November 15, 2018
#7 Ross Bennett – Comedy
I went to this show called The Addicts Comedy Tour, which is put on by a comedian named Kurtis Matthews. He tours all over, doing standup about being an addict. You don’t have to be sober to go, it’s hilarious no matter what (it’s in a comedy club, so plenty of people were drinking). I went to the show because Andy Huggins (from episode 1) was opening and yet again, Andy simply existing changed my outlook on life.
I was a deeply troubled child, living in depression from birth until 22 around (that’s how stripping clowns are made). At 22, I left an abusive boyfriend, gave up everything I owned, decided to turn my life around, and crawled out of the hole that had been my lifelong mental state. One night, I was boxing up all of my stuff to take to the Goodwill while StumbleUpon played in the background. I don’t know if it still exist, but it was a website where you selected categories and it would play random videos based on your taste. So there I was, alone at 3 am, high as fuck. Stumble upon played random videos while I was packing up my life, trying to figure out how to be happy. The next random video started and it was the last few minutes of Bill Hick’s Revelations, the “it’s just a ride” speech. I didn’t know who Bill Hicks was or that this clip was part of a standup special. All I knew was that it felt like this man was talking to me (I’m sure the pot had something to do with it). But Bill saying, “life is just a ride..and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice” was exactly what I needed to hear at that time. I probably watched it 10 times in a row, and a thousand times since. It helped me make a lot of important choices, including the choice that night to never let my depression win.
Fast forward to The Addicts comedy show a few weeks ago. I’m sitting in green room with Andy Huggins, Kurtis Matthews, and a few other comics whose names I don’t remember (sorry!). Somebody asked Andy “Hey, how long was Hicks sober before he died?” He answers and they all start talking, “I remember when he first asked me about wanting to quit…” “Remember how crazy he was…”, “he fit in a lifetime’s worth of drinking in a few years…”, “remember him first going on sober”, etc.
Years ago, was terrified that quitting would derail me. It would make me someone different and fuck up everything I had worked for. Now here I was in a room full of people. Not just any people, but direct connections to someone who died when I was NINE, who somehow still had a HUGE effect on my life, helping me overcome a lifetime of depression. And I was only in that room because of the choice I had so feared. It was surreal and affirming: I AM on the right path.
Part of that path is that comedian Kurtis Matthews. I have not had him on the podcast yet, but I am going to. It’s my new goal. However, I was in NYC last week and Kurtis put me in touch with another comic he works with, Ross Bennett.
Ross Bennett was a cadet at West-point Academy when he quit to become a stand up. He moved to Los Angels in the 80’s, quit drinking in ’87, and had done SO MUCH since! He taught me a lot. This episode is full of quotes! We met at a recording studio in New York, so you can hear lots of activity in the background, but I think it just adds to the New York feel. Plus, I can’t afford a studio…
I hope you enjoy it. Here is my conversation with Ross Bennett.
•Ross’s Album …Not If you Were the Last Man on Earth!
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