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  1. Maribeth's First Time

    Friday, July 6, 2012


    Let me preface this by telling you my first time doing Stand-Up was a very very long time ago. 

    And it was Fan-Freaking-Tastic!  How could it not be?  I was coming from nothing. 

    Quite literally. 

    I was a very lonely and shy kid.  I grew up with two amazing parents and very outgoing, fun, attractive siblings.  I was the tall, awkward middle child with minimal social skills who spent way too much time alone in her bedroom daydreaming.  My brother and sisters had friends, romances and went out a lot.  I was a homebody.  I had comic books, art supplies and a rich fantasy life.  I imagined I was a beautiful, creative and witty lady.  A lady who took all the pain of not being chosen, being relentlessly teased, viciously hated and turned it into hysterical prose that made people double over with laughter.  I played this tape over and over in my head for about 20 years.  Sports psychologists call this Imagery.  But for me it was my safe place.  An imaginary world where I could escape when real life hurt too much. 

    Sparing you the gritty details, here’s my story in brief:
      
    When I was in high school my art was appreciated for the first time in my life (other than my family of course). This gave me just enough confidence to start talking to people.  The classmates in my all girls catholic school told me I was funny.  “Duh”, I thought.  “I’m beautiful, creative and witty!”  Or I was in my mind.  Because I was funny I got roles in all the school productions.  Not leads, mind you, but if there was a need for a husband, boyfriend or wacky maid don’t even bother having auditions.  Dig what I’m saying?  So of course I had to go to college and get a degree in theatre so I could move back to New York City and let Woody Allen find me.

    That was the plan. 

    I eventually went to college. I wasn’t much of a student due to a tremendous lack of discipline, self-esteem and a growing penchant for intoxicants of various kinds.  This was a bleak period in my life.  Although I was getting cast as the wacky maids sadly the male roles all went to actual men.  Gone was the loner, enter the loser.  April of my senior year several of the girls in the dorm begged me to do stand up when I graduated.  “Oh yeah, stand up,” I thought.  Somehow I forgot about that dream.

    I graduated, moved to New York and made a promise to myself:  I will do stand up before the end of the year (I’m not telling you what the year was, suffice it to say it was last century before many of you were born).

    I had my debut at Don’t Tell Mama on December 1st and I KILLED!  It was almost easy since I’ve been rehearsing this moment in my head almost my whole life.  I knew I found “it”.  I did stand up for about 10 years, made friends, left my apartment and actually had fun. 

    But then life got complicated.  I got deep into debt, people got sick, life got very painful, people started dying.  Panic and fear became status quo. I got very sick. 
    This was so not in the plan!  I was supposed to be on set with Woody by now!

    I gave up stand up. Got serious.   Got a job in Corporate America and decided I was going to be a real grown up.  I did this for a long time.  I became obsessive, angry and mean.  I was out of debt, had a good job but I wasn’t living life.  I alienated all my friends and had no prospects of finding new ones.  I started going through jobs with the alacrity of someone running from the law.  After I was let go from the last job I gave up. 

    Time to get back to the plan.

    I had nothing to lose, so what the hell?  I went back to stand up with zero prep. (Stupid- don’t ever do this)!

    And this time I BOMBED.  Twice.  I did a horrible set at Gotham then headed over to Eastville where I followed Sarah Silverman and had my ass handed to me by one of the meanest audiences I’ve ever encountered. 

    Ouch. 

    Thankfully that just fueled my fire. “How dare they!  Don’t they know who I am”?? 

    I went home and got my head together.  I wrote, rewrote, shot two TV pilots, found a writing partner, made new friends, slept, performed a LOT, went on vacation, hugged people, read, went to shows, lost a writing partner, learned to meditate, met wonderful people, got healthy, cried, cried some more and here I am. 
      
    Things are not exactly going according to my original plan.  But that’s okay; it was a silly plan anyway. 

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to retire to my bedroom.  I have a daydream to attend to.
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  2. 4 comments:

    1. Lady Ha Ha said...

      Fabulous post. I love the pics. So glad you made a comedy comeback!

    2. Amy said...

      How come I love you so hard??

    3. Joanne Filan said...

      How totally Moonerific.

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