Trust is a big issue for me. I’m an extremely insecure person underneath it all and I’m not quick to trust someone. One of the hardest things to deal with in the comedy industry is the lack of trust. You can’t turn your back for five minutes without someone putting you down to other people or trying to take work from you. I know that it’s a competitive industry and that people have bills to pay but surely there’s a better way to make a living than fucking over your so-called “friends”?
I love writing this blog, it’s cathartic, but you may have noticed that I’m keeping my identity to myself for the time being. One of the issues discussed in Ruby Wax’s Mad Confessions is the idea that people are afraid to be open about their mental illness, something that would probably help them a lot, for fear of being stigmatised, of losing their friends, their jobs, their income.
I know exactly how they feel and this behaviour fucking disgusts me. It’s just another form of bullying. I’ve heard outspoken idiots exclaiming, loudly and proudly, that’s it’s all bollocks and that people should pull themselves together and get a job. Bullies, that’s all they are. Insecure little people with no empathy or hope. Some of the them are probably in pain themselves and don’t know how to deal with it – like people who are against homosexuality (thanks to this Morgan Freeman spoof, I try not to use the word ‘homophobic’ anymore) – but most of them, in my experience, are just fucking bullies.
This insecurity is seen in every corner of the comedy industry. We pour over our reviews, ticket sales, and internet comments to see if we’re doing better than the next guy. When someone we know (and probably claim to “like”) gets mauled by a reviewer, you wouldn’t believe the undisguised glee on some comics’ faces. Comics stab each other in the back, slag each other off in the dressing room, some even attack each other from the stage – it’s happened to me more than once – by insecure has-beens who can’t handle being upstaged and feel the need to lash out.
I try to be on my guard, to be on the lookout for these vampires and to avoid them. I’m always playing the nice guy, though. I’m always the first to shake someones hand or offer them a compliment, whatever I may say about them when they’re not around. I try to treat people right regardless of what I think of them.
Too many of my real friends on the circuit have been hurt, crushed, almost destroyed by these people who do it just because they can. Sometimes it’s because they have zero social skills, sometimes it’s just because they enjoy being cunts.
To those people: the next twelve months will see a change in me. I’m starting to call you fuckers out on your bullshit. When you hurt my friends, you will deal with me. I’m hurt and I’m in pain, my nerves are shot, I can’t leave the house most days, I hide under the duvet and I dread doing gigs.
From now on, my life and my career are on my terms, not yours. I can survive without you and you better believe I will.
No longer will I shake hands with a person who’s stabbed my best friend in the back.
Trust me, if you can.