idea and turn it into a funny joke. While I still never feel as if the structure works for everything, it provides the thought process needed to get to where you want to be...Not bombing or hoping for a laugh! I began to get more gigs and offers to do shows outside of my local network. Then came a couple of appearances on national TV.
Another one of the many opportunities comedy has provided for me is, Acting. In 2015, I traveled to Los Angeles where I was quickly signed to the roster of a major film agency. The way I talk. And look apparently. I have auditioned for shows that are on TV now and shows that never made it. All the while, I was doing it the same way I did comedy in the beginning. By the seat of my pants. Having gained that experience, I recognize that there is something to be gained by adding to information bank. In about a month, I will be starting Acting classes at the acclaimed Philadelphia Improv Theater. I am excited to my further my growth and looking forward to even more and better opportunities!
I encourage anyone with a gift that they want to share with the world to go out and find the information that will enhance your gift and propel you to greater heights in this life. If you know someone with a gift, surprise them with something that will help them achieve more with their gift. You never know how much a small push can do for someone.
Until next Monday.
Stand like a tree.