So, the inimitable Funky Brown Chick has asked me “why do I blog?” This is a multi-answer question for me. The most obvious answer is in the “Why am I doing this” section of this blog. I describe the blog as therapy – if I vent my anger here I theorised I would be less angry in day to day life.
While that’s obviously tongue in cheek, there’s an element of truth to it. My girlfriend for one will vouch for the fact my moods generally have been better since I started blogging. I’m a big believer in the benefits of catharsis. Venting anger in a way that doesn’t physically harm someone is a lot healthier than letting it build up until you burst a blood vessel in your brain or go on a shooting rampage.
It’s more accurate to say that I wanted a creative outlet. I’ve always been a pretty good writer and I’m a firm believer that writing is a skill like any other – the more you do it, the better you’ll get. So I was actually quite methodical when setting up the blog. I had been working on some material for doing some standup comedy and decided I might get more feedback on what’s actually funny by writing a blog. I could test out material here and use the most popular bits in a routine.
Standup is hard. And it doesn’t provide a very rapid feedback loop. You get the instant feedback (or lack thereof) from a live audience but if some material doesn’t go over all that well you can’t really come back the next day and try some new material. With a blog I could try whatever I wanted, see the audience response and try some more the next day.
I made a couple of choices before I even started. First, I was going to do it anonymously. I’m a contractor and the IT community in Melbourne is too small, too conservative and too gossipy to take a huge risk career-wise. So I decided to invent a persona. Honestly, Mr Angry isn’t me. He’s a mouthpiece for a few things I want to say but more often he’s a character who says things I never would myself.
The other decision was to be disciplined and regular with the writing. The name “Angry 365 Days a Year” is not a coincidence. I decided up front to set myself the target of writing at least one post every day for a year. Which I actually managed (just). There were a few close calls but some new content went up every day for the first year.
Since reaching that milestone I’ve relaxed a little. Now occasionally a day or two will pass without me posting and I won’t freak out. Oh and I abandoned the idea of doing standup as well. Too hard. Too 20th century. YouTube killed that idea for me. Only the biggest name standup comedians in the world get a bigger audience than even a fringe player like me can get on YouTube.
Which brings me to the last big reason why I blog. I want to make a career of this. I’ve been a bit vague on exactly which direction this will take as I enjoy both the writing and the performance side of what I’ve been doing. But there have been a few positive developments in the last year. I’ve made a few thousand dollars doing videos for The Fizz on DirecTV (which has paid for camera upgrades and my broadband).
And then there was the New York possibility I mentioned a month or so ago. A journalist with one of the US broadcast networks had approached me about being interviewed for a segment on an upcoming show. For what felt like the longest time it continued to dangle as a possibility with no definite answer one way or the other. Now I finally have an answer. Sadly, I won’t be going to New York.
I’m going to LA! Yes, Mr Angry is going to Hollywood. In two weeks. I fly in on the 14th of November (unless something changes). So if you’re from the LA area, let me know. I definitely want to catch up with as many people as possible while I’m there. As you can see in this video, I was quite excited by the news: