Dear everyone who came to a show, purchased or streamed a book or recording and liked or retweeted a tweet of mine this year,
It’s something that comedians and performers of all sorts say at the end of every performance. And I’m sure they all mean it sincerely.
But as this year comes to an end and everyone (hopefully) is with family and/or their chosen family of friends I’m reminded how lucky I am.
To be able to “make people laugh” (I prefer HELP people laugh. I don’t want to force anyone to do anything against their will) is a gift. And many people have the gift of humour. But to be able to make a decent living out of it (especially working almost exclusively in Canada) is lottery-win lucky. Many comedians feel the need to head south to America to chase their comedy dreams. I decided a while back (the year 2004 to be exact) I would make a go of it in the Great White North. I wouldn’t relocate from the country I love to pursue my comedy dream. And now, roughly a decade and a half since, I can proudly report that comedy dream and my reality are co-existing pretty damn nicely.
Sure, there are comedians that are household names in many more households. There are comedians that sell out stadiums of fans and rub shoulders among Hollywood elite. There are comedians that networks fall over themselves offering boatloads of money to make another ‘special’.
But entertaining small theatres full of Canadians coast-to-coast-to-coast-to-coast-to-coast (I’m counting the coasts of Vancouver island) and often being able to share the stage with my hilarious comedian friends through work with The Debaters and The Debaters Live On Tour is a rare honour indeed.
This comes at the cost of time away from family, which my 4-year-old daughter doesn’t love. But on the bright side, knowing that daddy is away “making people laugh” (“HELPING!” damnit) makes it a little easier to take. And having a wife that is also my manager makes it not just “easier” but, in fact, possible.
All of this to say, thank you to everyone mentioned for your support of comedy in general and my comedy in particular. Without comedy fans, there is no comedy. And without comedy the world would be completely unbearable.
Which reminds me that I should also thank all comedians, whether you fill large stadiums of fans or simply open your hearts on open-mic nights (for now). Having the dream of helping people laugh is a good dream to have. Having the gift of making it happen is one well worth sharing.
Here’s to helping each other laugh both through these holidays and in all the days ahead.
Steve Patterson/ Patterballs