Introduction to “The Book”
Hey everybody. I’m working on a book. I will periodically post snippets here. I welcome all feedback. These are rough drafts. Basically my goal is to have a presentable copy with around 10 pages from my book project and my story behind them and all that crap. Enjoy.
I’d rather this book be less about my journey and more about how it can relate to your journey. However, I should at least give you a background on me and where I came from. My name is Andrew Rivers. I’m a comic in Seattle. This is my book.
“Don’t do this unless it’s the only thing you can do, and if you don’t do it you will be rejecting every bone, every muscle, every nerve in your body.” – Bill Cosby
Makes sense to start off a book of quotes with a quote. I didn’t actually get to meet Bill Cosby, but I pulled the quote from his autobiography and thought it was a perfect way to introduce myself. I was laid off from a marketing job in 2008 where I’d just gotten a promotion two months earlier. I spent the first few months complaining about my life on my couch before my dad started kicking my ass and said “I complain about my life every day. but I get paid for it.”
My dad was a radio host in Seattle. He’d done pretty well for himself and our family. Life seemed hard at times. but it’s the kind of problems people would love to have. I remember I was embarrassed to have friends’ parents drop me home after T-Ball because the other kids in the car always went “HOLY COW! THATS YOUR HOUSE?” Sometimes the parents too. Rough life I tell ya.
A few weeks before I got laid off, I did the pre requisite to stand up comedy by giving the “roast” at my Brothers wedding. The speech at my brothers wedding was a hilarious 3 minutes in front of maybe 150 people. My dad later came up and said he was so proud because my story had callbacks and all the little nuances of stand up comedy. (If you have ever met him and heard the story, you can tell he’s proud because each time it gets exaggerated to 15 minutes and 300 people.) I watched comedy for years. I watched lots of TV. I listened to my dad on the radio for years. I didn’t KNOW I was writing like a comedian. I didn’t know what a “callback” was. I wrote my speech the night before. I just thought it would be funny.
It was. The guy who wanted to give a speech after me was shellshocked. When I handed him the microphone. He goes “Holy shit, how do I follow that?” Everyone came up to me afterwards and told me I should do comedy. I enjoyed the attention. My dad seemed to enjoy watching me get attention too. He had this “That’s my boy” look as he leaned back and watched people gather. A couple of “He’s taking after the old man.” comments surely made him feel great too.
Things started happening. My boss who laid me off, added me as a friend on facebook. Then his status updates were about being “sooo busssy”. I got an interview with another marketing agency. They told me I’m “practically hired” after the phone interview. I go to the physical interview and there was a last minute problem. The fill in interviewer turned out to be a girl my brother had a one night stand with and never called back. Needless to say I didn’t get that job.
Fast Forward. A couple months later. I decided to do my first open mic. A couple good friends, my brother and his wife all came to watch me. My dad passed on the experience but encouraged me with: “You’ve got plenty of time to suck.” Like good friends should, they lied and told me I was funnier than the other people. I was filled with delusion and determination. I had nothing else to do. Why not comedy? It didn’t make sense to do anything else. Nobody was going to be hiring for a while and all these weird things that made great stories kept happening. I had no other option at this point.
So with a big head, great friends and somewhat supportive parents. I was off on a whole new adventure.