For Gethard - Anonymous asks: First off, I’m a huge fan of your show and your work in general. TCGS is easily my favorite thing on the internet and the amount of joy it brings me is downright insurmountable. Anyhow, I am an aspiring stand-up comedian, having spent the past few years pursuing it. Being a truly self-loathing person, I’m still able to think I am OK at stand-up. I am 23-years-old, and I have never once been paid to do stand-up. Should I go back to school for a backup plan or push through and figure shit out?
This one I can’t answer for you. What I can recommend is - dig down deep, be honest with yourself, and decide truly which option would fill you with less regrets. The good thing about both of these options is that they aren’t going to stop existing. If you go for comedy then realize you’re in over your head and need the safety net of school, schools will still exist when you come to that realization. If you head to school and feel like you’re missing an opportunity to be out there going for it while you’re young, comedy will still exist when you decide it’s time to take a break.
Have you also sat down and considered options where these things aren’t mutually exclusive? What if you go to school in a major city that has a thriving comedy scene? What if you went to a school that itself has a strong comedy scene? Specifically, I wish I went to Emerson University. I know so many great comedians who have come out of there, and everything they tell me about the culture of the place is that it’s built around comedy. If you’re not ready for a city as big as Chicago or New York, what about someplace like Madison, known to have a cool art scene, an improv tradition, and having given birth to The Onion? Maybe these things don’t need to be all or nothing. Maybe you can do school part time and take more time for comedy, or vice versa.
I feel like with many of my posts on here, I come off as someone who is very much into absolutes. To a degree this is true, but also keep in mind that my perspective is that of someone who has decided what he ultimately wants and how he ultimately wants to live. If you are still in the process of figuring out those basic fundamental questions, seriously, don’t rush or put pressure on yourself to dive into the deep end instantaneously. Taking the time to do some soul searching in order to make sure your priorities are where you want them and that you feel good about the game plan you’re formulating is never a bad thing.
But when you do nail down that game plan… pin that shit up to your wall and check something off of it every day that’s possible.
But don’t feel like you need to just make a decision and then make it happen. Remember that life is a process and that only through a diversity of experience can you see enough of life to figure out which corner of it you want to claim for yourself.
Hope this helps!