I went to this show called The Addicts Comedy Tour. A comedian named Kurtis Matthews put it on. He tours all over and does this standup show 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 (EP. 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. (that’s how stripping clowns are made). Around 22, I left an abusive boyfriend, gave up everything I owned, and decided to turn my life around and crawl out of the hole that had been my static mental state. One day, while boxing up all of my stuff to take to the Goodwill, I was had my computer set to Stumble Upon. 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,3 am, high as fuck, random stumble upon videos playing, packing up my life and trying to figure out how to be happy. A random video started. It was the monologue, the last few minutes of Bill Hick’s Revelations. The “It’s just a ride” speech. I didn’t know who Bill Hicks was and I definitely didn’t know it was part of a standup special. But I was so lost and it felt like this man was talking to me (I’m sure the pot had something to do with it). But Hicks 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.
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!). When somebody asked Andy “How long was Hicks sober again 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, make me someone different, and fuck up everything I had worked for. Now, here I was in a room full of people. Not just “people”, direct connections to someone who died when I was NINE, but had a direct and substantial effect on my my life as an adult. And I was only in that room because of the choice I had so feared. It was surreal, but really affirming: I AM on the right path.
Part of that path is that comedian Kurtis Matthews. I have not sit down with him for the podcast yet, but I am going to. It’s a goal. However, I was in NYC last week and Kurtis put me in touch with another comic he works with (who also knows Andy!). His name is 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 87, and taught me a lot. I swear, this episode is full of quotes. We met in a recording studio in New York, so you can hear lots of activity in the background. 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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