Guestpost #79: Joel Buxton – Ten things I’ve learned from stand up comedy

Bio: Joel is a Toronto-based writer, stand-up comic, and sketch performer, who also finds a little time on the side to eat pizza and drink pop. For more of Joel’s writing, check out his work at www.Bite.ca/daily, stand-up comedy blog “Premise PUNCH Tag”, or his webcomic “Awesome Marcus Ninja”. You can find clips of Joel’s sketch pals The Sketchersons at their website. Joel also contributes articles for satirical newspaper “The Beaverton”.

Josh edit: I love this big lug. He’s hilarious.

  1. Truth is beautiful, but it takes tremendous strength to bear its weight without the aid of humour.
  2. Stand-up comedians are always either crazy smart, crazy self-involved, or just crazy.
  3. I spent my teen years practising hardcore survival skills and pushing my body to its limits. I’ve almost died violently twice. That being said, until I tried stand-up, I never understood fear or determination.
  4. A community is more than dues, status, or skill. The biggest phonies will try to convince you otherwise. Don’t worry about finding solid people, they will find you if you are patient and open.
  5. I was asleep until the first day I picked up a microphone. It’s only in hindsight that I can see how helpless and numb I was. Breaking through was hard, but I like myself much better now.
  6. The better I get at stand-up, the more I allow myself to care, because I know I have an outlet to deal with those feelings. Compassion takes infinitely more commitment than cynicism.
  7. I’m extremely lucky that my parents aren’t divorced, abusive, or dead. I have found this is somewhat rare among stand-up comics.
  8. I might not ever love someone as much as the act of creation, which scares and encourages me equally.
  9. The beauty of a never-ending journey like stand-up is it teaches you to stop and smell the roses, because the destination is forever out of reach.
  10. Freedom of speech is everything. Without it, we are shadows. FUCK censorship and the cowards that hide behind it.

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