3PM Tuesday 11 March 2014 Nunhead Heights
Next week is the deadline for registering shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. I don’t have a name for my show, I don’t have a show and I don’t have a plan except to do what I did last year. Everything is normal.
Albert Einstein wrote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I am going back to the sticky-floored Hive, back with a free show, back giving you the option to pay £5 to reserve a seat when you can come in for free on the day, and back with the same old comedy crap I do 12 months-a-year at the Source Below, the Leicester Square Theatre, and on my road shows. Last year’s Edinburgh was a failure – I made less money, performed to less people and got fewer reviews than I did in the previous year.
Einstein might say I am insane.
On the other hand, I don’t expect to get different results. I am just doing what I do, which is to show up, go on stage and let the consequences be damned.
This is what I do.
I don’t prepare because I am never sure that what I prepare for is what I need to prepare for. And what if I actually achieve success? Will it be worth the hard work? And I am pretty sure I don’t want to be a success.
Missourian Japanese comic Spring Day told me once that I “fly the plane into the side of the mountain”.
So I just turn up, on the day, and do what I do, and hope it is good enough. And if it isn’t, I tell myself I am quitting comedy, and do, until the next night, when I do it all over again. I must love flying the plane into the side of the mountain.
Malcolm Galdwell has his”10,000-Hour Rule” where the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. I copied that last sentence from Wikipedia.
Success in not an option. [Damn, that sounds like a really good show name. “Lewis Schaffer: Success is Not an Option”.]
Success has not been an option for me in comedy.
I have never seen myself being on TV or in front of huge adoring crowds. I see myself as failing. That is why I have no fear of comedy. What can go wrong has gone wrong and gone wrong very, very often.
[“Lewis Schaffer Dies Hard” another show title.]
It has gone wrong so often for me that this year I must be approaching my 10.000th hour doing comedy. 9 shows a week for years at the Boston Comedy Club, all those shows at Comedy Cellar, at least 450 shows at the Source Below, 40 shows at the Leicester Square Theatre… you add it up.
What I am saying is that Einstein is wrong.
If you do the same thing over and over and over again, eventually, it will become right, or your kind of right. That is my excuse.
Please help me name my show.
“Lewis Schaffer Success is Not an Option” sounds like a winner to me, but then I haven’t googled it – okay, just did – and it hasn’t been used that much.
Or should I call it “Lewis Schaffer Will Do You”. Resonance FM engineer and friend Leanne Bower thought of that.
Or “Lewis Schaffer Dies Hard” or “Lewis Schaffer: No Refunds Given”. I forgot who thought of these but I will check and give them credit.
Can you think of a good name for my show? Ideas at the bottom
Come see me tonight at the Source Below. 8PM in Soho, London. Click on Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous.
or pay £10 to see me at the Leicester Square Theatre this Sunday. Click on Lewis Schaffer: American in London
Have your international and local taxes prepared at www.britishamericantax.com – ask for Liz.