Every weekend in December 2001 was booked. I was doing private stand-up gigs for companies big and small. I had a set-list for as long as you wanted me on stage and I was confident in my ability, which is strange considering I weighed 500 pounds. Much of my material back then was self-deprecating--size/weight related. I hated my material. I simply embraced my talent and ability to deliver it well. When I walked away from stand-up in the summer of 2003, I left it all behind. I was done being the target of my own cruel material. Could I have written fresh material without the weight related self-deprecation? In hindsight, yes--of course. I didn't though, because I couldn't imagine anyone accepting any other approach from me, the funny fat guy. Kind of sad, really. I sold myself extremely short.
I hardly ever became excessively nervous before a show back then. A healthy amount, sure, but mostly I couldn't wait to get on stage and feel those feelings of love and acceptance translated from the intoxicating laughter of an audience. Still, no amount of laughter ever filled that void because, as it turns out-- the acceptance and love I needed, wasn't from an audience--it was from me.
This powerful realization is one of many revealed throughout the course of this transformation. My self-worth/identity epiphany--and the deeper exploration of what it meant, has led to an incredible emotional freedom. It's this that inspired me to identify and nurture the core elements of me and one of the many core elements of me is stand-up comedy.
A year ago this month, I performed stand-up for the first time in a dozen years. It was an incredible experience. Since then, I've had one longer set and four small ten minute sets at the comedy club in Stillwater. That's six stand-up sets (four of them being short 10 minute sets) in the last dozen years before tonight's show. Compared to the stage time from years ago, I'm way out of practice. And that created a lot of anxiety.
I was stressing like crazy leading up to tonight's private engagement. I was constantly going over material and wondering if I could give them the 40 minutes I promised to deliver. I invited my friend, fellow comedian and singer Wade Tower, to perform before my set. Lucky for me, he was available tonight. That's rare.
Wade has an incredible gift. Not only can he sing like you wouldn't believe, he's also extremely funny--a natural showman, and he knows exactly what to say when he sees another performer losing their head. I was losing mine. His calm and spot on perspective along with the same from a few different incredible support friends via text, really helped me reclaim my confidence just in time for a spectacular night.
I was hired to do at least 40 minutes. I was on stage for a solid hour-plus. It couldn't have turned out any better. The standing ovation at the end was the most unexpected gift. I'm so incredibly grateful. And not simply because the audience clearly loved the show...but because it was a wonderful example of loving myself and nurturing something in me that must be nurtured.
When I write or speak about the physical transformation being the least of it, trust I mean it with all my heart. The spiritual/mental/emotional transformation, this is the good stuff.
I was up relatively early this morning considering what time I dropped in bed last night. I was busy going over material, making changes, writing more and assembling the order. I still wasn't quite done before my noon to two pm broadcast from a casino grand opening. I finished my preparations after the broadcast and was home just in time to prepare a good lunch and get ready for the show.
I'm proud to say I took extraordinary care with my food today. The timing wasn't the best. I stuck with water at tonight's engagement and decided to eat a late dinner at home afterward.
Hitting the pillow without setting an alarm.
My Tweets Today:
Good morning! Medium roast with two tablespoons half & half X 2 cups. 80 cal. pic.twitter.com/rQCveb06TI— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
Breakfast in MFP... pic.twitter.com/m8hC2QiRaJ— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
Avocado omelet with one whole egg & two egg whites, 131g avocado, 4.9oz orange & 6oz pear. 475 cal. pic.twitter.com/5rXQPaHxQj— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
Smoked almonds (42g) & .8oz colby-jack cheese stick. 3 cups water. #wateraccountability 340 cal. pic.twitter.com/qOjhkxFHOn— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
Lunch in MFP... pic.twitter.com/BXehubbxtd— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
Beef & Cheese tacos w/5oz 91% lean beef, 28g marble-jack cheese, lettuce & 30g sour cream. 589 cal. pic.twitter.com/XNeAyQoeVE— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
Venti size coffee with three tablespoons half & half. 60 cal. pic.twitter.com/jccYyn0fIL— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 12, 2015
1 cup water. Likely will be several tonight. Might give total later instead if individual tweets. pic.twitter.com/mpUa74KjpH— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
40 min standup set about to commence. Well, okay- about 30 min from now. It feels like I've never done this before.— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
Likely a couple more than this during my set. 2 cups water. Great night!!! #wateraccountability pic.twitter.com/HdadcQbMe9— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
I've been looking forward to this relaxing cup all night long. Coffee with three tablespoons half & half. 60 cal. https://t.co/7KRaKWEgYp— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
Super late dinner is cooking. Not even worried about the time in the slightest. #hungry— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
Dinner in MFP... pic.twitter.com/cetPodchM4— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
8oz sirloin, 263g fresh cut & baked sweet potato fries, 5.9oz pear. #lastfoodofday 680 cal. pic.twitter.com/XoRJnmiX5r— Sean Anderson (@SeanAAnderson) December 13, 2015
Thank you for reading and your continued support,