It’s Fun To Be Foolish

Steve Martin has no problem whatsoever acting like an idiot.Steve Martin

He once said — to Oprah, if I remember correctly– that it does not bother him when someone says, “Who’s that fool with an arrow sticking out of his head?

In fact, Martin went on to say that he presents himself intentionally to prompt laughter and that it’s irrelevant if the laughter results in the fact that others understand what he is doing or is the result of people thinking he’s a jerk.

I love that about him.

Humor has always held a high position in my personal “hierarchy of needs.” I’d give up a lot of things that hold value for me — art, gardening, a nice car, Ben & Jerry’s ­– as long as I still had a sense of humor. Life is hard, and if you lose your sense of humor it becomes even harder.

This past Saturday I had one of the best experiences EVER:  along with the 8 other people in my class, I presented a stand-up comedy bit at a local theatre. Family, friends, and comedy lovers from the community came out on a beautiful spring day to support those of us who’d worked like dogs over the past seven weeks to dig up the funny bone.

….Out of the Box….
Stretch your Boundaries…
……….Try Something Different…..
…Meet New People….
….  Expand Your Horizons….

Saturday’s performance was all the above and more. Supported by our wonderful teacher Tim Ferrell, the experience created a bond among us that will continue to nourish and inspire me. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

Fun, terrifying, energizing, and did I say fun? Here’s the link to the video, I hope you enjoy it.

On this April Fool’s Day remember that, however it may happen, making someone laugh is just about the best thing you can do for them and for yourself.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.comJeanne Fiorini is available for your next meeting, fundraiser, retreat, celebration, or gathering. No joke.

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I Need To Get Out More Often

My friend Margo has been testing out the local comedy club scene lately.
Portland Maine offers lots of venues for artists of all kinds, I suppose I wouldn’t have a Tarot business at all if this area wasn’t amenable to various sorts of
self-expression.

I do know Margo to be funny. We watch Patriot football together on Sunday afternoons and her comments on the players “outfits” keep me amused:  “I’d never root for a team that wears those ugly pants” or “Who designed that helmet with that tiny bird on the side, what were they thinking?”  This and a few beers goes a long way on a cold November afternoon.

Last night was open-mike night at a local bar, and since Margo’s been looking for a new place to strut her material in the future, we headed out. (Aside from having opinions about the fashion choices of the NFL, she has taken comedy classes locally and is a member of Toastmasters International, so she does have some sense of what she’s doing up there.)

We arrive around 7:30pm, the event scheduled to start at 8pm. Aside from the bartender, we’re the only ones in the place. Margo quizzes the bartender as to how many people usually attend, since this “Open Mike Night” is on their weekly schedule, and he assures us that 40 or so people will soon be walking through the door. We get a drink and stake out a table in the back row of the front section near the mike.

The small dark space does fill up by 8:30 or so. Margo and I are front and center to the comedian on stage, all the other patrons and participants sit or stand in the shadows behind us. We don’t yet realize it, but Margo and I are sitting ducks.

Six or seven comedians take their turn at the mike. There are a few laughs from the crowd, but mostly it’s painful. Ten minutes can be a very long time when all eyes are on you and you’re supposed to come up with something witty, pithy, raunchy, timely, hilarious, or otherwise entertaining. Most of what we had observed up to this point was wrenchingly protracted.

Contestant #7 arrives at the mike, beer in hand, shakes his head and says, “OK, I’ve got to ask… what are you two doing here? What, was knitting class over early tonight? Are you in here trying to justify the choices your children have made: ‘Oh well, as least little Amanda didn’t become a comedian.’ What gives with you two?”

It was then that I realized a few things:

  1. We were the oldest people in the joint. Everyone else was in the 20’s-30’s range and mostly dressed in black.
  2. Most of who was in attendance were comedians themselves, awaiting their turn at the mike. There might have been some friends and onlookers amid this gaggle, but for the most part, whoever was there had been there on a weekly basis and they all knew each other.
  3. I really didn’t like being called “old.
  4. I wanted to get up there and show them how to do it!

For instance, during her monologue an attractive red-headed woman touched on the name-branding of condoms, Trojans specifically, as a misnomer, since the famous Trojan horse spilled its manliness all over the place and created a big chaotic mess. Then she dropped it. This was a perfect opportunity to go into what does make an effective brand name for a condom, since the possibilites there are endless.

She also seemed to think that simply using the word “vagina” would get some laughs. I would have taken that ball and run with it: “That’s no vagina, that’s my love canal; my stairway to heaven, baby; my pink Cadillac; this here’s a man-eater; my tourist trap; my penis squeegee; ET: the  Erection Terminator. Look out, here it comes!” Hip movements and wide-eyed facial expressions would be mandatory.

Old knitter my ass.

I’m not putting these people down, mind you. I give them tons of credit for getting up there and exposing themselves in this way. It’s just that they could learn a thing or two from two old broads like Margo and me.

 

Jeanne Fiorini is now looking at ways to blend her new career of stand-up comedian with her passion for the Tarot. Visit the TarotWorks website to see how Tarot can bring integration into your life.

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